We all see a lot of ads each day, and the Super Bowl which we just experienced is the great event of the advertising year. Generally ads are all the same, with some new dazzle or joke or sales pitch. As an audience we might feel bored, deceived, or at best, amused.
But one in a rare while, amidst all the messages we’ve become accustomed to, there comes an ad that, through a combination of great ideas and storytelling, does something more. Once in a while an ad can make us take pause, reflect, be inspired. They speak to us not as consumers, but as humans with souls. More than selling a product, they give us hope.
I remember during halftime of last year’s Super Bowl, when Clint Eastwood’s raspy voice spoke to a nation.
Then this year, the voice of the late Paul Harvey called to the hard-working underdogs in all of us.
When we hear a great story, one that resonates, we all know it. There’s a sacred hush in the room. The company that paid for the ad will let us down, we might get cynical about how they “just want to make a buck”, but that doesn’t make the story they’re telling any less true. The story itself is a gift.
Those of us in the advertising business have opportunity to not just move products to consumers, but to tell stories that inspire people and change the world. Even for the better.
Advertising ministers to the spiritual side of trade. It is great power that has been entrusted to your keeping which charges you with the high responsibility of inspiring and ennobling the commercial world. It is all part of the greater work of the regeneration and redemption of mankind.
– Calvin Coolidge
Of course, in a world of people looking for hope, purpose, and a cause to live and die for, it’s these kinds of ads – the human, authentic, compelling stories – that are also the most effective.