Chief Technology Officer & Photographer | Irvine, CA

Emotionally Engaging Lifestyle Ads

We have a client that we’re working with right now that sells a product for people with limited mobility due to a disability, and we had an amazing brainstorming session yesterday about the direction. This brainstorming session led me right back in to the theme of day #3 of the BOLO conference – story telling (from my perspective of course). Maybe I’m a little behind as far as online marketing/advertising goes, but I’m pretty sure everyone hasn’t gotten on board with this just yet.

At BOLO, I started to think about the top 3 brands I see are KILLING it in this space:

  • Volkswagen
  • Chipotle
  • Nike

Randomly a few years back, I saw a show on TV that featured how Volkswagen goes about creating their advertising campaigns, and what they expected from them – every one of them had some emotionally engaging tie-in to them. I never realized how important that was until I started really paying attention to the “messaging” that was coming across in various web/video/email campaigns that I had and am currently working on.

What does that look like?


The ad isn’t about the cars Volkswagen sells…AT ALL…it’s about the people, and that gut intensive laugh – the kind that everyone has had – the kind that when you see, puts a smile on your face simply because of it’s presence. I especially love the messaging at the end – it’s not about the miles, it’s how you live them. Live the miles of life with a smile on your face – laugh often and loudly…from infancy to elder years.

“Feeling Carefree”

This video, again, is going after a specific market – given the promoted vehicle (Passat) and the soundtrack – I immediately know that song and it sparks a thought to childhood – specifically to bad (but amazingly memorable) 80’s movies. And then it wraps it in to today – we’ve all had those meetings where we’re sitting there doodling and thinking of something completely different – the awkward singing moment is just a bonus.

“Find Your Greatness”

Nike really hit it out of the park on this one. In my opinion, Nike’s primary market would be athletes/etc, but how awesome and powerful is this video?! A 12 year old boy who is clearly overweight is clearly not their target market…or is it? They bring in the concept of “greatness is not unique – everyone is capable to be great” – which doesn’t pin point a specific market/sport/etc. I immediately connect with this one given my struggle with weight all my life, and I’m pretty sure I shed a tear or two when I first saw this video on Super Bowl Sunday.

“The Force” – my all time favorite!

The reason I love this video so much is that I can immediately connect with it. For starters, I’m in that age group, and I am “supposed” to drive a mid-size family car like that even though I drive a 2 door sports car. Also, I have children that do crazy/cute things like that, and to top it off, Star Wars was a large part of my childhood (given the target market behind the ad), and I can connect with that theme song within a split second.

Volkswagen sells cars, not therapy, notepads & pencils, or the force.

Nike sells athletic apparel, not life coaching or personal training.

However, all of these videos sell the brand and I’m committed to bringing this quality of work to all the clients I currently work with and will work with in the future. It’s pretty freakin’ amazing stuff.

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