Many folks look forward to the biggest football game of the year – The Superbowl – not only for the great football but also for the half-time concert and the commercials. And while we all have our favorite commercials, I’ll argue the most memorable and influential commercial of all time was not aired during a Superbowl. In fact, Campaign magazine reported many folks believe this commercial to be “one of the best-loved and most influential ads in TV history.”
Not sure which one I’m talking about? Here’s a hint: some people thanked the fictional tv character, Don Draper, for the ad in the YouTube comments.
Of course, I’m referring to the “I’d Like To Buy The World A Coke” ad that premiered on television in 1971. And to be clear, Don Draper did not write the ad…that honor goes to Bill Backer who died May 13, 2016, at 89 years old. The ad has been remade a number of times since the original aired, but the remakes never reached the same popularity the original amassed.
So how does one of the world’s most famous tv ads that aired fifty years ago remain relevant today? Simple: the story. The song itself is the story. And how is that relevant to business today? I believe the story told is fundamental to every product or service’s success.
Every ad written, posted, and produced has an opportunity to tell a story. The images you use to support the stories are just as important, of course, however when a story is compelling and relatable, the story itself becomes the main focus. And that is exactly what Mr. Backer did with Coke.
So when you sit down with your team to draft the next great marketing piece, consider the story you want to tell versus the story your words are telling. After all, it worked well for Coca-Cola and it could work well for your business too.
Disclaimer: I’m a huge fan…both of Coke and the iconic commercial (and Mad Men, but that’s a different subject) so this was a pretty great article to write. There is a ton of information on the internet about the 1971 (and subsequent) commercial if you are interested. However for original information about the iconic commercial and its production, go to the Coca-Cola website.