The Undiscovered Story Behind an Ad


What's missing from the story I found today? From the Most Watched Today website, I read this: "Nature Valley Canada recently sat down three generations of families and asked them one simple question, 'What did you like to do for fun as a kid?' Take a moment to see how they responded, then grab your kids and go rediscover the joy of nature."  [NatureValleyCanada] [H/T:Adweek / Mashable]

This Nature Valley Canada ad is worth a minute of your time. While the ad certainly makes a point regarding the importance of exposing our kids to the joys of nature, it has also stirred up a bit of a defensive frenzy from parents regarding how they are really raising their children. The point is clearly made that our kids are spending way too much time on electronic hand-held devices and not enough time doing what we used to call "playing outside". But what questions were either not asked or asked but not included in the ad? I believe there is always a hidden treasure in a undiscovered story behind the story.

As a producer of living stories for families, I have found so much more to a story by simply asking a clarifying question. The answers to such questions uncover the essence of the story originator. In the case of this video, it would be the essence and feelings of the parents and grandparents of the kids interviewed. One of the questions not asked of the older generations of this ad is, "What concerns did your parents express regarding your choice of play when you were a kid?" Or, "How would your parents have answered the same question I ask you, 'When your daughters grow up..., what do you think will happen if this trend continues?'" My parents' generation's answer was to be worried about the excessive exposure their kids (us) had to that loud, obnoxious rock music. But we came out okay!

My point is not to minimize the overexposure many of today's kids have to video games and electronic devices. We should be concerned about it. My point is to ask the important clarifying questions. For the parents in this video, I would love to know their answer to, "I hear that you are concerned for your son to be 'missing out on what's out there in the beautiful world'. What, then, do you plan to do about it? What have you and your friends who are also parents discussed regarding this issue?"

There's always an undiscovered story behind the story. Ask the questions and enjoyed finding the treasures in the answers.