Ads that make you cry and why that matters.


This article was originally published on MMI Agency’s blog. The read the entire article, click here

You’re sitting at your desk checking emails when your friend sends you a seemingly innocuous YouTube link followed by a crying emoji. You take a sip from your coffee mug, glance around to make sure no one is looking, and click play.

In the course of ninety seconds, you are transformed from a slick, confident business person to a weeping infant who would rather be in the fetal position under your desk than sitting behind it. You try to hold it together, but it’s too late. You know that Judy from Accounting has heard you sniffling and the charade is over. You can’t hide it anymore: an ad just made you cry.

Click here to read the full article. 



This article originally appeared on MMI Agency’s blog. Read more here.

In the ad world, it seems we are all about storytelling these days. Everyone is talking about it—and for good reasons. Stories are entertaining, engaging, and valuable. When told well, they create meaningful connections between brands and consumers that move consumers emotionally, and generate conversations that can boost a brand’s visibility, cache and credibility.

Brands do this all the time. Think about Dove’s stories about women discovering their true beauty, or Nike’s compelling narratives about driven athletes who wear its apparel. Chipotle hit a home run with its short film that told the story of a scarecrow as dedicated to healthy, fresh ingredients as the restaurant brand.

Good storytelling takes skill, no question. However, not everyone in our industry has an English degree, studied psychology, or has been the beneficiary (or victim) of a storytelling workshop. But you don’t need those—or a Pulitzer Prize in literature—to be a compelling storyteller (although, it wouldn’t hurt).

So how do we hone our storytelling craft? With training and practice. Before you start telling yourself, “not for me,” consider these four easy ways to become a better storyteller…

Hard Smell

Advertising, Everyday

I wonder how hard it was to sell the first deodorant. These are the things that I think about, go figure.

Today, most of us couldn’t imagine living without the sweet smell of antiperspirants, but there was once a time when it didn’t exist and people were oblivious to the fact that they all reeked–or at least silently tolerant of their smelly brethren. I mean, people used to only bathe once a week, if at all. And let’s not forget about the lack of proper air-conditioning. People used to suffer through the heat, working outside, in heavy fabric, creating moats of sweat that trailed away from their aching bodies. The stench must have been thick and impermeable. Yum.

You might think that it would be an easy sell. A guy walks into a store and declares a solution to the incredibly overwhelming odor that people suffered every day. Who could say no? But there are a few things that might have made it awkward…

Wikipedia doesn’t shed light on the gender of the person we all owe our noses to because apparently the name on the original patent was lost, which sucks (mostly for them, but a little for me because now I have to make assumptions). However, we do know that the patent was submitted in the late nineteenth century. Good work, historians. Needless to say, that man–or woman–had to get a test-subject. That means that the anonymous inventor had to tell people that they smelled bad. Oh they could have tried it out on themselves, but a true inventor knows that eventually they would need to broaden their experiment to include other subjects. And that must have been awkward, because, let’s be real here, everyone was probably pretty used to the rankness of their world and stopped noticing. How would you like to be the person he picked?

After the first deodorant passed the test and Dr. John Doe did a little happy dance, the next obvious step would have been marketing. Now before you go all “she’s sexist” on me for making our smell savior a man, please remember the historical context of my imagination and assume (see, here come the assumptions) that a woman probably had a harder time securing a patent than a man. Then again, maybe that’s why the name was conveniently “lost”… This could turn into a far more interesting story on the early beginnings of women’s rights, but I have already written Dr. John Doe’s name twice and don’t feel like going back and changing it. So there.

Continuing on. Even if the Doc started selling the roll-on salve out of his garage, he would have had to used some form of advertising to get the word out. I can imagine it now, hand-printed flyers with “Do you smell bad?” printed in big, bold letters. He could even use his first test subject as the face of the campaign. I’m sure people were begging to be the first person in line to declare their lack of personal hygiene–I know I would be. Or maybe Dr. John created a special section in the back of the pharmacy that worked like a speakeasy. He could have created a bunch of really fun passwords that his customers had to whisper at the counter and embarrass themselves in front of everyone else. Maybe there was a secret hand gesture. Or maybe not.

Whatever actually happened is lost to history. But, one thing is for sure, it would have been an interesting time to be in the perfume market.