In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s Christmas.
So, as is tradition, marketers want to harness this time of joy and reflection to make us love them. And that’s exactly what Spanish herb liqueur Ruavieja has set out to do.
Its approach, however, is definitely different and, some might say, a little shocking. From an alcohol brand I found this spot (ironically) rather sobering.
See, I’m used to commercials reminding me that life is fleeting, it moves very fast, that we need to make the most out of it. But I’m not used to them making me question how I am living my life and even how long I have left to live.
The Big Idea
Ruavieja has asked some big questions about time, relationships, life expectancy, and even my need to watch TV. I’m discombobulated.
As I watch these friends discover that they have a horribly short amount of time to spend together I ask myself: “Why has this Spanish liqueur brand done this?”.
The tipple is asking these questions because it wants us to connect itself with connecting us. It wants us to associate the brand with the best moments that we spend together.
What They Did
Harking back to the golden-age schtick best exemplified in Dove’s ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’, the four-minute spot uses real people, combines them with cold, hard statistics and lands on a human truth: that we should think about seeing more of each other and about spending less time glued to screens.
This universal truth is hammered home as our subjects learn that they actually need to make the most of the time they enjoy together as, through a series of statistical revelations, we learn that by looking at each person’s life expectancy a realisation surfaces for each pair: the whole thing brings the saying “time waits for no man” into sharp relief.
And it hits home as we are then – a little jarringly it has to be said – reminded this social experiment is in fact a Christmas ad.
Having cleverly provoked these thoughts, the brand follows through as (via a website) you too can find out how much time – in years, days, hours, minutes – you might have to spend with your loved ones before the inevitable happens.
This spot has a real insight at its core: that we put off spending time with the important people and perhaps over-prioritise the more mundane and meaningless pursuits in life.
The film has certainly resonated in Spain – 10 million views in the first week. It’s ambitious too, in four minutes, it actually tries to prompt people to change their behaviours.
Watching this genuinely made me want to curb some bad habits: I want to see the people special to me.
Whilst this was a bit clunky and a little on the heavy side, the commercial will at the very least plant Ruavieja in your brain. Right there next to the bit that is reserved for loved ones.
The insight is good. The approach to celebrating life interesting. The message is clear and even sincere.
Perhaps the film could have been shorter, but otherwise this work hits the spot for me. I’m off to spend some time with some loved ones.
If you’re reading this on a phone on a sofa next to someone you love, perhaps you should too.