The commercial that makes you laugh is good, but the commercial that hits you right in the “feels” is the one that you remember. Everyone can easily recognize the sad music that plays during the animal cruelty commercial. The hurting, sad eyes of the puppies and kitties stare into your soul and scratch your heart. Every time you hear that song, you think of those poor animals struggling; however, the emotional connection you make with a commercial (or the brand itself) is not limited to sadness. It may simply remind you of an instance in your life. In its first commercial, Extra Gum plays the emotion card.
Origami” tell us a story without even saying a word. Extra Gum’s commercial about a dad, his daughter, and origami cranes successfully creates an emotional connection between the viewer and the brand; it grabs viewer’s hearts and takes them on a trip through time. Extra Gum’s commercial, “Origami”, is about the journey in a little girl’s life from the age of a toddler to an eighteen year old leaving for college. “Origami” starts with the youngest version of a little blonde girl. Her dad slips a piece of Extra Gum into his mouth, and soon after, begins to fold the wrapper into an origami crane.
At the end of this scene, everything in the picture is blurred except for the crane in his hands. We put ourselves in the place of the little girl, we learn with her. This scene flows right into the next; we see her and her dad playing and growing together. A birthday party and a baseball game follow this. In between these scenes, there are clips of the dad giving the daughter more cranes. Next we see the father, wife, and the now teenage girl at the beach. She has her headphones in and her head in a book. When her father gives her an origami crane, she looks up and smiles.
This shows how even though she’s growing up now, her father is still there to help her. In the next scene, she is seen taking a piece of gum and leaving her father behind as she walks off with a friend. We can sense that she’s growing up more and being more independent. Then we see her crying on her bed. This is the moment in her life when she feels her first heartbreak. Her dad walks in and brings her an origami crane; this symbol comforts her and reminds her that he has always been there. Finally we see dad bringing a box full of the girl’s stuff to the car — it’s moving day.
The girl is all grown up and ready to start her new life. Then a box drops out of the car. It reveals all the origami cranes that the dad has given to his daughter throughout her life. As the dad picks one up, the music builds, and our excitement rises. It leads us into a flashback of events throughout the girl’s life. Once the flashback ends, the dad and the daughter are seen hugging each other. It is during this moment that the only words of the commercial are said: “Sometimes the little things last the longest. Give extra, get extra” (“Origami”).
The message that the commercial’s plot portrays is that overtime we take what we have learned from the people we love. The dad always gave to the girl; now, it’s her chance to give back to him. Extra’s slogan fits right in with the message they are trying to portray in their commercial. Extra Gum captures important moments from our life and inserts a silvery gumwrapper that is folded into origami cranes. They’re not selling the gum; they’re selling the relationship. People long for deep, meaningful connections with others. Through the commercial, viewers can see that Extra Gum can make that dream a reality.
While viewers are focused on the relationship between the dad and daughter, there is something that they’re missing. It’s a small detail, but it packs a big message. In nearly every scene, there is the presence of red, white, and blue. From nearly every piece of clothing to the family car in the last scene, we can see these three colors. The producers strategically used these colors so viewers feel like Extra Gum is patriotic and brings our country together as one — creating yet another relationship. The connection that the girl and the father have is something that most people hope to have with their parent(s).
The meaningful way that these two people interact with each other tells more about the story than words ever could. That is most likely the reason why this commercial contains no words at all until the end. The different clips throughout the girl’s life and the background music successfully tell the story. The fact that there is not any talking until the end is what grabs us initially. Technology has taken over our society; even when we watch television, we have our phones out, and we’re doing something else at the same time. We may be listening to people talk on the TV, but that doesn’t mean we’re actually watching the program.
When this commercial comes on, the melody of the music without any voiceover makes us look up to see what is going on. Then we see the first clip, and by the time we realize what the ad is trying to sell to us, our heart is already emotionally involved in watching this little girl grow up. It makes sense that Extra Gum would use the theme of creating relationships for their commercial — gum isn’t meant to be kept to yourself, it’s better when shared. At school, you can easily become the most popular person of the hour if you show anyone that you have a pack of gum.
People flock like birds if they know you have gum. The true bird in “Origami” was the daughter. Her father gave her everything he could, and then, he let his baby bird leave the nest. The pathos created in “Origami” is so powerful it can lead to tears. Extra Gum told a whole story in under a minute that left its viewers (well, at least me) reminiscing on the times and relationships throughout their lives. You’d never think that you’d get emotional over a gum commercial, but “Origami” grabs your heart and doesn’t let go.