I am a sucker for commercials. I take that back. I am the exact audience that companies are gearing towards with their 18-49 year old primarily female demographic in mind. I undoubtedly have wanted 90% of "as seen on TV" products for at least a second. Commercials nowadays, however, have definitely decreased in quality of content and focused more on lights, colors, and loud noises to attract the attention of the casual channel flipper. Consequently, when I see a well-crafted thoughtful commercial, it definitely stays in my head for a while.
Two examples come to mind: the Amazon Kindle ad and the AT&T commercial flipping back on a man's lifetime to becoming President.
This stop-motion clip has everything in it: a protagonist, props, and semblance of a storyline.
This commercial basically plays upon the concept of the butterfly effect in which every action has a large impact on the future. Here, it's essentially a story about love and about taking that risk to capture it where "any second could be the second."
These two clips resonate with me so well. The first has a huge air of whimsy played upon a backdrop of the fantastical and notes of imagination, which we sometimes fail to recognize in everyday life. It takes you back to the stories we grew up with and the ones we have yet to read, evoking a sense of reminiscence and wonder. Set to a very sweet melody, it is hard for this commercial to not remind us of how it feels to discover and rediscover the things we love. Each time I see this on television (which used to be often, but not anymore because it has been replaced with a second stop-motion version), I smile and think of the strong effect books have on bringing me to tears or endless laughter. The Kindle tries to meld the worlds of reading and high-tech convenience together to create a large return to leisurely reading. I, personally, love flipping through the pages of paperback books and being able to exchange my books for new old ones when I am vacationing so I do not see Kindle or Nook or any other permutation becoming a part of my life. Nonetheless, I do hope to make more time for reading in the future when my head is not stuck in law books all the time. (Question to self: Will that ever happen?)
The latter is utterly hopelessly romantic. It premises that the new President can be traced back to his parents meeting which was due purely to his father's having an AT&T smart phone and being able to change his train ticket. It posits that having a smart phone allows you to make split second decisions, decisions that could completely alter the course of our lives. Although it is a little far-fetched, it is true at the same time. When I look back at the way my life has panned out, it is interesting tracking how "this" decision or "that" action was necessary for things to play out the specific way they did. Now, in an age of instant gratification and also instant communication, making those spontaneous decisions really does spur the moment. It reminds me how blessed I am to have done everything I have, leading me to law school, love, and of course, lots of laughter. I happen to think I have done pretty well in capturing those pivotal moments and making the best out of them.
All in all, we are constantly barraged by images of what we should be buying, eating, and watching. Sometimes the product being hawked at us is completely unnecessary and superfluous to what we require in everyday life. Other times, it is something that really could improve the quality of life. In any case, once in a while, you come across a representation of something that tugs at a heartstring, evokes strong sentimentality, and reminds us what happiness really is about. And isn't that the best feeling ever?