The fact that Extra made an ad, about gum, that not only went viral but also made people cry is kind of incredible when you think about it.
The company recently launched a new spot that chronicles the love story of Sarah and Juan. The YouTube video description says simply, “A girl. A guy. And a stick of gum. See their love story unwrap. #GiveExtragetextra.”
But of course, it’s so much more than that. And the fact that you’ve likely already watched it voluntarily shows how powerful a good ad spot can be. Don Draper would be proud.
For those who haven’t had the chance to see the video, it depicts the love story of high school sweethearts Sarah, an American girl, and Juan, a Spaniard. The bicultural couple reflects the marketplace, Andrés Ordoñez, the evp and executive creative director of Energy BBDO, the Chicago-based advertising agency behind the campaign, tells Billboard Magazine.
The video starts with a shared glance between the two in front of the high school, and then goes on to chronicle the little moments that make up their story, like their first kiss, prom, and moving in together. During each moment, the two share pieces of Extra gum.
At the end, Juan reveals that he had been saving all the silver wrappers from the gum they shared during each moment, and drawing out the scenes of their story. He has all of them framed, and hung in a gallery, where he invites Sarah to relive their story and then gets down on one knee to pop the question.
The whole thing is set to a hauntingly beautiful cover of "Can't Help Falling in Love" by American Idol Alum Haley Reinhart.
The spot has already garnered more than 12 million views on YouTube since being released Oct. 7, 2015. That’s more than 12 million times someone out there was like, “I’m going to seek out and watch an ad. About gum.”
“In 20 years in marketing, I’ve never seen the consumer reaction I’ve seen this early with any piece of advertising I’ve been affiliated with,” John Starkey, Wrigley’s vp of gums and mints, tells Billboard Magazine.
Indeed, fans have been gushing over the video since it came out.
“Seriously incredible video. You got me crying over a stick of gum. ALL THE FEELS,” Amanda Leach.
“Why am I crying over a gum commercial?” Remy Tepner.
“Okay so whoever produced this needs a raise. This was movie quality and I loved it! I will go buy your gum now out of mad respect for this,” Robert Whitney.
It’s a testament to what can happen to a marketing campaign when a good story, a great song and social media all come together. In fact, I’d venture to guess that it’s the most memorable ad for gum you’ve seen in the last year.
Whether or not it actually inspires anyone aside from Robert Whitney to go out and buy Extra gum is another story. But with a product that’s as established as Extra, it’s more about getting their name in the air than anything else.
As for me, I’ll just be over here crying, and saving all my silver wrappers.