There is no doubt that there has been a definite shift towards storytelling in advertisement these past few years. This began with the simple desire to draw on emotion in order to sell a product, but it soon became evident that this approach, however effective, is fleeting at best in the long run.
Storytelling in advertisement has since been evolving towards a deeper more sustainable approach: The brand narrative. The idea is obviously to engage consumers with a brand through a shared ongoing narrative. Consequently, even companies who had in the past been mostly product driven, have been slowly shifting their approach towards a brand narrative.
But even this novel approach is already showing signs of being yesterday’s news as yet another reshaping has been taking place in recent months. However powerful a narrative one might be able to build (and it is possible to concoct very powerful brand narratives indeed), such stories often take years to build and ultimately, there is no guarantee that they will ever be as powerful as the stories that are already part of the consumer’s collective consciousness. This gives way to the most recent shift in storytelling in advertisement… brands becoming extensions of existing pop culture narratives.
Associating a product with a brand is far from being a novel idea. However, the recent trend goes beyond simply having an iconic character hold or use the product. It associates iconic characters with the product itself. The product or brand then literally becomes an extension of that character in the minds and hearts of consumers.
The top 3 on my list are a testament to this trend. The fourth shows us that throwing just about every trick into a spot can still get a rise out of people… especially when one of them is Adriana Lima. The fifth however, just goes to show that a clear key message and gutsy execution can still go a long way… even in this day and age.
5- 1st Bank – Customer Service
FirstBank – Super Bowl Commercial from TDA_Boulder on Vimeo.
4- Kia – Dream Car
3- Chrysler – It’s Half Time in America : Clint Eastwood
2- Acura NSX – Seinfeld
1- Honda – Matthew’s Day Off