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A witty new ad for Grammarly, the writing improvement software, shows us the power of a expertly crafted story. In “The Wedding Toast,” the best man to-be struggles to find the right words for his friend’s big day – a situation familiar to anyone who’s ever wrestled with the blank page.

The writer suffers for his art – fidgeting, scribbling and revising, nervously eating pizza and cereal, rehearsing in front of the mirror, examining his teeth, pulling out his hair. And in the end, with a little help from the software, he achieves his goal.

What’s so pleasing is that in just 1:16 minutes, it deftly tells three-stories-in-one:

  • The writer’s struggle with the wedding toast
  • The groom’s unfortunate encounter with his mother’s wedding dress
  • The best man’s triumph at the wedding

There’s even a hint of a fourth story about the groom’s checkered dating past.

Writers can learn a lot from the way each story is radically compressed but still hooks you in – thanks to vivid detail and emotion.

Brooklyn-based content agency Mustache created the ad, part of a new “Write the Future” campaign that, according to Grammarly, is “putting storytelling and relatable characters in the foreground and our product in the background.”

The other ads in the series are fun to watch but don’t triumph like “The Wedding Toast.”

I’ve never used this product, so this is not an endorsement of Grammarly. But I enthusiastically endorse superb storytelling.

 

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