A funny yet poignant ad for Extra gum is tapping into a lot of people’s dreams about post-pandemic life.
The new commercial, called “For When It’s Time,” takes place “sometime in the not so distant future” and imagines a day when lockdown suddenly ends.
“And this just in, we are back!” a radio announcer for WGUM (get it?) declares, as people awaken bleary-eyed after more than a year of lockdown. “We can see people again! How about that?”
As the ad continues, bearded men emerge from their shadowy apartments looking like Tom Hanks in “Cast Away,” while a disheveled woman wearing pajamas sits up from under a pile of old pizza boxes — all set to the soundtrack of Celine Dion’s 1996 power ballad, “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now.”
Before long, people are logging off Zoom and racing out of their homes to resume normal life (although some forget to put on pants first). A group of workers stampedes an office high-rise, which has been abandoned for so long that ivy is growing on the revolving door.
People also race to a park to hug and kiss each other, which of course is where the Extra gum comes in handy. (“We could all use a fresh start,” reads the tagline near the end of the ad.)
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Extra Gum is likely hoping that as lockdown restrictions continue to ease in the U.S. and socializing increases, people will once again reach for gum to freshen their breath. Gum purchasing plummeted early on in the pandemic, with gum sales down 31% in April last year compared to the same four-week period the year before, according to Ad Week, which cited research from NielsenIQ.
The hilarious and hopeful ad struck a chord on social media, racking up more than half a million views on YouTube, and it’s safe to say the video inspired a lot of different emotions.
“Hilarious! Put a much needed smile on my face and happy tears rolling down my cheeks. We'll get there,” one person wrote in the comments.
“I must be in worse shape than I thought...I actually wept watching this,” another person shared.
“I laughed, I cried, I snorted,” someone else commented. “My god it feels good to feel again! How is it possible to relate so deeply to a gum commercial?”