Companies are constantly looking for new ways to advertise their product. They take in consideration many techniques in order to get across to their audience. Some being logos, pathos, ethos, imagery, and many more. Depending on the message a company is trying to portray, different techniques will be of benefit to the company more than another technique. The well-known brand, Extra, has come up with a few clever twists in order to promote their products.
The greatest love stories of all time can be argued to be ‘Romeo & Juliet’, Jack and Kate from “Titanic”, Ross and Rachel from ‘Friends’, and many others.
These are just a few of the tales that have created our guidelines of “love” that the media has set for us. But, thanks to the commonly known gum brand, Extra, we have now even more changed our definition of a romantic relationship.
In the last few years, these chewing gum advertisements have caught the attention of many.
In 2015, “The Story of Sarah & Juan” was released. This commercial gives a different theme on a tale of two high school sweethearts. As they are walking down the crowded halls of high school, they lock eyes, and from that moment, it was love at first sight. The first real exchange comes when Sarah gives Juan a stick of Extra gum.
As the commercial continues, we see their relationship grow and progress into a sweet, appealing love story that includes many laughs, adventures, and continuous exchanges of Extra gum. Their relationship continues to grow over many years. They graduate high school, go away to college, and soon, enter a long-distance relationship, oh, the agony. And, so begins the hard days of being away from each other and lack of gum giving. Distance may be hard, but it has nothing on Sarah and Juan. After being apart for a few years, Juan invites Sarah to a private gallery. There, there is a line of Extra gum wrappers framed on the walls. On each gum wrapper, a sketch of their relationship. From high school sweethearts, to reaffirm lovers, Sarah and Juan get engaged and they live happily ever after, while their gum-based relationship will touch the hearts of many.
What makes this commercial so appealing one might ask? Extra gum does a great job in utilizing storytelling, setting a positive image of the company, and using pathos. All these techniques are essential for Extra gum to sell their product.
First, the company uses storytelling to display their product. They make the audience become emotionally tied into the couple’s love story by making them believe that this story is real. Romance is something that many people strive for. By showing the journey of a glorified love story, along with the highs and lows of a relationship; the company does a great job at displaying the reality that comes with a romance. Not only by telling the story of a romantic relationship, but we see at the end that Juan has scribbled out sketches on each gum wrapper. This is a creative way of telling a story within a story. On each of the wrappers, we find that Juan has sketched out recaps of all that the two have gone through as a couple. Without the audience consciously knowing, Extra has- yet again- implemented themselves into a story. By representing Sarah and Juan’s love story through the wrappers, we can infer as a viewer that it is the simplest things that show the most meaning. In this case, Extra gum can be key in making each story that much more special.
Secondly, in order to appeal to the audience, Extra does a wonderful job at setting a positive image for their company. They have unofficially established their “campaign” around the element of love. From the past few advertisements they have released, they are letting everyone know that they are in this for more than just the money from selling gum; they represent love. How they have made this work is by keeping their product separate from the story at hand. They create a story and in limited scenes, show their product, but not using the product to create the plot. They utilized the product as a, “go-to” for the couple; whether it was getting into an argument or having a good time at prom, Extra gum became something to add to the occasion. By only using the product to amplify the story, rather than trying to force the product onto the public, they leave us thinking about how sincere and sweet the story was.
Lastly, Extra uses pathos to attract viewers. Pathos is the emotion that is brought out in people, stimulated by a heartwarming, sentimental, or even a sorrowful event. The Extra gum commercial, “The Story of Sarah and Juan”, represents passionate and sensitive emotions, making the audience feel what the couple is also feeling. Even more, Extra gum plays, “Can’t Help Falling in Love”, to help set the mood of the commercial. When Sarah and Juan are happy, the audience is happy. When they are arguing, we feel their frustration. By adding the song, it draws the audience in even more provoking even stronger emotions to the commercial.
There is much to be learned about the way the company Extra has portrayed their product. They were able to effectively draw the general public into buying their product by being efficient in creating a story, setting a positive message, and using the technique, pathos. Extra has discovered methods that effectively present their product, while making it more personal to their audience.