Tear-jerkers and twist endings in mini-movies that barely seem like ads

A couple years ago, when videos first started to go ‘viral’…some big name marketing companies saw the opportunity inherent in this perfect model of shared content and started making videos, specifically with the intention of “going viral.” Seems a bit obvious, in hindsight, to point out that unless they were done amazingly well and just happened to be produced by a company, consumers were not fooled by the throngs of intentionally-shaky fodder that was being churned out.

If nothing else, it made us all a bit more skeptical. Just as we were collectively getting to a point to realize that an image was too good to be true (“Photoshopped” is a popular comment on images posted online, whether genuine or not.) we were suddenly forced to decide how we felt about watching some amazing home video, only to discover it was all a set-up ad for (insert trying-too-hard company name here.)

Cries of “Fake” turned to “it’s just an ad!”

Can an ad be genuine?

Now that we’ve become collectively cynical and ¬†seem to expect ads to pervade every facet of our digital and analog lives, there seems to be a new wave of content coming on-stream.

In the past few days, two particularly great videos have crossed my path. Neither one pretends to be something it’s not. They’re not attempts to go ‘viral’ though I’m sure they both are now. Instead, they simply drop the pretence of anything other than a short story that connects to a product or service.

In all their heart-wrenching glory, here they are, followed by articles specifically about them and this phenomenon of content marketing that focuses on great story telling and human emotions.

Saying Goodbye To A Friend

Connecting Long-lost Friends

(After you press “play”, click the little “cc” in the bottom right corner to turn on subtitles.)

Analysis by the Experts

Fast Company overview of the Tullamore Dew film:

HubSpot’s breakdown of the Google reunion piece: