So with the end of 2014, and the annual “best of” series that most websites are handing out, I thought I would offer you the best ad of 2014 (in narrative excellence). 

So without further ado, Thai Life Insurance “Unsung Heroes” is the best commercial of 2014. 

As a commercial, the plot structure is tight, well produced, great copy and if you didn’t cry at the 2-minute mark you’d best go find a can of oil because your optic eyeballs need a tune-up you robot.

Thai Life Insurance ads tearjerkers are almost an ad genre on their own in commercials however Thai Life Insurance doesn’t have a monopoly on powerful narratives. In Southeast Asia, ads that go viral are the ones that appeal to base emotions, where people share to everyone in a shotgun blast rather than the more selective sniper strikes to friends and family like in the West. 

Even though it’s unlikely we won’t ever take out life insurance from Thailand (unless your from Thailand in which case life insurance is a awesome idea), 23 million hits on Youtube is a success virally, and undoubtedly Thai Life Insurance is doing quite well for itself for knowing how to craft a great narrative. 

And narratively it’s great not just for its story (again if it didn’t make you cry, robot) but weaved in its go-get-life-insurance message through through the narrative of how acts of kindness every day while not large on their own can pay off well in the future. And encapsulated in a situation that everyone from anywhere can connect to. 

Narratives in ads have always been a winning formula; for example even the Old Spice Commercial is a character development of the confident sexiness of the Old Spice Man). Even Google is no stranger to amazing ads (this one has 12 million hits so far)

Narratively: It emphasizes Google’s ability to bring people to connect with one another even across politics and time.

And as commercials featuring how awesome companies are and listing features aren’t as persuasive as storytelling as we connect with narratives. It’s the reason why reading fiction, develops empathy for others. Good content marketing is about enriching their personal narrative, so it’s not about the product but what the product can do to make their narratives a little happier.