Who knew a barely two-minute ad about Extra Gum could be the most romantic thing you’ve seen in a long time? Well, Extra and their advertising agency Energy BBDO has managed to do just that with “The Story of Sarah & Juan,” and because it has, this commercial has gone viral and then some. If you don’t at least have a single tear in your eye by the end of this video, your heart may just be a little dead.
[Scroll down and view the video if you don’t want to be spoiled about the story in “Sarah & Juan.”]
“The Story of Sarah & Juan” looks at the meeting of a pair of high school sweethearts and how their relationship evolves, from the excitement of two young people falling in love through the arguments and fights of moving in together to the difficulties of being in separate cities to finally coming back together and making that big commitment.
“Sarah & Juan” is set to the haunting music of Haley Reinhart’s rendition of Elvis Presley’s ballad “I Can’t Help Falling In Love,” and throughout all their experiences they share Extra Gum, because it’s important to have fresh breath, especially in those important moments.
— HollywoodLife (@HollywoodLife) October 11, 2015
But the real essence of “The Story of Sarah & Juan” lies in what Juan is doing when he puts a pen to each gum wrapper. A mystery you won’t find the answer to until the end, when Sarah walks into what looks like a deserted art gallery and discovers that not only was Juan drawing exactly what was happening between them in each of those special moments on the wrapper, but he also framed each and every one so it reads like a visual representation of the story of their love.
And finally, with a crescendo in the music, Sarah comes upon the last wrapper which is an illustration of Juan proposing to her, an event that has yet to happen. Sarah turns, and there’s Juan, on one knee with a diamond in his hand.
Take a look, but make sure you have some tissue at the ready.
@ExtraGum with the major feels in that commercial. I’m a grown man, I shouldn’t be crying.
— Gabe McMullen (@Actually_Gabe) October 9, 2015
Why has this little commercial about “Sarah & Juan” and their Extra Gum taken off the way it has?
The answer very simply lies in the quintessential nature of every human being’s search for love. Pretty much every moment of every day is, at least in some small way, in search of it. So when this commercial touches on that desire, it doesn’t need to say much. It’s primal, and so when we see a guy and a girl smiling shyly at one another, we know exactly what it means. When we see a girl touch a guy’s face on a computer screen, we know what that means. And so the story can be very deep and meaningful without having to be complicated. That’s why so many people are relating to it, and the fact that Energy BBDO seamlessly features Extra Gum and makes it a natural part of the narrative is just brilliant advertising on their part.
But how do you know you’ve absolutely gone viral? When Ellen Degeneres makes a joke about it.
Amazing. All this time, I’ve been wasting my wrappers on chewed gum. http://t.co/vNKpuU9EaY
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) October 9, 2015
And, much to their credit, Wrigley’s Extra Gum came up with this sweet response.
“Sarah & Juan” wasn’t the first of its kind though. It is, in fact, a follow-up to the original heartstring-plucking commercial, “Origami,” Energy BBDO created for Extra Gum revolving around the love of a father for his daughter and how he shows his love by making tiny origami swans out of the gum wrappers, and how she in turn shows how much she loves him by keeping each and every one of them since she was a very little girl.
Take a look, though pull another couple of tissues for this one, too.
[Image of “The Story of Sarah & Juan” courtesy Wrigley Extra and Energy BBDO via Adweek]