Igniting Content: A Tale of Two Amazing Ads

igniting content

This is a tale of two ads. Both ads were exceptional in that they contained stories so entertaining that I wanted to share them with my friends. But as you will see, the results were very different and both of them failed when it came to opportunites for igniting content.

Ad number one: McDonalds “Love is Endless”

This is simply one of the most creative, entertaining and inspiring ads I have ever seen. The company has doubled-down on their “I’m lovin’ it theme” with a story of uniting traditional rivals through the friendly food of McD.

An ad that features Batman and Grumpy Cat? Yes, this ad ignited social media conversation, and deservedly so.

Click here if you could not view McDonalds Love is Endless.

Ad number two: AT&T “Trophies”

In this ad, four of the most famous American football players compare their “trophies.” For my international readers, I will help interpret the symbolism in this ad. The first three players imitate the famous pose of the Heisman Trophy. These three men had been awarded the prize for the best college football player during their playing days. In response, former player Joe Montana displays a handful of rings he won for guiding his teams to Super Bowl wins, the height of accomplishment in his profession.

Click here if you cannot view the video above AT&T “Trophies”

Igniting content — Two fails

Both of these ads became topics of conversation with my friends … but with a significant difference.

At a football party, a roomful of people had seen the “Trophy” ad multiple times on television but not one person could recall the company who sponsored the ad! This is a failure, isn’t it?

On the other hand, every person had also seen the McDonalds ad and all of them remembered the sponsoring company. Some had only seen the ad one time!

I think there is a great lesson here. McDonalds weaved their product into the narrative. It was a story about endless love but McDonalds was an integral part of the story, igniting the reconciliation between traditional rivals. The ad also reinforced the familiar “I’m Lovin’ It” theme carried over many years by the company.

In the case of the AT&T ad, the story was hilarious but completely disconnected from anything to do with AT&T or their theme of “Mobilizing Your World.” The company has been advertising heavily to promote the investments they’ve made in mobile infrastructure but this ad had only a weak connection to “strength” with no apparent connection to their previous ad themes.

By the time the laughs ended, nobody was paying attention to the rest of the ad to see the sponsor.

However, this popular ad has been viewed 1.5 million times on the AT&T YouTube channel. The company seems to have tried to correct their recognition problem by super-imposing the AT&T logo on the YouTube version. It is successfully getting more leverage for its content investment by posting on the social network.

Strangely, McDonalds has NOT posted their commercial on YouTube. The example I embedded above was posted by a company called Mozella and, as of this writing, has only received 1,600 views. I simply don’t understand why McDonalds would invest in this content and ignore the opportunity to ignite it through social media.

Despite investments in great stortytelling, both companies failed to optimize their work and igniting content investments in an effective way.

What are your comments on this observation and these epic ads?

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