This touching video has gone viral since its upload in June, no doubt because of the nostalgic storytelling method. First seen through a father’s eyes, a young girl’s evolution into a grown woman is then revealed through her own perspective, all in a series of car rides. The video has amassed nearly 6 million views.
The parent-child bond as it weathers the challenges of tantrums and teenage attitude hits a strong emotional chord with viewers, and advertisers know it. When the story line wraps up with the adult child acknowledging and returning the love to her aging parent, advertisers have their target viewers in the palms of their hands. This video is an ad for Toyota, but it follows a long tradition used by many companies over the years.
Take the Wrigley gum campaign, which Forbes lists in its “Unforgettable Ads of 2013.” In this video, a father shares sticks of gum with his daughter and makes origami swans with the wrappers. After the typical tender moments and teenage tribulations through the years, all accompanied by gum and origami, the father helps his grown daughter move out and finds a box in which she’s saved every gum-wrapper swan he ever made for her. Cue the tears and Kleenex.
As advertising executive Jeff Gabel says in the Forbes article, “I didn’t expect that level of emotion for a gum ad.” The same can be said for automobile ads, which often tout speed and sportiness and prestige. But Toyota hit its mark with this video campaign, from the very first moment when the father tenderly applies the sticker that says “Baby in Car.”