What's more difficult than making a commercial that's funny or sad? Making one that's earnestly romantic.
As we're reminded each year in the weeks leading up to Valentine's Day, marketers are practically incapable of conveying love without falling into a handful of stereotyped scenarios and coating them in a thick lacquer of cloying cheese.
For a refreshing alternative, check out this two-minute spot by BBDO Germany for European hair-coloring product Schwarzkopf Nectra Color.
While the product connection in "You: A Declaration of Love" is tenuous, the spot's approach to romance is highly specific. The narrator explains in detail several of his partner's quirks and mannerisms, an approach that many ads attempt but fail at miserably because they're afraid to get too specific and risk alienating viewers.
What the copywriters behind this ad seem to realize is that appealing to a wide range of women doesn't have to mean being vague (and likely reinforcing stereotypes in the process). Love is largely about learning and appreciating the details of the people we care about—something this spot demonstrates perfectly with the line about "your stubborn curl that you got from your dad and he got from his mom."
There's a payoff, of course, which we won't spoil. To be sure, it's not the kind of ad that needs a big reveal, because its charm lies in its languid storytelling. But in addition to giving the spot a little more emotional oomph, the closing scene also adds some unexpected context and specificity to their relationship.
Is it a great ad for hair dye? That's clearly debatable, since you'd be hard pressed to guess the product if writers like me weren't so quick to point it out. But is it a great ad? Most certainly.
Client: Henkel Schwarzkopf
Corporate Senior VP Hair/Innovation/Digital: Marie-Eve Schröder
Marketing Director International: Catharina Christe
Senior Brand Manager International: Sybille Silber
Agency: BBDO Proximity Dusseldorf
Creative: Sebastian Hardieck (Chief Creative Officer), Konstanze Bruhns (Creative Director)
Account: Dirk Bittermann (General Manager), Geraldine Schell (Account Director)
Producer: Anuschka Walle (Executive Producer)
Film production: Tempomedia
Director: Sandro Suppnig
Post production: nhb Studios
Music/ Composer: Studio Funk Düsseldorf