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Create Award-Winning Ads with this Extreme Formula

Creativity Enhancement Trainer, Yonathan Dominitz of Mindscapes, gave a lecture in Trinidad & Tobago several years ago. Dominitz had studied the winners of Cannes Lions, an international advertising festival, for years and had identified some patterns in the approaches taken by these award-winning ad agencies. He identified one such creativity technique as Extreme Consequence.

Consequences pushed to the Limit

When the Extreme Consequence method is used an unexpected, unrealistic, story or situation is presented. At the end of the sequence, one realizes that what one has seen is an extreme consequence, an exaggerated side effect, of using the product. The use of this technique often results in bizarre or hilarious effects.

Using Dominitz’ method, we combed through the 2015 crop of Cannes Lions winners to find the best example of Extreme Consequence.

You’re Not You When You’re Hungry

Probably the most famous example of the Extreme Consequence technique is Snickers You’re not you when you’re hungry Campaign. Using the power of recognisable celebrities, Snickers memorably exaggerates the consequences of being hangry (hungry-angry). A bar of Snickers comes to the rescue, reminding users that Snickers Satisfies (the brand tagline). The campaign was launched during 2010’s Super Bowl and featured the enduringly popular Betty White. In 2015, Snickers combined the nostalgia of the Brady Bunch with the B-list pulp of Machete Kills’ star, Danny Trejo.

Get There Faster

How do you convey that the subway is the best way to get around town? The Beijing Subway does it with an ad series featuring various emergency workers, who have opted to take the subway rather than their emergency vehicles. First Responders, Firemen and Pizza Delivery are depicted using the subway to get there faster.
Beijing Subway Get there Faster

Makes Smart Kids

This ad is so subtle it might be easy to miss the messsage, but its subtlety is kinda the point. Play-doh has made the child so creative and imaginative they can near-perfectly mimic real life. In this case, the child pulls the old switcheroo using play-doh to cover their tracks.
Play-doh makes smart kids

Terminal Velocity

The road literally falls away in this campaign which visually conveys the Volkswagen Golf’s acceleration. What better way to convey the breathtaking effect of a ride that goes from 0-100 in just 5 seconds than with gravity. A little nod to Inception can’t hurt.
Volkswagen Golf R Terminal Velocity

Watch out for the Silver Hand

Canal Digital has released a hysterically funny ad exaggerating how wrong life can go if you miss out on television’s water-cooler moments. The ad depicts a man who misses a TV show that gets the whole world talking, making him isolated and bitter.

How can you use this proven award-winning technique in your campaigns? What would be the Extreme Consequence of using your product or service?

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