Picture the following scenario. You and your husband are sitting on the couch watching your favorite TV show. Ten minutes into the show, the first round of commercials come on and you’re bummed. First commercial is a dud, as per usual. However, the second commercial catches your eye. You find yourself drawn to the television screen while watching a heartfelt commercial about a boy who got hurt, and his mother who had the perfect remedy; a Band-Aid that contains the newest ointment. The boy smiles in comfort as his mom sings him a lullaby to sleep. You’ve just witnessed Slice-of-Life Advertising at its best.
Slice-of-Life Advertising is an advertising technique in which a real life problem is shown in a dramatic presentation and the product advertised represents the solution to the problem.
Slice-of-Life Advertising is made up of four components. First, you have the encounter. For example, a commercial may start off showing a kid playing soccer with his parents cheering on the side (encounter). Next up, we’ve got a problem. The kid falls and stains his uniform, and the parents are not happy about this (problem). We then move to an interaction. A friendly mom comes up to the parents and suggests a new laundry detergent that is full proof for stain removal (interaction). Last, but certainly not least, we have the solution. The commercial ends with the parents taking their child to a game with a shiny clean uniform (solution).
You’ve just then witnessed a real life, heart-warming commercial, and will hopefully be buying that detergent on your next trip to the store.
Here are four examples to show when it is being done right.
The Big Four
1. Kelly Ripa’s 2X Ultra Tide Commercial
Picture this. Kelly and friends are sitting at the dinner table sharing laughs, when, all of a sudden, something spills on the tablecloth. Kelly swiftly and gracefully (ocial, the actor both portrayed the problf course) pulls the tablecloth off and the setting shifts to the laundry room. Kelly stands there, enthusiastically explaining the benefits of 2X Ultra Tide to her guests. In this specific commerem and solution themselves.
2. 80’s John Hancock Financial Services Commercial
In this commercial, a man is shown reading a birthday card on his 40th birthday. The card, aside from being comical, has clever anecdotes for each decade. As each anecdote is read, financial services that may be needed in that specific decade are shown on the screen. It combines real life with real solutions. Brilliant!
3. Volkswagon-Darth Vader 2011 Super Bowl Commercial
In this adorable commercial, a small kid is seen in a Darth Vader costume, doing what Darth Vader does best… trying to use his force to control things. As the kid is running around the house trying to use his force, the camera switches to the driveway and the dad is seen pulling in with his brand new VW. This kid runs outside to use his forces, and is surprised when the VW car turns itself on. Only can the viewers see the dad pressing a function on his key to turn it on. An adorable boy, a beautiful car, and a pleasant surprise. What more can you ask for?
4. P&G’s ‘Moms’ Ad
Procter & Gamble know how to get the tears flowing. P&G sponsor Olympic commercials, which portray athletes thanking their mothers for being their greatest supporters through it all. We see the athlete’s struggle and triumph, all to be attributed to their mothers. Emotionally provoking to say the least!
The world of advertisement is complex, with hundreds of different ways to showcase your product. Next time you’re figuring out a way to get your product out there, consider what Slice-of-Life Advertising can do for you and your company.