TV TIMES: That Yellow Pages bike TV ad from the 1980s? It’s emotion, stupid.

I’ve blogged about how emotion has become the key to communicating in 2016 but it’s nothing new.

Look at Brexit and look at Christmas TV ads.

But it’s maybe important to reemember that emotion and story telling didn’t start this year. I was reminded of this when a TV ad from my childhood dropped into my timeline.

You may recall it. It’s a boy dreaming of a bike. His Dad keeps up the pretence that he thinks the bike is daft while secretly planning to buy it for his birthday. It’s a beautiful story told in 58 seconds.

You can see it here:

The TV advert was for yellow pages. It’s not a big thick directory of telephone numbers. It’s a place to make young people’s dreams come true.

As much as I can see the point of a direct call to action, a sign-up or a sale, I like this aproach too.

So, if we knew it in 1985 and we know it in 2016 why as comms people do we need to show people we work with to remind them that this is true?

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1 Comment

  1. Not sure if your question was rhetorical Dan… but here’s my 2p…

    The reason people need reminded is for the same reason storytelling works at all – it’s magic!

    Storytelling allows us escape, to be taken for the ride.

    We all know the Yellow Pages ‘bike family’ are not real, we know they are actors and that this is a story that someone made. However, when we see/hear/read a story that resonates, that has truth, that we relate to, then the reality of how the story sneaks past our rational mind while the story bit hooks us in. It’s what allows us to enjoy (good) books/movies/TV without being distracted by how it got made.

    If that magic were to wear off the art of storytelling would be of no use to any us. So, for me, the fact that we (a storytellers) must remind clients of how persuasive stories can be is actually a good indication that they still work.

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