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The Human Story

Before data and science, there was first art.

Instagram has made a bejeweled life the goal of a lifetime. Laughing friends, travels, parties, posh cafes, Insta-worthy food… the channel has quietly shaped #lifegoals for each of us, especially those who grew up in hyper-connected cities.


Ads seem to have travelled in that direction too. UOB’s ‘Right by every generation’, NTUC Income’s ‘True care is not always obvious’ and Starhub’s ‘The world’s fastest band’ are just some examples – selfies, emojis and being trendy are must-haves to relate to millennials.





With the rise of these trend chasers, comes the rise of millennials, Gen Z, who have experienced enough of life to understand what’s important and valuable with the life we are given. 


Pandeymonium, Piyush Pandey’s book on advertising reveals a lot about what stirs a human heart. It comes down to a few universal human truths: family, friends, society, self- assurance, happiness, acceptance, and so on (you get the point). What motivates each of us to do something, anything, is the desire to attain any of these universal truths.


Why is this important for us as marketers to understand? 


Because we’re not just competing to get space in our consumers’ newsfeed. We’re competing for space in their lives. Our ability to leave an impression depends on how much we’re able to contribute to those life goals. 


Take this ad by McDonald’s “Come home” (Chinese version). The entire ad represents every moment of a local’s life growing up, from Chinese New Year, to the excitement of a first date, the wonderful moments of parenthood, NS, getting married and how McDonald’s exists to facilitate that. 



And as I watch this one minute ad, I do remember every moment of my own life, growing up, and I do recollect all the moments I craved McDonald’s and got my friends to go along. In my life, this is a one minute well-spent. 


So that’s what we want to do. We don’t just want to create funky, trendy videos. That’s easy. We want to create moments that reflect the human story, and work with purposeful brands that exist with the same values we do.