Of the many times I’ve seen this ad, it’s never failed to give me the feels. Maybe I’m “just being a girl” or that I’m generally on the emotional side, but the way this ad makes me feel is sure evidence that Wrigley’s Extra Gum and Energy BBDO fabricated a purely emotional architecture to represent a brand and its product.
I think it’s safe to say that it’s not often you can view a piece of advertisement and say, “wow that was good.” For me, this was downright beautiful and I don’t even chew gum.
It’s predictable from the start: two teens fall in love, get jobs, attempt long distance, fight, and ultimately get married. Sound about right? Whether you know that rare someone with this story or you’ve read it in a book, it’s what we commonly know as the “high school sweethearts.” Since we all know life is typically far from this fairytale, while the story fails to relate on a personal level with its viewers, it’s the familiarity of the story that sits with us.
It punches you right in the gut with a love story most could only dream of (if you’re into that kind of thing). It’s disgustingly cute. To top it all off, the captivating sound of Haley Reinhart’s cover of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love” pulls it all together with sentimental vibes. It doesn’t get much better than that.
I would personally like to applaud Energy BBDO for this phenomenal piece of work. In continuation of the “Give Extra, get extra” campaign, the planning and creative teams pieced together, yet again, another compelling story for the world to enjoy. They seamlessly placed the insight behind the campaign at the forefront by telling a story instead of selling a product. “Sometimes the little things last the longest” – a tagline allowing each viewer to designate their own meaning, unique to themselves. What’s funny when you take 10 steps back, is that the tagline taken quite literally, refers to a simple piece of gum with long-lasting flavor – I haven’t forgotten, but maybe you have. This is precisely what I love about advertising.
Creative insights don’t happen over night. As a new student to Planning, I envision the research process behind this campaign warranted a deeper understanding of pure human emotions. Asking the basics: Why do people chew gum in the first place? Then figuring out the behaviors attached to the act of chewing gum and ultimately the emotions tied to that action. Taking seemingly simple information and attempting to present it in a truly compelling way.
It doesn’t scream advertising. What resonates isn’t even the product itself but the wrappers, the doodles, and most importantly, the final scene where each memory combines in that single notable moment of every couple’s life. That’s the punch. That’s what’s memorable. They discovered the small, the unique, the silly and used it to tell a story. It’s the little things that resonate.
What resonates with me most, is the fact that something as mundane as gum can be transformed into a compelling love story that even I will admit would be the most precious proposal ever.