Touching Ads: First You’ll Cry…Then You’ll Buy

The most powerful commercials are those that cut to the core. You almost forget a company is trying to sell you something and start to think this is a story, and become almost wrapped up in its storyline.

It’s very easy to cross the line from moving to cheesy. Mixing corny and almost trite emotion is like trying to push positive and negative forces together: No one likes the feeling of forced emotion… especially when selling a product is involved.

Take for example this piece from the 80’s. It worked back then, but nowadays…if this same style were used it would be considered cringe-worthy.


These next examples though did an outstanding job of capturing true emotion, creating almost mesmerizing spots and are true models for aspiring filmmakers.

1.) Pantene:

Well first, if you didn’t find that touching….you have no soul. But if you were a little peeved it was for a shampoo commercial…I don’t blame you…you’re normal.

Why it’s great: Until you watch the commercial in its entirety you probably didn’t notice all the gorgeous hair flips and shine did you? But afterwards I’m sure the extreme wind in the hair during our little musical genius’ performance seemed a little out of place huh? Although it tugs on my heart strings that this is a spot for a shampoo, I’ll hand it to them: this commercial was almost a slap in the face with emotion. As a viewer, you remember those commercials that almost force you to connect with them. This ad did exactly that: and did it perfectly.

2.) Pfizer:

Why its great: This piece is virtually mastered capturing emotion. It’s not very often we see a relationship between a what-seems-to-be troubled teenager and his younger sister. It’s even less often that we see him using his talent for something as beautiful as creating a mural for a terminally ill girl. We also feel for each character in this short story, and in the end see a family come together as one.

Creating a heartfelt, or even slightly touching piece isn’t rocket science…although it may seem daunting. The best thing to do is to truly create a memorable piece that most people can identify with. We may not all have a terminally ill sister, or be deaf but we can all raise an eyebrow to each of these pieces in some way. Maybe you can relate to the relationship between the two in the Pfizer commercial, or perhaps you’ve been told something is impossible. The true trick to captivating and drawing in that emotion is making it relate-able to your audience.

Happy Filming!

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