Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

Tying together poetry, parenting, and advertising in a neat little package

A good story, well-told, always trumps the gimmicks

This is going to be a short post; as you may know, my wife gave birth to her second child a mere 3 weeks ago, so neither of us have been getting much sleep lately! Granted, I get more than my wife since she’s nursing the baby, but all that means is that I get 4 hours of sleep compared to her 2…so neither of us is ‘winning’ in the REM-stage department.

Because of this, it’s all I can do to help keep the house maintained while trying to actually do work. So I was considering  posting a short blog entry today when I came across this commercial; as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to share it.

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I’ve written previous posts about the importance of storytelling in commercials, the necessity of keeping the story and your message straightforward, and of the value of using language everyone understands.  I’ve also given numerous examples of why a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is so important.  Even if it wasn’t an advertisement, the following commercial is a terrific example of storytelling.

It does not rely on sexy women, talking animals, precocious kids, fantasy dream-sequences, or multiple jump-cuts. It is not funny, stylish, artsy, outlandish,or hip.

Rather, it features a simple-to-understand and emotionally stirring plot, and because it is told more visually than verbally, anyone watching it can understand what’s going on. Although the USP may not be explicitly stated, this is a brand most folks recognize as being unique unto itself, and the ultimate message of the commercial – that it’s a special kind of person who uses this product – is unmistakable.

That message is driven home by the last sentence spoken at the end of the spot:

Move over, Budweiser Clydesdales…there are still more heartstrings yet to be tugged, and Guinness has a firm grasp on them.

What do you think of the commercial – as an ad, or simply as a story? I’d love to get your thoughts!

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PoetsGarage-badgeDid you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it!  To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week - on Tues. and Fri. - so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)  Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter , Facebook, Pinterest, and SoundCloud!

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5 thoughts on “A good story, well-told, always trumps the gimmicks

  1. A long time ago, I took my students through a handicap awareness study & we had many experiences & visitors during that time. One of them was playing a wheelchair team from our community. The kids played the men in wheelchairs, and learned a lot! I like the visual and the surprise. I tried getting the ball at least up to the rim, & I think I did it once-not easy at all, & I was much stronger then. I also like that it’s NOT a public service commercial, but one for beer, just like others! Thanks, Matt!

    • The fact that it’s not a PSA makes the message stronger: that people who drink Guinness are a special kind of people, who understand the important things in life, who stick together. Whether or not that’s true can be up for debate – but the message is certainly clear & strong!

  2. probably one of the best beer ads I’ve seen :)

  3. Pingback: When a good story, well-told, doesn’t tell the right story | Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

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