This year the IPA celebrates its Centenary and during the 100 years since it swung open its doors there’s been a mind-boggling amount of ads created. But we believe that it’s possible to catalogue all of these ideas into 10 simple themes, as our Chief Strategy Officer, Matt Willifer, explains in this series of blogs.

Themes covered so far have been ‘Name Fame’ and ‘Expressing Personality’ and next up, we’re ‘Getting Emotional’…



Ideas that stir deep emotions in the hearts of their audience

Modern neuroscience reveals the importance of emotion. In fact, often the rational brain is simply post-rationalising what has already been decided emotionally. Some advertising attempts to own life’s grand emotional themes. Coke and love. Johnnie Walker and progress. Axe and sexual success.

The below ad is less grand in its ambition, but extraordinarily emotive in the way it captures a story. The 1980s J.R. Hartley ad pulls at the heart strings to remind us that the Good Old Yellow Pages isn’t just there for the nasty things in life.

At WCRS we did this for Bupa by creating a strikingly simple commercial, all shot in one take, that celebrates nothing less than the joy of life itself. Numerous Twitter responses suggest that the ad had the emotional resonance we hoped for: “the Bupa advert with the woman dancing could be the advert of the decade, so powerful”, “that Bupa advert nearly has me in tears every time”…

Tune in tomorrow for theme #4, ‘Remaining Rational’…

(Or if you really can’t wait… The Drum have already released the full 10 here).


Matt Willifer

About Matt Willifer

Chief Strategy Officer at WCRS and Partner at Engine.

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