By Melissa White
Meet Sarah and Juan, a pair of high school sweethearts who share their life of ups and downs with us over a short two minute video. At the time of this posting, the two characters of Wrigley’s Extra Gum’s newest commercial have raked in over 11 million views. By any standard, that’s not bad for a gum video!
There is a real question of how a story of life events can resonate so much with the public. When you think about it, the answer is pretty simple. A portion of Sarah and Juan lies in all of us. Sarah and Juan’s experiences are universal. It's hard to forget “the love connection” that comes from the first engaging glance, that first special date, or the special invitation to the prom. For a young person (teens/young adults - the main target for chewing gum), it is also exciting to think about a high school sweetheart that you could end up sharing your life with... including having children! Whatever the case may be, love is a universal theme and we all have that one person who we will never forget. In the video, as the story of Sarah and Juan progresses, the viewer is reminded of his/her own romantic relationship - from the first argument and making up - to a love-of-a-lifetime proposal. But why would so many people be interested in a video that is a replication of our own lives? From the way I see it, we relate to the characters and their emotions. There is also an extra piece of idealism in their world that we all long for. Through all of those ups and downs, it is Sarah and Juan’s fairy-tale ending that we’re all searching for.
When watching the communication, I couldn't help but think of how much a little thing- like a piece of gum (Extra gum) can play in making life so much better. In the case of Sarah and Juan, a stick of (Extra) gum was the first "flirt offering" (sharing a stick), made the first kiss that much better (fresh breath!), provided the peace offering after an argument, and was the catalyst for a happily ever after proposal. Not bad for a piece of gum.
Wishing all you gum chewers that extra squeeze in life and love that comes from a stick of gum.