One of the most viral and powerful advertisements this fall doesn’t sell a product. Instead, it sells an idea. And in the process, it brilliantly illustrates the power of brand extension with a smart and strategic piece of communication.
It comes from a cell phone company in Thailand named Truemove-H. The three minute film spans a 30-year story, one that begins with an act of sympathy and kindness and ends with a surprise act of gratitude. The film contains no product placement, no overt sales pitch, only the powerful idea of the value of paying life forward. The message from Truemove-H: “Giving is the best communication.”
Proof of the Ad’s power lies in the fact that it just surpassed 9-million YouTube views in one week.
As a piece of communication, the film is a daring and brilliantly strategic tool to build brand salience in a hyper-competitive category.
In this case it effectively uses Appraisal Theory to connect emotion and mood to influence a specific action. The film makes the viewer cognitively aware of how giving can have its own unexpected reward. (Figure 1) The deep emotional response of empathy—even guilt—leads to the formation of new attitudes about how giving can impact people’s lives. The desired action is to cause people to give more of themselves. In this case, Truemove-H’s goal is to get people to give by calling more often. But just as important, it seals an emotionally positive connection to the brand—a connection likely to be top of mind the next time a Thai consumer searches for new phone service.
It takes a powerful brand to communicate with this kind of boldness. Coca-Cola is one of the few North American brands willing to leverage its brand values to encourage social change. One of its best recent examples is a campaign that originated in South America to encourage random acts of kindness.
In a recent post, I wrote how computer chip maker Intel used Appraisal Theory to force people to make an emotional conversion to empower young women across the globe. Like Truemove-H, the campaign did not feature a single product placement or sales pitch.
Together they are three examples of strategically smart communication campaigns that entice the viewer to make a powerful emotional response to a brand goal.
Gratefully, in each case no operators are standing by.