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It's not often a commercial brings viewers to tears, but Vistaprint's latest work is doing just that.
The 20-year-old maker of business cards and other marketing materials has produced a new ad hammering home the power of special moments when building a small business.
The moving commercial, or short story is titled "The Postcard," and it shows a father and his young son starting a bakery together. The son eventually moves on to take a job in the big city, but is reminded of his roots when he receives an anniversary postcard from the bakery. Upon returning home, the father gifts the family business to his son.
Cue the emotions—and make sure you've got a handkerchief ready.
"This literally made me cry!" wrote Facebook fan Hailey Ray. "Vistaprint is a company that really understands how much they make people's dreams come true."
YouTube user Dorothy Potter Snyder called it "beautiful storytelling," saying the moral of the story is that, ultimately, "it's heart that makes a business grow and succeed."
The video has already been viewed more than 300,000 times across social media.
"The authenticity is really what is the hardest thing to capture in any spot," said Liam Shannon, Vistaprint's executive creative director, in a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the video. "They're really good actors, but we wanted to also make sure they came across as really good bakers. They took actual classes."
One could question why a company like Vistaprint would go this route for a commercial, rather than openly promoting the products its site offers.
"We wanted to be able to tell a story that really pulled the viewer in," said Kim DiVincenzo, the company's creative director. "It's about a father and son working together to build this business."
It was the first ad in the company's history that didn't include messaging around offers or discounts.
If you take a close look at the ad, Vistaprint used various marketing-related materials, like a business card, key ring, mug and banner, to gently remind viewers and small business owners where to do their shopping.
"All the things we make that populate their business are what we used to tell the story," Shannon said.
Interestingly, there is no dialogue in the spot because the company wanted the ad to translate across multiple countries. It should be noted that fans were buzzing about the song playing throughout the spot. (The song is titled "Hold on Tight" and was composed by Verité Music, the company said.) While the ad Vistaprint placed online was nearly three minutes long, the TV versions have a length of 30 to 60 seconds.
"Why wasn't this on [during] the Super Bowl?" wondered fan Terry Tocco.
Vistaprint, which recently changed its corporate name to Cimpress N.V., trades on the Nasdaq under ticker CMPR and has a market cap of $2.7 billion.