The Best Story You See This Holiday Just Might Be An Ad

The Best Story You See This Holiday Just Might Be An Ad

Good storytelling doesn’t require a lot of time. In fact, when done expertly … masterfully … a great story can be told in just about 90 seconds. Like this:

Clearly, Misunderstood packs a real emotional punch It’s heartwarming and clever, plays against stereotype, utilizes a twist ending, and, as a result, tugs at the heartstrings in all the right ways. I’m certainly not the first person to write about this ad, and by the time you read this, you might actually be sick of all the free media this particularly spot has received.

But it is important to note that this spot really gets it right — and not just because it tells such a wonderful story … but because it advances the brand while doing so.

Like all good ad and branding messages, this one is grounded in a keen understanding of accepted consumer beliefs, also known as consumer insights. This mini-movie is filled with them, and it’s easy to start a running list:

– Mobile devices are ruining family time
– If you spend your live buried in your phone, you’ll miss the important stuff going on around you
– Mobile phones are just a distraction … they don’t really accomplish anything important.
– Teenagers! You know?

By the time you’ve absorbed the whole story, each one of these negative accepted belief has been flipped.The spot is called Misunderstood, and that reflects not only the protagonist, but the product as well. Mobile devices can ENHANCE family time. You CAN use your phone to capture the important stuff going on around you. Teenagers actually CAN BE pretty awesome.

After experiencing this spot, I bet you have a new — or at least an enhanced — understanding of what the iPhone can do and what Apple, as a brand, really stands for.

And speaking of classic advertising, this is a thoughtful and highly successful example of product demonstration as the ultimate salesperson. Nowhere in this spot do you hear an announcer intoning about the iPhone’s HD video capabilities … or iMovie’s user-friendliness. We’re not TOLD about a single product feature. But we are SHOWN, in a way we’re not likely to forget, how those features can really make a difference in our lives.

Oh, and Kindle, implicit in this story is the message that this can all be accomplished without metaphorically yelling “Mayday!”

Apple really blew it with some of its marketing earlier this year. It was self-conscious and goofy, and had no sense of the brand it wanted to be. This is a wonderful, and most welcome, return to the Apple that sets the standard.

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