One of the best commercials I’ve seen in the past few months popped up in my Facebook feed this morning (thanks Brian Kelley!).
The spot, for sneaker company Adidas, is a powerful short story that touches on such universal human themes as aging, disillusionment, and hope.
The spot wasn’t actually crafted by Adidas.
The ad’s creator is German Eugene Mehrer, a student at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg.
Mehrer says he sent the piece to Adidas, but did not receive a response.
The ad touched a nerve with me because it reminded me of my grandmother, whom I saw slide into Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia when I was a young child.
She escaped her Pennsylvania boarding home at least twice, simply walking away. When picked up by the police, she said she was trying to go “home,” to “Hamilton, Ohio” (where she had lived for decades).
Eventually, our family acquiesced, and I accompanied my mom on a final trip to Ohio that allowed my grandmother to visit her old haunts.
Of course, “home” was simply code for “before my mind started to slip” – a past that could never be regained.
While she seemed to enjoy that trip, once it was over my grandmother never again talked about Ohio.
Why the Ad Works
Any advertisement that can make me think of family before 8:00 am is clearly an effective one.
But beyond that, this piece works because of its simplicity, its universality (we all fear aging, and the thought deep down that our best days are behind us), and most of all, that it tells a story.
In the end, storytelling and emotion always win out.
Thank you, Mr. Mehrer.