There’s a perfectly good reason most commercials used to be 15 or 30 seconds long: People have short attention spans. But with the advent of online video consumption, there are no artificial limits to how long a commercial message can be. You only have the natural limit of “how long will people watch this before clicking elsewhere?” And many advertisers — especially social and cause marketers — simply go on for too long before getting to the point.
This PSA is different. Written and directed by Max Joseph, it rambles on for the better part of three minutes before revealing its key message and sponsor.
Just watch, and see if you can turn away:
Why is it so effective? Because the entire preamble to the brand message was based on a single idea, taken to its most ridiculous extremes. The quality of the storytelling — not just the writing, but the acting, cinematography, and even voiceover — is flawless. Even when I was worried it was going to get all patronizing with the stereotyped “natives,” it turned around and called out its own “gringo” fantasy.
The Rainforest Alliance provides a product sustainability certification business, showing consumers if the brands they buy are rainforest-friendly. I’ve done certification brand advertising before, but I’ve never seen a promotion this epic and yet this simple. And now, with “follow the frog” etched into my memory, I’m sure I won’t miss noticing that little guy whenever I shop.