“Surprise!”: This One Element Can Make Others Pay Attention

While watching television and listening to the radio, it is rare that a basic commercial will ever catch my attention. Myself, as well as many other people in this world, tend to tune out commercials because they can be boring, long, and disengaging. However, what if a commercial broke the normal patterns that everyone expects? And what if that commercial gave you some sort of insight? These surprise and concrete elements that are found in some commercials are the ones that stick with people.

A great example of a commercial that uses surprise and concreteness is below:

This commercial breaks the normal patterns of a regular commercial by including only music. Normally, we are used to hearing someone ramble on and on about why you should buy a product or what time a new episode of a television show is on, but the sad music that is used in this commercial instantly makes the audience wonder what is going on.

This commercial also uses a surprise element by quickly changing the direction of the story. It starts off telling the story about two sisters who are living their dreams together and then takes a turn when announcing that one sister is ill and the other one gave up her spot to compete in the Olympic games. It is a heartwarming commercial that does a wonderful job at drawing the audience in.

One interesting fact about this commercial is that after a short period time of being aired, it was banned. The ad was no longer allowed to be shown on television due to the rules of the United States Olympics Committee that said no business that was not an official sponsor could use Olympic athletes for their benefit.

Although this commercial was banned, it was a great example of a commercial that made the audience pay attention. It had the element of surprise and concreteness that made it stick.

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