Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.
Advertisers often use real-life scenarios in commercials to show how the product is part of everyday living. In this commercial for Keebler Fudge Stripe Original Cookies, the common story of sibling sharing is told over the fate of one last cookie.
Touching, isn’t it? I liked the story. I liked seeing the elder sister’s selfless act. It was nice to see her giving rewarded by the magical appearance of another cookie. (And I like the idea of empty cookie packages magically producing additional cookies.)
You could see the elder sister’s dilemma: to eat the cookie because she got to it first or to go without so her sister could have it. After debating her options, she chose to give the cookie away. She did so cheerfully, willingly, without prompting from her mom.
This is a scripted tale, of course. Few cases of sibling sharing end so amicably. But it gives a framework for the choices we face in serving ourselves or serving others. Our dilemmas may not be as simplistic as giving up a Keebler Fudge Stripe cookie. But Jesus spoke of situations just like this one when He instructed His followers to be the servant to all by choosing to be last (Mark 9:34–36). This commercial shows, in a simplistic way, how this sort of command plays out in a real-life scenario. When we are faced with the dilemma of serving self or serving others, Jesus calls us to serve others.
As for the result, well, sometimes when we choose to do the selfless thing, magical cookies appear to reward us. But oftentimes, when we choose to put others first and to give the last cookie, that’s exactly what happens: We are last and cookieless. But we serve anyhow because Jesus tells us to serve as He did, giving up everything for the sake of another. We give cheerfully and willingly because our reward is in heaven . . . and it is greater than a cookie.