Even This Gas Station Brand Is Trying To Make You Cry

In which an enigmatic elderly woman makes a mysterious and emotional journey.

Even This Gas Station Brand Is Trying To Make You Cry

WHAT: A 90-second spot for gas station brand Esso (ExxonMobil’s brand name in markets outside the U.S.), with a lady driving many miles to an appointment for which she is running 43 years late.

WHO: Esso, Adam&EveDDB

WHY WE CARE: Who is Sophie and why is she making this arduous journey? No one knows. The only real clue we have is a wistful glance at an old photograph. We assume she is seeking a lost love, in the twilight of her years. But she could just as easily be a stalker, recently released from prison. We half expected (*hoped) the camera would pan left at the end to reveal a furious wife.

Yep, sadvertising has now reached the point that a gas station ad may even get the waterworks going. The spot isn’t Esso’s first foray into more emotional territory under its “Journeys That Matter” campaign. It ran a holiday spot last year showing a child’s perspective of a drive to visit a grandfather at Christmas. However, “Sophie’s Journey,” directed by Nick Gordon, takes things to a whole new level.

About the author

Louise Jack is a London-based journalist, writer and editor with a background in advertising and marketing. She has written for several titles including Marketing Week, Campaign and The Independent.



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