I’ll be honest, having a little extra time has led to increased internet and television surfing. A bit of reading has snuck its way in there, too, but it’s been a screen-heavy few days. This got me thinking about the powerful effects of commercials. Obviously, we know about marketing and subliminal messages transmitted in commercials. But I’m still a sucker for a good heartstring-tugging ad. There has been some recent controversy regarding the Apple "Misunderstood" commercial with the young man who appears to be on his phone for the bulk of a holiday gathering (another example that may be all too familiar to us); however it is later revealed that he is making a video for the family. A link to this video is posted at the end of this blog post. But I think one of my favorites recently viewed ads might be Google’s “Reunion” commercial, which I have posted below.
What do I like about this ad? Several things:
1) family – the granddaughter recognizes her grandfather’s sadness in missing a childhood friend. Like a good clinician, she “hears” him as expresses his distress and begins to navigate resources to help solve the issue.
2) friendship – the obvious connection between the two older gentlemen reminds the viewers how important connections and friendships continue to be throughout one’s life and that these relationships are far from stagnant.
3) history – understanding the backstory of this friendship is dependent on historical context, which is alluded to in the narrative of the commercial (the 1947 partition). This is akin to us as clinicians gaining a broad understanding of our clients' historical contexts in order to help understand their current conditions.
Again, I’m a bit of a sucker. And there are certainly critics of this ad. However, the ad’s storyline, weaving historical implications of political actions in with a story of connection enabled by technological resourcefulness, is one that humanizes the use of technology, similar to the aforementioned commercial of the boy on his phone during the holiday time. So what about you? Which ads are “speaking” to you these days?
Apple's "Misunderstood" commercial: