The Teddy Bear

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(published originally in Vanguard Communications’ InSites Blog)

“I love you, baby girl.”

It’s a refrain in the new Duracell battery ad, a weeper that shows how one little girl deals with her daddy’s deployment and how a battery-operated teddy bear with her father’s voice is a source both of hope and of despair, when it reminds her of, but doesn’t quite replace, her far-away father.

The ad isn’t the brainchild of some executives sitting in a room. Duracell executives told Mashable that they were in a family’s home and asked to see the children’s favorite toys. Out came a bear similar to the one in the ad, and out came the story, re-enacted by actors in the commercial.

There are many heart-wrenching ads, especially around any holiday, but this July 4 ad rings especially true — because it is. And, the red-white-and-blue cherry on top is that Duracell is donating $100,000 to the USO’s Comfort Crew for Military Kids, which helps children deal with family deployment.

Communication based on truth followed by a real investment in an issue. It’s a terrific recipe for the most effective kind of communication.

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