Before you read any further, watch this.
Now read on.
Call me sentimental. Call me emotional. But seriously, this is one of the most touching ads I’ve ever seen.
This is the power of advertising. To take something silly, ridiculous and over-the-top (a bear mascot) and turn it into something heartbreaking and important.
This ad works on so many levels that it’s hard to know where to begin.
First, it’s interesting to note that the audience really has no idea what exactly is being advertised for the majority of the running time. At first, it appears to be an ad about bears giving free hugs. But we know that can’t be the real motive. What a bold move by the agency to have “nothing” happen for an entire 65 seconds.
And then the reveal comes, and it’s crushing. Those last ten seconds showing the disabled man standing all alone, looking out into the street for any sign of comfort, are just gut-wrenching.
The ad is for Pro Infirmis, a Swiss organization that gives care to disabled people and is part of their “Get closer” campaign.
The real kicker for me is the use of music. In case you’re not familiar with the song, it’s “The Funeral” by Band of Horses, and it’s probably one of my all-time favorites.