Storytelling Matters: These Ads Will Make You Cry – Guaranteed

You probably shouldn’t watch these at work – and if you do, be sure to have the tissues ready. At CEM, we’ve written about the power of storytelling and why it’s critical in any digital marketing campaign. The five ads we highlight below showcase the impact of focusing on storytelling rather than the brand itself.

Embrace Life

Originally broadcast in the UK, this public service announcement is creative and heartfelt in its delivery. Its majesty lies in its simplicity. Though not one word is spoken in the entire commercial, facial expressions, music, and elegant cinematography bring heart to what would have otherwise have been a ‘boring’ commercial. The Embrace Life Campaign won campaign of the year for its commitment to storytelling, which resonated with viewers and effectively delivered its message.

Homeward Bound

There are true stories that can leave you breathless – and they’re too good not to share. Meet Saroo Brierley, who was separated from his family in India at the age of 5. Similar to Kevin McCallister in Home Alone, Saroo accidentally boarded a runaway train. The result? He was adopted by a family in Australia and was lost from his home for over 25 years. As he grew older, Saroo was able to use internet technology to search for his childhood home and found his family. By the way, did we mention he used Google to find them? Sometimes, true customer stories speak for themselves.

Unfold Gum, Unfold Life

Extra Gum succeeds with this origami ad thanks largely in part to its relatable theme. Whether you’re a child or parent, everyone knows what it feels like to watch as life unfolds unpredictably before us. Extra is a prime example of how ‘boring’ industries can get particularly creative with their storytelling and marketing campaigns. After all, there are only so many ways that you can brag about white teeth. Don’t be afraid to take a risk with your storytelling strategy and create a campaign that resonates with audiences.

Case Study: The Friendship Portrait

Skype decided to take the true stories of two of its customers and create a 3-minute advertisement (case study) out of it. The ad highlights how two young girls born without their left arms forged an inter-continental friendship that has lasted 8 years and counting. This true story of how they used Skype resonates more than any manufactured story could have.

Good Storytelling Knows No Language Barriers

This ad from TrueMove H. has not one word of spoken English, and we can guarantee that it will make you cry even without the subtitles. When you really focus on storytelling, the story tells itself. This incredibly heartfelt ad reminds us that we should all give to others without expecting anything in return. The message happens to mirror TrueMove H’s company mission.

Regardless of your industry, the reality is that storytelling is at the heart of any solid content marketing strategy.

What story is your brand telling?

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Daniel Chioco is a writer living in Nashville, TN. He earned his Commercial Music degree at Belmont University, where he also studied creative writing and wrote for the student newspaper. When he isn't creating content, Daniel works as an actor and films YouTube videos. He is also a freelance musician and is authoring his first fantasy novel.

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