Tell A Great Story And No One Will Care It’s An Ad

By Chantal India, on 11 March 2016

Remember that ad you saw yesterday on TV right after your favorite show ended? Probably not. What about that pop-up that you closed before it even opened? Even less so. If you don’t pay attention to these ads, why would your viewers?


The funny thing about advertising is that sometimes less is more. Sometimes the key isn’t forcing your way into people’s lives in hopes that your ad will pop up so many times that eventually it will stick. It’s about creating something great, creating an experience that matters. Something amazing, hilarious, entertaining, moving, heartbreaking, heartwarming, motivating, or whatever emotion you like.

It’s about creating something so awe-inspiring, that they get goose bumps, and are itching to know what brand came up with this brilliant idea. Be a storyteller and tell a story that will rope them in and emotionally connect with them – after all, these are people we are talking about, not mere numbers on a screen. They will get to work, school or arrive home, and the first thing they’ll say when they walk in is “Hey, have you seen that brilliant ad that just came out?”, and pull out their phone to show their family, friends or coworkers.

They’ll want to share it with their network, and before you know it you will have created content so great and powerful that it will have moved and propelled itself around the entire world. This is the beauty of the digital age that we live in, the ability to share with the touch of a button, even with people on the other side of the globe. Without a powerful message however, tools and technology become irrelevant, and you will end up lost in the noise of digital marketing. So take advantage and tell a story that will stick with people, and you’ll be remembered for the great thing you represent. Use it to show people who you are, what you stand for and why you exist.

It doesn’t even necessarily have to be related to your product, or even be blatantly obvious what it is that you’re advertising – the whole point is to make it so interesting and attention catching that the viewers will be all but begging to know what your product is. It’s about pulling them in instead of pushing your message out.

Do this, and instead of sarcastically sighing “oh great, another ad”, people will not only not care that its an ad, but they will be reaching out and actively searching for it, and excited to see what new product or service you have to bring in to improve their lives.

Here are some of my favorite examples of amazing video advertisements that I feel have done exactly that, and have taken on a life of their own and been shown on TVs, desktops, tablets and smartphones all over the world – that are so great, that no one cares that their ads.


Back to the Start – Chipotle

Chipotle Mexican Grill is an American food chain, born with the objective of delivering fast-food rid of all the negativity – using ingredients not only with high quality, but that respect animals, farmers and the environment in which it operates.

Check out one of their commercials, both heartbreaking and heartwarming, that shows who they are and what they stand for as a brand. All this in two minutes time, which will leave you wanting to make a difference in the world and maybe go grab dinner at Chipotle.  


Dear Kitten - Friskies Cat Food

A letter from the very wise and calm older cat to the new addition to the household, a delightful little kitten, with all the ins and outs of how to survive as a feline in this strange world. With their first “episode” having shot past 25 million views just on youtube, there is a whole “series” of Dear Kitten episodes (which I know I was unable to resist after watching the first one), all the while subtly hinting at Friskies cat food, but never stuffing it down your throat (pardon the pun).

This adorable hilarious ad will make anyone want to run out and get a cat. And then, of course, some Friskies cat food to feed it.


The man your man could smell like – Old Spice

When Old Spice found themselves in a sales rut, they decided to create a fun and entertaining commercial all whilst mixing it up a little bit, by targeting women rather than men themselves (based on data that they had collected indicating that most of the time it was women buying shower gel for their partners and they were choosing women’s products – not Old Spice). They ended up designing a fast moving, mocking commercial that became a world spread phenomenon within a matter of days of its release. It gave origin from everything to memes, to countless parodies, remixes and plain ridiculous imitations, along with entire sections of shows such as Oprah and Ellen dedicated to it. In the words of Oprah Winfrey herself, “I love that commercial so much, I’m about to buy me some Old Spice”. 



Thank you Mom – P&G

Featuring mothers and children from all over the world, P&G created an ad for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games that will make you want to cry, laugh and love all at the same time. I’m telling you now; this will make you want to call your mother. 


The Epic Split – Volvo Trucks

In the dare devil, physics defying video, Volvo’s truck advertisement features none other than Jean-Claude Van Damme performing a live stunt, in which he does the splits over two Volvo Trucks speeding along in reverse, to demonstrate the stability and reliability of the vehicles. Personally, if I were to do the splits on reversing trucks, I wouldn’t dream of choosing any other brand. 



Dear Future Mom | World Down Syndrome Day – CoorDown

Coordown is an Italian national coordination association of people with Down syndrome. After receiving a message from a future mother who was concerned after discovering her unborn baby had Down syndrome, Coordown answered her and assured many others through a beautiful and heartwarming video. CoorDown raised awareness for World Down syndrome Day with children who have Down syndrome by sending a message to all future mothers, assuring them that although challenging, they have a life as happy as any other child. 


Made of More – Guinness

In the Guinness’ 2013 Made Of More campaign, they made short clips representing the values they stand for, of people going out of their way to be kind, generous and loving to those around them. “The choices we make reveal the true nature of our character.”


All in all, the moral of the story is that in order to cause great impact, you must create great content, like these mobile campaigns did in 2015Be creative, innovative and think outside the box, there is no point in doing something someone has already done. Instead, start brainstorming and weaving a story that moves people, which doesn’t need to be a direct sales pitch, but instead let them know who you are and what you stand for, which will create an emotion in the audience to want to get to know your brand.


Written by: Chantal India 

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Chantal India

Social Ads Strategist at Cyberclick