Powerful & captivating TV commercials – October 2013 edition

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We all love a good commercial so I decided to create a monthly “best of”. I have written about the art of making a great piece of film on several occasions. Therefore, I will not repeat what I’ve previously written. Instead, I will use this monthly post to bring to life the points that I’ve made in the past and highlight new observations.

The first observation is the power of stereo-typical imagery to visually ignite a story. The Nike and Mercedes films below do this well. If done well, the “stereo-typical” aspect doesn’t come across as cliche but rather as emotionally provoking. In a snapshot, you are transported into the emotional state of the protagonist or situation that the storyteller is creating. In other words, you can create a much richer story in a much shorter time.

The second attribute that unites several of these films is an intense attention to detail. I have written about this critical storytelling attribute before (see here). The Qatar and Nike films best illustrate this. You really want your Brand fans to feel that they are being spoken to directly. As such, you want to give them little clues, props within scenes, aspects of the narrative, that only they really know and appreciate. Beyond catering to your loyal fans, you also want to provide detail to give your film the chance to be appreciated time and again. The Qatar film does just that. Each time you watch it, there is another something that you discover. It is a really magical film.

The third element that is found in several of these films is an appreciation for design and craftsmanship. The Mercedes and Apple films best bring this to life. As consumers become significantly more design-savvy brought on by an access to so much content, technology, and creativity, they subconsciously appreciate film content that has a superior design acumen. Somehow it respects their tuned sense of design.

The last observation that is apparent in a few of these films is the ability to project the “better you” or “better reality”. The Qatar, Asics, and Nike films do this best. While the era of escapism is somewhat over and a more grounded reality has taken hold in communications, viewers still want to aspire. The challenge is to make this believable or acceptable. The Asics “chasing your best” film is a motivating and believable story of personal challenge. The Qatar story is clearly make-belief but paints a utopia that Football can realise. Their story simply visualised this.

Have a look at the films below.

Nike – “Baptism”


Nike “Baptism” from BBDO argentina on Vimeo.

Qatar Airways – “Land of FCB”

Mercedes-Benz – “Sensations”

Asics – “Chasing Your Best”

Apple – “Designed Together”

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