I really have a love-hate relationship with those.
One one hand ,there are run-of-the-mill commercials. Boring. Lame-ass. Full of marketing gimmicks. And often those come with plastic smiles of some equally lame ass celebrities. I don’t understand why even they waste money on such advertisements which customers ignore at best,get bored at worst.
One the other, some are pure gems. Excellent storyline. powerful climax. Keeps you on the edge of the seat.Just know you find one whenever you catch yourself, anticipating how the story unfolds. These stories stick to your memory for a prolonged time. I saw an advertisement of soft drink manufacturer one year ago, I still remember it vividly.
Here are some such commercials which are the emblem of beautifully crafted stories made by humans, for humans.
- “Boxing makes you bigger” Everlast: Two young brothers are growing up together in a poor locality. Elder one trains in a local boxing gym. He works hard, spends hours to master the fighting and fearlessly faces opponents inside ( and outside ) of the ring. Little one , being too young, sits beside the ring and watches his brother. One day, after training they face a mugger on the way back to the home. The young one hides behind , elder one clinches his fist. What happens afterwards makes this advertisement unforgettable.
- “Peace” AXE: What is the first thing comes to your mind when you think of this certain deodorant brand? For me, it is some different variations of an attractive man( sometimes men, not even remotely attractive) trying to seduce women with deodorant( I mean, really??). But this advertisement crushes such stereotypes. It shows, a warlord is about to launch a missile, a Russian girl bravely stands before a tank, young soldiers with determined eyes rides over Vietnamese paddy field. When it seems preparations for manslaughter has completed, the twist comes.
- “Giving”True Move: This depicts the story I want to believe in. And I am sure , this is the story , every person who thinks there is good in the world will also want to believe in. Once a kind gentleman protected a boy from others when the boy had no other way than stealing medicine for her ailing mother. 30 years later that gentleman fell ill, very ill. Now medical expenses are huge. Her daughter left no stone unturned to save her father. When all hopes seemed to be diminished, new hope emerged in a most unexpected way.
- “Unsung hero” TVC Thai life insurance: Not every hero has super powers or flamboyant appearance. Some of them look just like you and I and they change the world without drawing any attention. This is a story of such a hero. He is a common man. He helps local elderly vendor, share his food with a stray dog, secretly send bananas to an old lady who has no one. People think he is impractical and certain that our hero will not be rich or happy ever. But when that girl in street buys a school uniform with the money our hero gave her, it becomes clears our hero doesn’t care. He is already richest.
- “The Reader” Bell’s whisky: Do you really think advertisement story should be revolved around the brand, not the other way around? Think again. This advertisement depicts a really heart touching story. A father ,who didn’t know English earlier , determine to read the book, authored by his son. He starts from the scratch and completely immerses himself into the learning. With his determination, he finally achieves his goal. What’s more beautiful about this advertisement, the actual product is a really small part of the story. But don’t underestimate its power. The story is so strong people will remember it for a long period and Bell’s whisky as well. Smart, eh?
- “Mae Toi( Mother Toi)” Thai Life insurance: I am pretty thick skinned guy myself and somewhat old school. I am a firm believer of “men don’t cry”. And I am proud of my ability to stop being emotional and tear. Well , I was, before seeing this advertisement. I had tears in my eyes while watching.
A commercial is a very powerful medium of the storytelling. And when those stories manage to strike a cord, we remember the feeling and the product associated with it. Unfortunately, good commercials are hard to find, great ones are rare. So , whenever you come across one, stop and enjoy.