Ad Age this week is reporting that Budweiser is returning to the type of emotional advertising that was its trademark in its halcyon days.
I hope the brief goes deeper than that. Emotional advertising is not a goal, it's an outcome. What characterized the great Bud advertising was a keen sense of storytelling and empathy. The brand was a reward for a honest day's work.
As I've posted before, stories are a very potent form of communicating. Stories help us understand. They convey meaning. And in an overwhelming and fast moving world, meaning trumps information. The most enduring stories are built upon several essential elements, including archetypal characters, the hero's journey and resolution of conflict
Storytelling has been a hallmark of the campaign BD'M creates for United Airlines, giving the brand a very distinctive message in a category that normally defaults to commodity service claims.
In the beer world, I tip my hat (and my glass) to the folks at Dos Equis. The "most interesting man in the world" campaign is a classic narrative in the making. They've nailed an archetypal brand personality and convey keen sense of what the brand believes in as well as what it opposes.