the simplicity of giving

Our favourite Christmas advert this year doesn't feature snow, trees or any Arctic wildlife. The 'Real Giving' campaign from Save the Children excels in simple storytelling.

We're huge fans of simplifying the message and encourage our clients to do the same when creating their presentations. The clearer your message can be conveyed, the easier it will be for your audience to remember.

The Save the Children advert has one strong consistent message – Giving. From the opening shot of the boy carrying two large bottles of water to the contemporary version of 'Give a Little Love' from Bugsy Malone, the theme is instantly established and reinforced throughout the following 60 seconds.

We see our hero helping person after person - young and old - with everyday tasks such as brushing their teeth, dishing up food and helping with schoolwork. The final shot where he opens the umbrella to protect his younger brother from the rain rounds it off perfectly with the message: "Giving. It makes life better"

This is a departure for Save the Children who traditionally have used their advertising platforms to convey hard-hitting, literal messages with a narration outlining the exact issues they deal with, such as the emotional advert below:

Although clearly very serious and upsetting, research suggests UK audiences have become increasingly desensitised to this kind of shock advertising.

Moving to a subtler story format makes it far easier for us to engage with - the theme of giving is universally understood, regardless of wealth or location. Of course this is intentionally timed with the Christmas period to make it all the more pertinent and it's very effective. Here's a brief story-behind-the-story video which is also worth watching:

Imagine if your next presentation was only 60 seconds long. Could you identify the one clear message you'd like the audience to act upon?

Image credit: Save the Children

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