• Facebook
  • Twitter

Doing the Twist – or the art of the twist ending in TV commercials

Doing the Twist – or the art of the twist ending in TV commercials

When it comes two ending TV commercials with a twist there are two schools of thought. The first is that it’s a bad idea since it reduces the replay value of an ad – once you know the twist you’re no longer surprised by it.  The other view is that adding a little sting to an ad gives it a higher retention value and rewards the viewer for paying attention. Today we’re going to look at some ads that feature twists and you can judge for yourself.

The first two ads are form Europe (France and The Netherlands respectively) and use the technique of a long lead up. What do you feel about their replay value?

By the way I’m not going to talk about the products too much as in many cases this could spoil the ending.

 CANAL+ “The Clowns”

Nationale-Nederlanden “Do re mi”


Addressing the replay value problem here is an American ad inspired by a recent film which combines a strong concept for the product with a twist. Even without the twist the commercial stands on its own.

 “Inner Mustang”


Another technique is seen on these widely praised ads, one by Robinsons and one by Guinness. It’s the use of a touching lead into the twist; Guinness’ “dedication, loyalty, friendship…”, Robinsons scene  setting.  This retains an emotional bond with ad and the brand even after the twist is known.  Rewatching the ad gives us that warm feeling once again – not a bad pay off.

Guinness “Basketball”

Robinsons “Pals”


(for bonus points try watching the Robinsons again and finding the clues)

As a side note adding a twist ending can be used to challenge normal perceptions too, especially regarding sexuality

Sometimes to make a statement:

What R U having? (from Australia)


Sometimes to sell:

2 Minutes Life Change (from Thailand) nsfw


Kindle “Perfect at the Beach” (from the US)

And finally in this much lauded, but never shown ad again by Guinness:

Men and women shouldn’t live together


Hopefully you’ve enjoyed watching these, and they’ve helped you decided if you should add a twist to your next video and if so how.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

seven − = 3

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>