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Ordinary People Chase Their Acting Dreams In This Cute Ad For Mars’ Goodnessknows Bars

A charming twist on ads with non-actors.

Ordinary People Chase Their Acting Dreams In This Cute Ad For Mars’ Goodnessknows Bars

WHAT: The “Try A Little Goodness” campaign for the Goodnessknows snack square.

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WHO: BBDO San Francisco for Goodnessknows/Mars.

WHY WE CARE: Ads with non-actors are everywhere, and while there are occasional winners, often those ads just look like a bunch of people trying to be polite to a guy leading a focus group by talking about how impressive it is that some truck won a bunch of awards they’d never heard of until that minute. In other words–for these ads to work, the real people we see in the ad can’t just be real, they have to be real people we relate to. That’s something that this campaign gets right, as it taps non-actors who’ve always wanted to chase their dream of being a performer, gives them the script to the ad, and films what happens when they give it a go. Spoiler alert: They’re not all camera-ready, but the spot is kind to them and rewards their enthusiasm, resulting in an ad that’s more memorable by far than if they had just had a pro come in and nail it in one take. A similar spot for musicians who’ve dreamed of creating a jingle (and what musician hasn’t lay awake at night thinking of things that rhyme with “goodnessknows”?) stretches the idea without breaking it, and the whole thing lands squarely on the right side of the charming/cloying divide.

About the author

Dan Solomon lives in Austin with his wife and his dog. He's written about music for MTV and Spin, sports for Sports Illustrated, and pop culture for Vulture and the AV Club.

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