by Oresti Patricios (@orestaki) House of Brave and Alan Irvin of they films take a novel look at ice cream for Country Fresh, just in time for the hot weather. This television commercial is big on story, and is a charming tale of cute twin sisters.
“Never work with children or animals,” the American actor WC Fields once said caustically and, sjoe, is this much-repeated wisdom wrong. Cats are an internet staple (hello, I Can Has Cheezburger?), and what would retail branding be without children?
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This week’s Ad of the Week is a TV commercial for Country Fresh that has not one but two children, and these cute twins steal the show.
“Delicious Double Creamy Country Fresh” starts with the two little girls playing in the yard, and one tells her twin to wait for her, leaving her sister waiting on the seesaw. She runs inside and asks her mother for some ice cream. Two scoops of Country Fresh are served up in a bowl, and the little girl runs and hides under the dining table to eat her frozen treat. But then our protagonist hatches a mischievous plan. She makes a few adjustments to her outfit — loosens her ribbon and her school tie, pulls down her socks, makes her clothes look a whole lot less tidy.
She takes a peek out of the window at her sister, who is still waiting outside in the garden, rather glumly sitting on the seesaw, and walks back into the kitchen. “Mom, can I also have some ice cream?” she asks her mother and Mom obliges, oblivious to the trickery being played on her. The little girl turns and gives a knowing look to the camera.
The narrator says: “Delicious, double creamy Country Fresh,” over a delicious-looking shot of vanilla ice cream being scooped.
As she walks off with her illicit treasure, the little girl looks at the camera, and her voice on the soundtrack — her ‘inner voice’ — says, “Double made me do it.”
There’s a reason this advert is so likeable and endearing. It’s because it’s more than an ad; it tells a short story. There’s a big difference between adverts that impart information (or just sell a product) and commercials that tell stories.
Brad Neathery, writing at The Right Brain Factory in Dallas, US, explains this far better than I could: “Stories are everything,” Neathery says. “They are the reason we have culture, community, and relationships. Stories are the reason we have the ability to make choices and have preferences, rather than simply following our primal instinct to fight or flight, eat or be eaten, on repeat until we die. Stories create cultural progression and allow people to evoke feelings that impact their everyday behaviors and decisions. Stories create trust and sympathy.
“Authentic stories can change our mindset and form our beliefs. Stories generate the trust we need to buy into a belief or a culture, so that when we are provided with evidence, facts, and figures, they only justify and reinforce what we already know to be true.”
The bottom line is that brands, which tell stories well, create commercials that are more engaging and have greater longevity, and this reaps major advantage in terms of long-term brand loyalty.
There are several brands competing in this space: most supermarkets have several options to choose from in their fridges, and ice cream is, for most people, a luxury purchase. The retail product space is incredibly competitive and, with food prices rising, Country Fresh sure has hit on this sweet spot with this spot that is so clever and cute — and tells a story that makes you smile.
Ad agency: House of Brave
Executive creative director: Vanessa Pearson
Art director: Gareth O’Callaghan, Thereza Norton
Copywriter: Lauren Shewitz, Stefanus Nel
Production company: they films
Director: Alan Irvin
DOP: Willie Nel
Editor/facility: Julian Redpath, Left Post
Final mix: Lorens Persson, Sterling Sound
Ad of the Week, published on MarkLives every Wednesday, is penned by Oresti Patricios (@orestaki), the CEO of Ornico, a Brand Intelligence® firm that focuses on media, reputation and brand research. If you are involved in making advertising that is smart, funny and/or engaging, please let Oresti know about it at firstname.lastname@example.org.