Posts Tagged ‘Story of ourselves’

I’ll take a story with that burrito

September 16, 2013

This Chipotle video is the latest video to “go viral” — as of this writing it has over four million hits.

It’s worth watching too full of pathos and top notch storytelling (the animation is pretty clutch too, from the folks who create Morris Lessmore and his Flying Book & Numberlys). The video is three minutes long, and I’ve already watched it four or five times. Heck, the video isn’t even for the Chipotle per se, but a trailer for their new game!

I’m not going to break down all the reasons why I think this is a great video, either you get it or you don’t. But I do think there are some important lessons you can learn from this video when thinking about your videos or ads:

1. Story matters. They build a compelling story that’s not about the brand, but is precisely about what the brand stands for. A story that shows you their values.

2. Emotions matter. Related to that first lesson, this story is right on-emotion. Imagine a video that had the same message, but maybe it was a narrator with beautiful shots of fresh produce or some other genre appropriate video. It might get the message across, but would anyone watch? And more to the point would anyone remember or believe it?

3. Production Values Matter. Maybe the most important point I could make here.  We all have had clients ask us to produce a viral video, and when we ask how much they want to spend, the amount is usually less than you’d spend on an I-Pad.

Chipotle did fall into that trap. They didn’t say well, it’s only for the web, they produced a top-notch, story with top-notch production values, and I’m guessing they spent more than some people spend on their tv ads.

4. Your story matters. Chipotle is telling your their story (anti-corporate, fresh food, maybe even anti-establishment), but what they’re trying to do is resonate with your story? Are you anti-corporate, believe in fresh food, do you want to be a conformist your whole life? By reflecting your story in theirs, the create believers, they create fans. I’ll take 1 over 10 customers any day of the week.

I love seeing videos like this one. These ads and videos are why I write this blog. Chipotle could have fallen into a trap — hey, we’re just selling burritos, so let’s give ’em a video about how great our burritos are. Instead they told a compelling story that resonates and creates fans, not bad for the price of a burrito.

 

 

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Finding new turf to play on

September 6, 2013

Send to me by a friend, I thought this spot was a nice compliment to the Wrigley gum spot I looked at a couple of posts ago.

Beer commercials run the gambit from silly & offensive (most) to sentimental and emotionally overwrought. What I like about this commercial from Guinness (apart from the unexpected ending )is that it’s telling a story about the viewer. If you’re the kind of guy who would use a wheelchair for a couple hours to play basketball with your friend who has to use a wheelchair, then you’re the kind of guy who drinks Guinness beer.

You can buy a beer because of the taste or you can buy a beer because the story of the brand matches your story — or at the least it matches who you want to be or how you want to be seen by others.

Guinness gets that, and in telling this story they’re not competing with other brands on taste or cost, their playing the game on different turf.

Wow… this worked. Why? (Dawn Dish Detergent Ad)

July 8, 2013

Watching TV this afternoon, I was caught by surprise by this commercial:

Wow, it was so simple it worked. Dish detergent is pretty much a commodity. I buy the one that smells good (or I think will smell good) or is in a neat bottle. But otherwise I usually don’t think much about it.

After watching this commercial I’m buying Dawn.

Commercials make all sorts of claims all the time, we’re used to it. Unless the brand has some internal credibility, we usually slough it off or we need a third party validator. Well this ad uses a pretty powerful 3rd party validator — I mean we’ve all seen those pictures of the cute animals covered in oil and wondered if they could get cleaned up… well they can with Dawn!

Maybe as much as the validation, this Dawn ad speaks to my story of the consumer I want to be. I can buy something as mundane as dish soap, and be helping the environment? That’s me I love the environemnt.

Ok, so maybe the ad is trying a little too hard to tug at the heartstrings you know what? Next time I go to Target to buy my dish soap, I’m reaching for the Dawn.

 

Cats and Dogs, Coke and Pepsi

August 4, 2011

I know I’ve said it before, but I love it when consumer brands go negative. First, it serves as an important signal to people who claim only political ads play in the mud and bemoan negative ads, that negative ads are all around us. Secondly, it’s usually an interesting to see the approach that consumer brands take as they go after each other — often to less effect than negative political ads.

Here are two ads for Pepsi going directly after Coke:

What I find interesting about the approach of these ads is that they aren’t taking on Coke on the “issues” or the “facts.” There is no price comparison or taste comparison here, these ads are making a purely emotional appeal.  “Summer time is pepsi time.”

I just started reading a promising book, “Storytelling: Branding in Practice,” and the author makes the following point, which puts the Pepsi approach into an eye opening context:

“The brand story gradually becomes synonymous with how we define ourselves as individuals and the products become the symbols that we use to tell the story our ourselves.” 

These pepsi ads are trying to tell a story about the brand that is Pepsi.

Pepsi = fun, partying, summer, hip. If you identify with those qualities or want to identify with those qualities, then you ought to be drinking Pepsi, just like Santa and our friend the polar bear. Pepsi goes after Coke by directly trying to redefine their own symbols (Santa and the polar bear), by showing them crossing the line for Pepsi it makes it ok for “you” to cross that line too, it also suggests that coke is on the other side of the hip/fun/cool line.

What does Summer represent? A break from school or responsibilities, a time to let lose, have an adventure, to live life. If you want to embody those qualities drink Pepsi,  or maybe more poignantly if you think you’re a fun, hip, cool person and want others to see you that way, you better be drinking Pepsi.

While I appreciate the jab at Coke in this way, and I’m sure it has created a lot of buzz, I’m not sure if it’s an effective attack. Much like the McCain “Celebrity Ad” reinforced Obama’s message as it sought to undermine it, and was ultimately ineffective for that reason, these ads seek to subvert the strength of it’s opponent, but I think it actually reinforces it. Sure Santa and the Polar Bear switch to Pepsi, but we all know they belong to Coke, and frankly the execution of the ads, doesn’t really make me (though maybe the younger viewers it was intended to reach have a different reaction) believe the switch. It feels all too forced and contrived.


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