Take a look around you. There are faces in the everyday objects you wear, use and observe. Some are frowns. Some are smiles. Do you see them? They are everywhere.
An advertising agency produced a television commercial that has captured a number of these objects with facial expressions and used them to capture the viewer’s attention. I’m sure you’ve seen it, but if you haven’t, you’re in for a treat:
The first time I saw the commercial I was mesmerized: completely taken in by the visual medley. In fact, I was so absorbed by what I was seeing, the music and the voiceover were nearly unnoticed. That probably has more to do with me than with any flaws in the creative execution.
I’ve seen the commercial dozens of times now and I am still wowwed. It has the entire package: superb imagery, a dynamite music bed, and an intelligent script that is perfectly paced and spoken. I applaud the creative team and American Express for recognizing that the pictures convey a thousand words, so the announcer need not.
A breakdown of the commercial:
- 24 images: 10 frowns, smartly outnumbered by 14 smiles
- 5 frown images are shown in the first 8 seconds before a single word is uttered
- As we see the second 5 frowns, the announcer mentions the bad things that can happen to the items we purchase
- The first smile image doesn’t appear until the 25 second mark (I love how the indicator light pops on with a beep immediately after the announcer says “Happily” … brilliant!)
- The name of the advertiser and product is finally mentioned at 27 seconds (smile) - and isn’t spoken again (bigger smile)
- The airport baggage carousel is the only obvious image tie-in to the copy; “and peace of mind when you travel”
- The American Express charge card is shown in the last five seconds
- The music is Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major; this choice is a stroke of genius
It’s a terrific advertisement. I can’t help but smile every time I see it.