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2 min read

Tension Makes a Story. And Stories Make a Sale.

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If you've been following our blog - you know by now that storytelling drives immersion.

The human brain seeks tension. We know it's a bit lazy, and it takes some intrigue to get our brains to wake up and pay attention. 

But this ultimately always leads to the same question. You build the story, you increase the tension . . . how do you fit in the brand?

An easy way to do this is pop a logo up on the screen at moments of high immersion. This will generally increase recall and help drive future sales

But the most effective strategy? Build your brand right into the tension - and better yet, the resolution - of your story.

When you're driving immersion AND your brand is integral to your story? That's success. 

Enter Michelob Ultra. In a 30-sec cut of their Super Bowl ad, they build an incredibly simple story with their product tag - Pure Gold - baked right in. 

Screen Shot 2022-04-15 at 4.04.48 PM With an average immersion score of 84 out of 100 - this ad was better than 90% of all the content we measure!

45% of the audience was captivated throughout and only 9% tuned out. 

With this score, Michelob Ultra's ad clocks in 31 points higher than the industry norm of 53 for this type of content. And nearly the whole time - we are looking right at their product and talking about PURE GOLD. You can watch the full ad and measurement here. 

So how did they do it?

The tension starts as the ad opens and the scene is set at Superior Bowl. The server from the bowling alley delivers a refreshing, glistening Michelob Ultra to Becky G - a beautiful, shiny celeb cameo who doesn't seem to belong in the ho-hum scenery around here. 

He challenges her on the order:

"Michelob Ultra Pure Gold, huh?"

She responds by listing all the things she has that are gold, while we admire her gold earrings, gold rings and - let's just admit it - golden appeal. 

The dialogue is positioned as a challenge between her defending her drink choice. The server continues to challenge her as the ad goes on. 

The story holds interest as the tension is unresolved.

Where is this dialogue going? Why is he challenging her?

And Michelob Ultra Pure Gold is built right in. 

All the inter-personal tension is alleviated with a light joke as the camera pans out to include the bottle. 

Now - we're not saying this is Game of Thrones level plot here.

Michelob Ultra isn't building a masterful narrative.

But the lightScreen Shot 2022-04-15 at 4.10.07 PM tension in this dialogue is enough to hold the brain in a state of immersion for the entirety of the ad. 

And this is especially meaningful because we've got the product and conversation adjacent to the product at the forefront of the entire commercial. 

We've said before that cameos don't work on their own. And that's true!

But Becky G's golden star-quality in this cameo brings higher value tension to the dialogue, helping sustain our 30-seconds of high immersion. 

Putting your logo at the height of high immersion in your ads will absolutely drive recall and future action better than if it were at a lower point in your advertisement.

But baking your product right into the story? Well - that's pure gold. (sorry - had to.)DROP YOUR VIDEO HERE  FOR A FREE MEASUREMENT

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