Posts Tagged ‘Martin Van Buren’

“The less government interferes with private pursuits, the better for general prosperity.”
Martin Van Buren
Eighth United States President (1837-1841)

Every once in a while I like to touch on 30 second storytelling and Google’s Martin Van Buren spot is brilliant and effective. A classic example of storytelling and simplicity. Pick your paradigm: Beginning, middle, end. Set-up, conflict, payoff. Catalyst, debate, fun and games, finale. Problem/solution. Crisis, climax, resolution.   They all work.

The commercial wastes no time getting to the central conflict: “It’s dress like a president day. I’m supposed to be Martin Van Buren.” That happens at the eight second mark. The mid section is spent working on a solution, and what makes the spot work is the reveal at the 24 second mark of the little girl looking remarkably like Martin Van Buren. And the topper and emotional payoff is the mom’s satisfied look in the following shot.

I don’t know who the copywriters were, but Venables Bell & Partners created the ad.

P.S. How can you not be hip with those sideburns?

Related post:
“The Dog Strikes Back”
Setups & Payoffs (Tip #57)
Insanley Great Endings
Screenwriting & Structure (Tip #5)


Scott W. Smith

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