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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Making Connections

Inside every human being is a desire to connect in real and tangible ways. This desire for connection permeates everything we do and every decision we make: even our decisions of what to buy and when. We respond to ads because we connect with them somehow. A spokesperson, scene, or catchphrase resonates with us and makes us laugh, or cry, or both. Emotion is much more powerful than reason. Just ask any politician trying to get elected.
  • A soldier sits down in a quiet moment to listen to a recordable storybook his child sent from home.

  • A team of clydesdales pulls an iconic wagon into New York City, then bows silently before the Statue of Liberty in reverence.

  • A couple drives frantically to the top of a parking ramp. The man jumps out and signals his confused girlfriend to follow, just in time to... miss the airplane banner flying by, asking her to marry him.
Each of these commercials (and many others like them) tells a story that, at first glance, has little to do with the product they're selling. Instead, they show the product (or in the case of the clydesdales, a symbol of the product) in real-life situations that make it far more relatable than a simple product shot or feature list ever could.

Here are links to the three commercials I mentioned in this post. A quick warning: If you haven't seen these, you might want to have a box of Kleenex nearby for the first two. Feel free to list some of your own favorites in the comments at the end of this post.

"Active Duty" Hallmark Commercial

9/11 Tribute from Budweiser

Wherever Life Takes You (Chevy Cruze ECO)

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