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.

Case Studies

Bringing Together 2 Iconic Brands

Bringing Together 2 Iconic Brands

When Capital One acquired ING Direct (INGD), the opportunity was great … and so was the obligation. ING Direct was not a typical business, nor was it a typical brand. The brand’s success was the result of intentionally differentiating itself as much as possible from the way other financial institutions presented themselves. And, as relatively…+

AdWatch: Apple, Maya Angelou and The Human Family

AdWatch: Apple, Maya Angelou and The Human Family

What do you say when you are a global brand? What do you say when your products are practically ubiquitous … shorthand for an entire class of technology? What do you’ve when your champions and critics have said nearly everything that could be said? You let a poet speak. You let a poet speak not…+

More from the Blog

Looking for a Winning Strategy? Try the Constanza Method.

Looking for a Winning Strategy? Try the Constanza Method.

You, me, and everyone we know have gotten to where we are today by leaning on a few tried and true techniques … approaches … strategies. Call them your go-to moves. Or your core competencies (if you are in that kind of TPS-Report-kind-of-organization.) Our brains are hard-wired to repeat what has been successful in the…+

Advertising’s First Commandment? Thou Shalt Not Be Creepy

Advertising’s First Commandment? Thou Shalt Not Be Creepy

Okay, so David Ogilvy never said this, but if he had lived to see the spot below, he just might have: Unless you are flat-out trying to attract creeps, you should avoid any possibility that your advertising will be viewed as creepy. Are you listening eHarmony? If you haven’t seen this one yet, prepare for…+

How to Choose the Right Ad Agency

How to choose the right ad agency.

According to Agency Spotter, there are over 120,000 companies and entities that choose to define themselves as advertising agencies in the U.S. alone. Worldwide the number is over half a billion. That’s quite a universe. How can you possibly choose the right one? Or, maybe more importantly, avoid choosing the wrong one? There are several…+