How to Deal with "Unexpected Villains" in Your Story?

How to deal with unexpected villains in your story?

How to Deal with “Unexpected Villains” in Your Story?

How to Deal with “Unexpected Villains” in Your Story? 366 222 Shlomi Ron


It was a Thursday late morning, I was just entering the I-95 South from Ft. Lauderdale down to Miami, after a client meeting.

With the music blasting, I heard a faint ting sound that definitely was not part of the music I thought.

I didn’t make much of it as I was more focusing on the important decision of should I take the express lane or stay at the free lanes that didn’t seem that packed.

Why pay extra for no need, right?

As I was debating this, all of a sudden I noticed on the left side of my front windshield a rounded palm-sized crack that completely escaped my attention before – and now was crookedly smiling at me…

What? What are the odds for a tiny stone to just hit my car?

My mind sprung into action and dreaded the thought of now I’d need to shell out a couple of unplanned hundreds of dollars for replacing the entire windshield. Yikes!

After a long hour of driving and speculating several resolution scenarios while occasionally glaring at that uninvited crack, I finally reached home.

My first course of action was calling my car insurance agent. The rep was courteous and promised to call back after checking if glass cracks are covered.

A half-hour later the verdict came in: there is $500 deductible. Ouch!

I called my garage in the hope that it would cost cheaper than $500, but they didn’t handle glass jobs.

I googled “car glass repair shops” near me, sorted by top reviews and called the first one. $262 – not bad. I called the second one which was $273, BUT the rep also advised me to call my insurance company (not the agent) because glass repair is fully covered in Florida state.


I did and it was true. The next Monday morning, a glass repair guy stopped at my driveway and in 40 minutes replaced my windshield for free.

No muss-no fuss!

“Is there anything you could do to protect your windshield from these random shooting stones on the highway?” I was wondering for future reference.

“Nope, it typically happens because of those semi-trucks with loads that are not properly covered.” He pointed at a tiny stone that got caught on my left tire.

Smiling, he then asked me to sign on his phone before driving away to brighten the day for another unlucky customer with a chipped windshield.

How to deal with "unexpected villains" in your story?

Keep your story moving forward despite “unexpected villains”

As you roll out your visual storytelling strategy across channels, you may hit two types of unexpected challenges (i.e., your semi-trucks with flying debris):

1) External Challenges such as new competition, changing market conditions, changing customer interests, natural disasters, power outage, and new regulations.

And 2) Internal Challenges such as organizational bureaucracy, old way of working mentality, cultural issues, unmotivated marketing team or agency, outdated tools/technology, and even your own self- doubts.

The more you optimize your plan to address these challenges the better. Having said that, you may still get hit with a few “flying stones” outside of your control along the way.

Your best approach is to stay alert, so when you run into issues, examine closely your response. Sometimes the solution could not only be a pleasant surprise but also get your audience’s appreciation for your timely creativity. See it in action when responding with a Refuting A Shared Experience Story.

Need help developing your Visual Storytelling program, while taking into account “unexpected villains”? Schedule a meeting, so I could learn more about your project. 

Shlomi Ron

Shlomi Ron is the founder and CEO of the Visual Storytelling Institute, a Miami-based think tank with a mission to bring the gospel of visual storytelling from the world of art to more human-centric and purpose-driven marketing. A digital marketing veteran with over 20 years of experience working both on the agency and brand sides for Fortune 100/500 brands such as Nokia, IBM, and American Express. He started VSI to combine his marketing expertise with his passion for visual stories stemming from his interests in classic Italian cinema and managing the estate of video art pioneer, Buky Schwartz. At VSI, he helps brands rise above the communication noise through visual storytelling consulting, training, and thought leadership. Select clients include Estée Lauder, Microsoft, and Cable & Wireless – to name a few. He currently teaches Brand Storytelling at the University of Miami’s Business School. Thought leader and speaker at key marketing conferences. He is also the host of the Visual Storytelling Today podcast, which ranks in the top 10 best business storytelling podcasts on the Web. His book: Total Acuity: Tales with Marketing Morals to Help You Create Richer Visual Brand Stories. Outside work, he is a nascent bread baker, The Moth fan, and longtime fedora wearer likely to jive with his classic Italian cinema interest.

All stories by: Shlomi Ron

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.