Villing & Company

Creating Marketing Messages that Inspire

It is our goal as a marketing agency to help clients meet their marketing objectives. Typically that involves providing solutions which will provide an added boost to their revenue. It's not enough, however, to view marketing activities as another item on the task list. Effective marketing should speak to the target audience in ways that are relatable to their interests, make an emotional connection and, in most cases provide a level of enjoyment. On that basis, I believe Extra, one of Wrigley's sugar-free gum brands, struck gold with consumers on social media platforms through a powerful video it produced. 

The video shows how a young man and woman fall in love. Beginning in high school and continuing into young adulthood, the story follows the couple through the good times and bad, all while the young man is drawing pictures of what was happening on gum wrappers. In the end, the woman reconnects with her man kneeling to propose after he reveals all of his drawings on the gum wrappers. I might add, the tender voice of Haley Reinhart, the third place winner of American Idol in 2011, singing Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love” further enhanced the emotional connection and moved many a viewer to cry tears of happiness.

When it comes to relatability, a powerful love story is the perfect emotional driver. Almost everyone on the planet can relate to being loved or loving someone.

The video, which was released on October 7th has already been viewed over nine million times on YouTube. Whether the consumer saw the video ad on T.V. or on social media, millions searched for the video to see it one more time on YouTube. In my case, I saw a friend share it on Facebook and I watched it. Little did I know, I was falling in love with a commercial!

Others on YouTube agreed with me, many of whom commented things like “I wasn’t prepared to cry over a gum commercial today,” wrote one viewer. Comments on YouTube only elevate the success of the video, with one person saying “I subscribed just because of this video!”

Consumers can be cynical, and may try their hardest to block advertisements, sometimes by simply clicking “Skip Ad.” But what if an ad doesn’t feel like an ad, but rather a story? That is exactly what this video did by appealing to the viewer’s emotions. Extra was able to attract viewers to the video, subtly using it to build brand awareness. The Extra logo appeared discreetly at the beginning and the end of the video, so it didn’t detract from the viewer's engagement with the story.

The role of marketing is to help drive business. That can be accomplished in many ways. While the commercial alone may not have consumers running to buy packs of Extra gum, it does make the brand more relatable. That's no small feat, and it can pay dividends in the long run. As Villing & Company president, Thom Villing, noted, the ROI of obsessing about ROI probably isn't very good. Still, there are metrics that can give marketers insight into the quality of their content. The engagement that this video received on social media clearly shows that it resonated with consumers. The ad had a powerful message, and that is certainly a sign of quality marketing.


Cover photo via Adweek

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Villing & Company

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