By: Claudette Reyes

When you chew a piece of “Extra” bubblegum, what comes to mind? Do you think of long-lasting flavor? How about blowing bubbles?

Now when I see a pack of Extra, I want to start crying. Sounds odd right?

After watching the brand’s latest commercial, you might feel the same, as it is one of the most emotional ads that I have seen in a long time.

It begins first with a little girl and her dad taking a ride on the train. Dad takes out a piece of gum, pops it into his mouth, folds the wrapper into an origami bird, and hands it to her.

But this isn’t about gum.

She grows older. Birthdays and seasons pass, with the origami birds the centerpiece of nearly every moment. First dates and heartbreak—she’s seen at her best and worst, but her dad is there for her through it all. Flash forward—the family is seen packing the car—with the once little girl now a young woman. As her dad loads the final box into the car, a smaller one, pink in color, tumbles from the top.

It hits the ground, and out bursts the origami birds.

My heart melted.

She kept all of the origami birds because they meant something to her, and it is something as plain as the wrappings of Extra gum that so effectively represent this kind of love.

This is an exceptional ad, no doubt about it, but this is not always how advertisers have approached consumers.

In one of Extra’s older commercials, the focus was only on the unique selling proposition of long lasting gum. With a run time of thirty seconds, it was nothing more than people using and enjoying the product.

Today’s advertising has become an exercise in emotion and lateral thinking. Instead of using some kind of hyperbole to suggest how long the flavor lasts, the team behind this ad made a lateral effort by showcasing the gum as being an important part of people’s lives over a long period of time.

To make a connection with viewers, it is now necessary to be genuine, with soft-selling techniques serving as a key factor.

You want advertisements and commercials to have a real effect on consumers; to be personal and authentic. When watching an ad, I prefer a story to a sales pitch, and that is how the approach to advertising has changed.

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Written by Ad Buzz

The American Advertising Federation Illinois Chapter brings to you Ad Buzz, a blog dedicated to all things advertising related, from our favorite campaigns to trends going on in the industry.

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