If this advert doesn’t bring tears to your eyes, or at the very least a lump to your throat, perhaps you need to check yourself in for some psychological observation. It’s rare that an advert gives me a sucker punch, but the new television for Nedgroup did just that. It took my breath away and reminded me of what a powerful story can do to communicate brand values.
Brandlab, with production company Giant Films produced the fantastic high-drama recreation of a story that captured the world’s attention a couple of years ago. It is the story of a dramatic event that made global headlines on January 15 2009, when Captain Chesley B “Sully” Sullenberger made an emergency landing of his Airbus A320-214 in the Hudson River, in New York. The ad celebrates this veteran pilot’s heroic and professional actions in the face of extreme danger, actions based on rational thinking and experience that saved the lives of 155 people.
The message of the commercial is: “In the right hands, anything is possible.”
Filmed in New York City, the ad starts with aerial footage over the city, and follows the flight path of the plane. Cut to Capt. Sullenberger, on location on the banks of the Hudson. “It was an ordinary winter’s day,” he tells us. Cut to various scenes of typical wintry New York activity: taxi drivers getting into their cars; kids crossing the street with their teacher; a dancer rehearsing. A plane takes off, and air traffic controllers speak to the pilot of Flight 1549.