Extra Gum Follows Up ‘Sarah & Juan’ With a Real-Life Couple’s Sad-Sweet Story

But is the flavor still there?

It's the third time around for Extra Gum, and things are suddenly getting real.

The Wrigley's brand and Energy BBDO returned over Valentine's Day weekend with another tearjerker film, "A Second Chance." It tells the tale of Jessica, a young widowed mom, who reunites after many years with single dad Marcus, a friend she's known since kindergarten.

In a change from the client-agency team's previous viral hits—"Origami," which focused on a dad and his young daughter, and "Sarah & Juan," which tracked a romance from high school through young adulthood—this outing features the real-life Jessica and Marcus, starring in their own true story and providing narration.

"We set out to find couples to talk to us about love under the guise of shooting a travel documentary," Andrés Ordóñez, Energy BBDO executive creative director, tells AdFreak. "Once we found couples that felt right for the brand, we approached the guy separately about their relationship trajectory."

And, as in the agency's previous Extra installments, gum wrappers play a key role in how the scenario unfolds.

It's a sweet story, extremely well told by Sanctuary director Natalie Rae Robison. However, despite hitting all the right notes as the soft piano strains of "Can't Help Falling in Love" shimmer in the background, it feels a little familiar.

"Oragami" and "Sarah & Juan" seemed minty fresh ind transcended their inherent emotional manipulation. There were surprising bits of business and heartwarming payoffs at the end. "A Second Chance" repeats that basic formula—but if you've seen the earlier ads, you pretty much know what to expect, so the impact is diminished.

Hey, it's an Extra Gum video … we've sampled this before, haven't we?

There is a certain novelty to casting real people, and Jessica and Marcus are a winning, exceedingly likable pair. "This couple have an incredible story that's inspiring and uplifting, because it is built on many years of small yet meaningful moments of connection," says John Starkey, vice president of U.S. gum and mints at Wrigley's.

True, but their appearance gives the spot a reality-show vibe. They have a transformative tale of love and second chances at life … so, they sold it for 15 minutes of fame in a gum commercial? Doesn't that seem off somehow? (Then again, in our media-driven world, maybe that's living the dream.)

"When you give a little extra of yourself, you get so much more in return," says Starkey. "And those small moments of sharing can lead to something even more meaningful. This is what we mean when we say, Give Extra, get extra.'"

Ultimately, the film communicates that message, but here's a prediction: The engagement numbers won't approach the totals for the earlier videos. The flavor is starting to fade. Perhaps its time for Wrigley's to wrap up the three-hanky approach and move on.

CREDITS

Client: Wrigley Extra Gum

Title: "A Second Chance"

Agency: Energy BBDO

SVP Executive Creative Director: Andrés Ordóñez

VP Creative Director: Pedro Pérez

VP Creative Director: Josh Gross

Illustrator: Mya Pagán

Director of Integrated Production: Rowley Samuel

Executive Producer: John Pratt

Producer: Shobin Mathew

Director of Music: Daniel Kuypers

Managing Director: Jeff Adkins

Client Service Director: Lianne Sinclair

Account Director: Erin Welsh

Senior Account Executive: Brittany Peskind

Account Executive: Katheryn Batista

Group Planning Director: Elke Anderle

Digital Strategy Director: Zach Graham

Production Company: Sanctuary

Director: Natalie Rae Robinson

Line Producer: Dennis Beier

Executive Producer: Preston Lee

Finish: Method Studios

Colorist: Tyler Roth

Music: "Can't Help Falling in Love."