4 Clever Examples Of Storytelling in TV Commercials

October 30, 2023

Storytelling is a great way to capture the human brain.

Research says the human mind spends about one-third of waking hours in a daydream. Unless we are pulled into a story. We may drift during a dull meeting or while working through spreadsheets, but our focus is locked in while watching a movie or reading a book.

That’s why story is such a compelling approach for marketing. When we create a story focused on the customer, people lean in and pay attention. They see something that stands out, something that connects directly to them. In a world where we get thousands of personal, professional, and marketing messages per day, companies must work harder than ever to create a story that captivates the audience.

Elements of the StroyBrand Framework

The StoryBrand Framework ia a 7-part formula of storytelling designed to help companies create clarity in their messaging. It's not just about marketing; it's about communicating anything. We've used it with our clients to do everything from marketing funnels to sales pitch decks to customer marketing campaigns.It works. Every time. Why? Because it uses story elements. Since story captures our attention, people pay more attention when they feel like they're in a story.

This approach works really well in commercials.

Story in TV Commercials

Televisions commercials have been around for several decades. It’s a medium most of us know well. But with TV subscriptions in decline, the traditional TV commercial has moved online to streaming services like Hulu and Netflix. Just like with televisions, these digital commercials are only as good as the story found in them.

Creating video ads for our business can be a daunting task. Thankfully some companies do this well, providing helpful examples to us. Here are four examples of recent commercials that excel in their ability to tell a story.

GMC: Dad like a pro

This ad tugs at the heartstrings. It shows a young boy who shows great admiration for his dad. Everything this kid does is a mimic of his father. So what does his dad do? Get him a Power Wheels version of his pickup truck.

Why it works: GMC sets an aspirational identity for dads. Your kid mimics everything you do because they think you’re the greatest thing ever. And that includes your kid wanting to drive your truck.


The team at Visit Florida showed what happens when you give people a clear vision of success. By combining recent footage of cities in Florida, people around the country saw the sunshine, beaches, and activities they’re missing. If that doesn’t create FOMO, I don’t know what does.

Why it works: They simply show us what we miss. If our vision for a better future involves sunshine and the beach, then Florida is where we need to go. In other words, it shows what success looks like.


Sometimes I think the marketing team at Publix sets out to answer this question: “Can a grocery store make people cry with emotion?” Their commercials are emotional juggernauts guaranteed to pull at the heart strings. Those folks in the Florida-based grocery store know how to turn grocery shopping into an emotional experience.

Why it works: Food is placed throughout the commercial. Why? Because food is part of life, and Publix says they’re here for all of life’s moments. They're here to play the Guide, the character who helps you

Amazon Prime

Amazon goes after the two things guaranteed to get attention: babies and dogs. But what if the baby doesn’t like the dog? Amazon to the rescue. This commercial for Amazon Prime, their membership plan offering free 2-day shipping, probably makes you want to buy a lion mane for your own dog.

Why it works: Amazon’s role in this situation is simple: solve a problem for the customer. With thousands of items and free shipping, Amazon says they probably have everything you could need.

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