Extra Gum Again Shows Its Skill at Quiet Storytelling With a Tale of Unexpected Friendship

'Max and Bill' from Energy BBDO follows up 'Sarah and Juan'

'Max and Bill' tells the story of checkers players who become unlikely friends.
Extra Gum

Some of the most effective marketing doesn’t necessarily center on the product, but rather positions it as a catalyst for a more interesting story. It’s a technique that only works with a particularly resonating narrative, like an intense love story that makes you momentarily forget that a company is trying to sell makeup.

For years, Extra Gum and creative agency Energy BBDO have been working together on “Give Extra, Get Extra” a campaign that explores the power of a simple, kind gesture. Their last short film, “Sara and Juan,” depicted an unforgettably emotional tale of love through gum wrappers. Their recent follow-up isn’t quite as tear-jerking or complex as a story arc, but proves that the creative team’s grip on stunningly human storytelling is as firm as ever.

“Max and Bill” follows the unlikely friendship that sparks between a young boy and an elderly man who often plays checkers by himself in the park. Bonded through a vintage game set and a container of gum, Max and Bill develop a connection that strengthens to withstand time, weather and significant life changes.

British soul artist Jacob Banks provides a richly heartfelt soundtrack for the touching tale, just as Haley Reinhart did for “Sara and Juan,” to drive home the point that every age benefits from kindness and fulfilling connections with others. While the short film is a quiet respite, the company’s choice to use the little time they have to prove a greater point instead of overselling its product speaks volumes, and illustrates the boundless possibilities of what marketing can accomplish.

“Max and Bill tells a pleasantly different story that is true to the Extra brand,” says Andrés Ordóñez, chief creative officer for Energy BBDO. “It shows the power of a small, unexpected gesture and the impact that can have on someone, regardless of their age, race or gender. Through ‘Max and Bill’ we learn that ‘giving extra’ can extend beyond the connections you already have in your life and evolve into something meaningful.”

Here’s a look back at Extra and Energy BBDO’s 2015 ad in this vein, “The Story of Sarah and Juan,” followed by the credits for the new spot:

Agency: Energy BBDO
Brand: Extra Refreshers
Title: “Max & Bill”
Chief Creative Officer: Andrés Ordóñez
Executive Creative Director: Pedro Pérez
Executive Creative Director: Josh Gross
Creative Director: Manuel Torres
Creative Director: Alejandro Juli
Art Director: Elaine Kalvelage
Copywriter: Cassidy Buzin
Head of Integrated Production: John Pratt
Producer: Maddie Gorman
Executive Art Producer: Liz Miller-Gershfeld
Executive Director of Music: Daniel Kuypers
Program Director: Jeremy Hawking
Client Service Director: Lianne Sinclair
Global Sr. Account Director: Jamie DeFer
Account Supervisor: Kristin Grandberry
Global Strategy Director: Allison Arling-Giorgi
Production Company: Rattling Stick USA
Director: Pete Riski
Line Producer: Tessa Mitchell
Executive Producers: Joe Biggins & Jeff Shupe
Head of Production: Richard McIntosh
Editorial Company: The Assembly Rooms
Editor: Eve Ashwell
Assitant Editor: Kevin Corry
Producer: Daniel Breheny
Animation/Motion Graphics Company: Cream Electric Art Australia
Creative Director: Bruce Bigelow
Producer: Diane Williams

Color/Finish: The Mill
Colorist: Oisin O’Driscoll
Post Producer: Matthew Engel

Finish Artists: Heidi Anderson & Alison Bloom
Audio Company: Another Country
Sound Engineer: John Binder
Audio Assistants: Logan Vines & Josh Hunnicutt
Producer: Louise Rider & Tim Konn
Vocals/Song: Jacob Banks – ‘Every Age’

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