Creativity Assessment- Extra Gum

One of my favorite ad campaigns is the “Give Extra, Get Extra” Extra Gum campaign by BBDO. If you are an agency that asks “what is your favorite ad campaign and why?” in your summer 2020 internship applications, I’ve likely written to you about Extra Gum already. I like this campaign because each ad tells an emotional story using a piece of the product, the wrapper,  in a unique way. My two favorite ads out of the series are “the story of Sara and Juan” and “Origami.” 

I’m currently in an ad campaign class. We learn how to create a full campaign from top to bottom. In the process, our professor gives us in-class creativity assignments. One of the assignments we do frequently is predicting the effectiveness of an advertisement using a creative assessment scoring sheet. We rate the ad from 1-7 in regards to originality, flexibility, elaboration, synthesis and artistic value. This assessment was created by Robert Smith, a communications researcher from Indiana University. We then decide what advertising approach we think was being used. While this is a very subjective method to assess anything, it is an interesting process that allows you to think deeply about the ad.

For today’s blog, I thought it would be interesting to assess one of the Give Extra Get Extra ads to see if it rates high under all the dimensions. The one I will assess is “Origami.” This ad shows the journey of a dad and his young daughter growing up. The two go through different milestones. At each milestone, the dad gives his daughter an origami crane made out of the silver Extra Gum wrapper. In the last scene, the dad is packing a car indicating that his daughter is moving away. During this process, he drops a shoebox, hundreds of paper cranes fall out, and he flashes back in a montage of memories with his daughter and the paper cranes. 

Now, I did give this ad pretty high scores, and hey maybe I’m biased or maybe the ad deserved it. I’m going to say it deserved the scores for the reasons I will explain below. 

First, originality. I find this ad to be original because every gum ad I have seen focuses on the physical product benefits: taste, longevity, providing you with a fresh breathe. This Extra Gum ad, doesn’t focus on the physical gum at all, but rather the emotion and meaning behind the gum. It uses Extra Gum’s slogan, “Give Extra Get Extra,” and personifies it through its emotional storytelling. 

Second, Flexibility. The way stories are told is by stringing events and characters together to tell an overarching message. In this case, the story of the father and daughter is seamlessly being told, therefore, of course, it moves from one subject to another. The overarching message, in my opinion, is that Extra Gum helps you make memories. 

Third, elaboration. Each interaction between the father and daughter is essentially documented. The simplicity of folding the wrapper into little cranes and then having them all come together, in the end, shows a plethora of detail. I think that the ad is able to include more detail than expected because of the unique storyline that is not common among brands of gum. 

I ranked the aspects of the fourth dimension, synthesis, fairly low compared to the other dimensions for this ad. I did so because while I do believe the add is unique and creative, the connections are not unusual. 

In class, we watched an Evian ad, that included dancing and singing babies. You could make the connection to youthfulness, but I personally did find the dancing and singing babies to be an “unusual” connection in regards to water. When I assessed that add I gave it high synthesis scores. “Origami”, to me, was not “unusual.” 

Lastly, artistic value. I found the ad to be visually appealing and captivating. My professor mentions that an ad is good if you can eliminate either the audio or the visual and still receive the message. There is no dialogue in this ad, however, the music and the visuals tell the story well. 

•   Is the ad “out of the ordinary”? 
•   Does it depart from stereotypical thinking?       
•   Is it unique?       
•   Does the ad contain ideas that move from one subject to another?
•   Does it shift from one idea to another?      
•   Does it contain different ideas?      
•   Does the ad contain numerous details? 
•   Does it extend basic ideas and make them more intricate?       
•   Does it contain more details than expected?        
•   Does the ad connect objects that are usually unrelated? 
•   Does it contain unusual connections?       
•   Does it bring unusual items together?       
Artistic Value
•   Is the ad visually or verbally distinctive?
 •   Does it make ideas come to life graphically or verbally?      
•   Is it artistic in its production?       

*this chart was taken from MEJO 673 class assignment*

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