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Bear with me while I stray into marketing territory for a moment, but I found something really interesting and effective about this commercial I saw today.

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I don’t really pay attention to car ads when they’re on tv. (Does anyone, really, who owns a DVR?) But there was something about this Dodge Dart commercial that made me actually watch. Watch actively, rather than passively. Was it the length of the ad? The almost sarcastic quality of the narrator’s voice? The music?

Yeah, those were all nice, but they weren’t it. The ad was edited very well, making effective use of fast-paced cuts then slowing down to black that emphasized the length of the process they were discussing. I also dug the section about 35 seconds in where they talked about building a prototype, hating it, and chucking it out. It’s nice to see a large corporation discussing the reality of failure, especially given Dodge’s recent bankruptcy. But none of these things were really what made me watch.

Then I realized it was the thing that I’m always trying to preach to myself – they told a story. And they told it well. Sometimes, it really can be that simple. Find the narrative.

(And to cover my butt, I should state that I definitely am not endorsing Dodge, Fiat, or Chrysler by talking about this. I just thought it was a good commercial.)