teens watching media for social impact series

Biology’s Role in the Power of Media for Social Impact

Did you know that human biology plays a significant role in making media for social impact so effective? Movies and TV series that seamlessly integrate educational elements into their storylines have the power to shape knowledge, attitudes, and behavior. 

The biology element largely comes down to two factors: vision and emotions. Harnessing these, along with deep research, knowledgeable partnerships, and exceptional storytelling, can have a profound impact on audiences. 

Enhancing Retention through Visuals

More than half of our brain is engaged in visual processing. Our brains are hardwired to remember and process information better when it is presented visually. Through captivating cinematography and visually compelling storytelling, film and TV can create rich and immersive experiences that enhance knowledge retention. This allows messaging to stay with the audience long after the credits roll.

Forging Lasting Connections with Emotions

Emotions are an integral part of human experience. They have a profound impact on our memory and learning processes. When information connects with our emotions, it becomes more meaningful and memorable. By crafting relatable characters, engaging narratives, and thought-provoking content, TV can evoke emotional responses that resonate deeply with the audience. This emotional connection increases the likelihood of lasting shifts in attitude and even behavior change.

The Recipe for Success: Research, Partnerships, and Captivating Storytelling

To create media that drives social impact, it takes more than just biology. Deep research, collaboration with knowledgeable partners, and talented storytelling are crucial ingredients. By conducting thorough research on social issues affecting our audiences, we can ensure content is accurate, authentic, and relevant. Collaborating with experts and organizations adds credibility and expertise to the storytelling process. With great writing and acting, the messages can be conveyed effectively, capturing the audience’s attention and inspiring them to take action.

Real-Life Examples

There are many examples that illustrate the power of media to bring about tangible social change. One is the Indian TV talk show, “Satyamev Jayate.” Through thought-provoking episodes addressing issues like child sexual abuse, alcoholism, and domestic violence, the show provides solutions and raises awareness. 

Similarly, “Shamba Shape Up,” a makeover-style reality show in Kenya, helps small farmers improve their agricultural yields by sharing valuable farming techniques and knowledge.

The impact of media goes beyond raising awareness; it can also drive concrete action. “My Better World,” our International Emmy Award-winning series, had a direct effect on school enrollment. In Nigerian communities where the show was screened in facilitated settings, girls’ school enrollment saw a remarkable 43% increase. 


As humans, we have an innate affinity for captivating stories. The fusion of compelling narratives with the power of human biology presents a unique opportunity to create media for social impact.