Advertising both influences and reflects the culture and values of the societies in which it resides.
So, as a movie fan, but not fanatic, I watched Sunday’s Academy Awards in large part because it offered insights into American popular culture during both the program and the ad breaks. That and, for the first time in a long time, I’d seen all the nominated films.
Storytelling is among today’s most widely discussed advertising and marketing techniques. Hence, two campaigns grabbed my attention: Samsung’s multiple ad narrative about a startup and its Unicorn Apocalypse mobile game, along with Grey Poupon dusting off an old classic to add another chapter to its story.
Making advertising based on narrative work
Scroll down for videos of the ads. Please watch them while considering my list of (leading) questions. See if you draw the same conclusion as I that the advertising from Grey Poupon was more successful influencing brand affinity and purchase intent than Samsung.
- Did the ad — via logoed images and/or spoken narrative — repeat the brand name sufficiently as reinforcement throughout the story?
- Did the story in the ad wander too far from its central narrative, potentially allowing viewers to lose focus?
- Did the ad address the wide spectrum of viewers/consumers watching the Oscars? (Hint: Only about 30% of viewers were Millennials.)
- Could the targeted audiences connect with the caricature voices of authority? In other words, was Samsung convincing when addressing corporate IT pros? How about Grey Poupon addressing people who eat.
- Was the ad backed up with sufficient opportunities for social sharing so that viewers could continue the conversation after the Oscars? (Neither brand was particularly impressive; Grey Poupon created a dedicated landing page and each campaign had some Facebook presence.)
The first video is the “trailer” that aired during the Oscars. The second includes the “lost” footage; at the time of this post, the latter is approaching a million views.
Here is the entire series of commercials shown during the Oscars. I recall seeing the first more than once.