Chase “This Is the Story”

We’re trained from infancy to enjoy hearing stories, which is why it’s seldom a bad idea to give a narrative arc to sales pitches. This spot via mcgarrybowen in New York, promoting Chase’s new Ink credit card for small business, gets good mileage out of the technique. A key selling point for the Ink card is that, as a voiceover tells us, “It’s accepted at twice as many places worldwide as American Express.” To give substance to that claim, the spot tracks a sequence of Ink card purchases that enabled a diverse range of entrepreneurs to transact their business. It’s the card that bought the saw that cut the lumber that was used to construct a storage space that contained the organic tomato that was sold to a fancy restaurant, where we see the tomato being sliced. If the spot simply told us that the card could be used in all these venues, it’d seem meandering and dull. You’d feel the agency had been given a random collection of elements and told to toss them all into the pot in the advertising equivalent of an Iron Chef competition. But by giving the material even the slim vestige of a plot line, the spot engages and holds our attention while giving a more purposeful sense of the card’s utility. –Mark Dolliver