For our veterans, a Remembrance Day ad that will bring a tear to your eye

Posted on Posted in Beloved Brands Explained

poppyRemembrance Day is a special day in Canada. We take a moment of silence at 11 am on the 11th day of the 11th month, to commemorate the very moment that World War One ended.

This year marks the 101st anniversary of the end of the war.

History of Remembrance Day in Canada:

In Canada, every kid in school learns about “In Flanders Fields,” a poem written during the First World War by Canadian physician Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae (November 30, 1872 – January 28, 1918). He was a Canadian physician, author, artist, and soldier during World War I. He served as a surgeon during the Second Battle of Ypres, in Belgium. McCrae was inspired to write “In Flanders Fields” on May 3, 1915, after presiding over the funeral of a friend and fellow soldier Alexis Helmer, who died in the Second Battle of Ypres.

According to legend, fellow soldiers retrieved the poem after McCrae, initially dissatisfied with his work, discarded it. “In Flanders Fields” was first published on December 8 of that year in the London-based magazine Punch. The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem In Flanders Fields.

These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their brilliantly red color became a symbol for the blood spilled in the war.  McCrae died of pneumonia months before the end of the war, while still working at a hospital for Canadian soldiers in Belgium.

Remembrance Day

Bell Poppy Ad

This new Bell ad tells a beautiful story from the eyes of a little girl, as she learns about Remembrance Day and does something very touching for a veteran. It’s a very Canadian storyline, and I hope you can appreciate every little subtlety in this ad. There are no words, and you have to pay close attention to every detail. In the ad, a little girl peers out a school bus window and sees a veteran selling poppies by the side of the road.

It prompts her to google “what is a poppy,” which starts her on the learning process about Remembrance Day. The little girl emails someone in Belgium, asking if they are near Flanders Field, a link to the poem above. Then a letter arrives, presumably from the person in Belgium. The little girl takes the note to the veteran, giving it to him in a very touching tribute and a beautiful moment.

Bell Dieppe Ad

Bell Canada has a long history of paying tribute to our veterans. Below is an ad from the mid-90s, when we were still excited that we could call from anywhere. In the ad, a young 20-year-old visiting Dieppe phones home to Canada to talk to his grandfather, just to say “thank you.” Dieppe holds a special place for Canadians. Two years before D-Day, 6,000 Canadians tried to land on the beach at Dieppe, but less than half survived. We see many tributes to the soldiers, but this one sends a chill through me every time I watch.

Wear a poppy. Lest we forget.

Google Ad will make you cry, without understanding a word that is said

Posted on Posted in Beloved Brands in the Market

Google Advertising India Reunion Old Friends make you cryThe first time I saw this Google India ad, even though I could not understand the language, I realized the great story telling was obvious enough to follow. This is a great example of emotional and creative advertising.

I remember this old P&G advertising guy who always said “you know you have a good spot if you can turn the sound off and still get the ad”. Try that one time and see if it works because it’s very hard.  

Here is a new Google ad where there is no English at all and yet the story is easy to follow. If you want, you can turn on the Closed Captioning by hitting the tiny CC button at the bottom right of the video.  I watched it without understanding one word that was spoken and I was able to follow along. And i cried. 

The ad is beautifully shot, and feels more like a mini-movie than a TV ad. Well, it is 3 minutes and 32 seconds. They stay authentic to the culture, with great visuals, music and language. The story is simple–about two friends who have not seen other since their childhoods. 

The ad shows how much we rely on Google for looking up, finding, tracking  or just checking any little thing that makes our lives just a little bit easier. It captures our attention, getting millions of likes already as it’s being passed around social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. It involves the brand throughout without too much branding. The tears generated at the end makes you want to pass it on, so they can experience what you just did. Well done.  

If you like this story…

You might also enjoy reading about brands that are using consumer insight as the basis of their advertising.  So many Brand Leaders think your job is to represent the brand to the consumer.  What if you were to represent the consumer to the brand? Would your work look different?  Click on this story to read more:   5 Great Ads Based on a Unique Consumer Insight

And if you want to know how to write a better creative brief, here’s a simple step by step process to help you. Click on this story to read more:  How to write an Effective Creative Brief


Beloved Brands: Who are we?

At Beloved Brands, our purpose is to help brands find a new pathway to growth. We believe that the more love your brand can generate with your most cherished consumers, the more power, growth and profitability you will realize in the future.

The best solutions are likely inside you already, but struggle to come out. Our unique engagement tools are the backbone of our strategy workshops. These tools will force you to think differently so you can freely generate many new ideas. At Beloved Brands, we bring our challenging voice to help you make decisions and refine every potential idea.

We help brands find growth

We start by defining a brand positioning statement, outlining the desired target, consumer benefits and support points the brand will stand behind. And then, we build a big idea that is simple and unique enough to stand out in the clutter of the market, motivating enough to get consumers to engage, buy and build a loyal following with your brand. Finally, the big idea must influence employees to personally deliver an outstanding consumer experience, to help move consumers along the journey to loving your brand.

We will help you write a strategic brand plan for the future, to get everyone in your organization to follow. It starts with an inspiring vision that pushes your team to imagine a brighter future. We use our strategic thinking tools to help you make strategic choices on where to allocate your brand’s limited resources. We work with your team to build out project plans, creative briefs and provide advice on marketing execution.

To learn more about our coaching, click on this link: Beloved Brands Strategic Coaching

We make Brand Leaders smarter

We believe that investing in your marketing people will pay off. With smarter people behind your brands will drive higher revenue growth and profits. With our brand management training program, you will see smarter strategic thinking, more focused brand plans, brand positioning, better creative briefs that steer your agencies, improved decision-making on marketing execution, smarter analytical skills to assess your brand’s performance and a better management of the profitability of the brand.

To learn more about our training programs, click on this link: Beloved Brands Training

If you need our help, email me at or call me at 416 885 3911

Beloved Brands Graham Robertson