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Fables, Familiarity, and Resonance

Consciousness of our cultural heritage, and our understanding of the world we live in, are informed and nurtured by stories that we can relate to. The fables and nursery rhymes that we grew up with play an important role in our discovery of the societal values that we share and our intellectual development.

When given a fresh twist or unexpected connection, fables and nursery rhymes offer an opportunity for Art Directors and Copywriters to explore ideas that resonate with persuasive memorability and metaphorical meaning for viewers.

The Humpty Dumpty Fable.

The well known English nursery rhyme character, has been referred to in a large number of works of literature and popular culture. He came to the attention of an expanding reading public through the hugely popular Lewis Carol book, ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’, translated into 65 languages, and in which Humpty Dumpty is depicted as a round egg.

Humpty Dumpty TurboTax Parodies

Advertising Agency: Wieden+ Kennedy, Portland, USA

Humpty Dumpty is aided in ‘picking up the pieces’ after his great fall and ensuing hospitalisation recovery in these entertaining and meticulously crafted commercials directed by Film Director Ivan Zacharias.

1. TurboTax, The Great Fall

2. Turbo Tax, The Recovery


The Three Little Pigs Story

This popular fable is arguably best known in the version that was published in ‘English Fairy Tales’ by Joseph Jacobs. The various morals that have been drawn from the story have become embedded in Western culture.

3. The Guardian Open Journalism, ‘The Three Little Pigs’

Advertising Agency: BBH (Bartle Bogle Hegarty London)

Directed by Ringan Ledwidge, this Cannes Gold Lion commercial is superbly crafted and is imaginative storytelling at its best and most powerful.

Besides motivating a huge online discussion about civic rights and social responsibility, the commercial also served as a catalyst for many academic studies. Six years later many advertising professionals still regard the Guardian’s ‘Three Little Pigs’ as the most influential and impactful commercial of the decade.

Aesop’s Fables

 A collection of stories credited to a slave and storyteller of Ancient Greece became known as Aesop’s Fables. In modern times Aesop’s enduring fables continue to be reinterpreted and used as metaphoric references in literary and verbal communication.

4. Mercedes-Benz AMG GT, The Tortoise and The Hare

Advertising Agency: Merkley + Partners, New York, USA

The live coverage of the American Super Bowl Football Championships attracts an annual TV audience in excess of 100 million and viewer expectations of being entertained by commercials with rewarding stories, are at an all time high.

Mercedes-Benz in 2015 did not disappoint. Directed by Robert Stromberg, ‘The Tortoise and The Hare’ commercial provided an entertaining, contemporary spin on the ancient Aesop Fable and loved by viewers.


5. Mercedes-Benz AMG GT, Behind The Scenes of ‘The Fable’

A great introduction to the collaborative creative disciplines involved in the making and crafting of ‘The Tortoise and The Hare’ commercial.