This mournful, artfully shot ad starring a lost stuffed panda is like a mini "Toy Story." It opens with an adorable little bear waking up on a dirty city street, looking up to find himself in the chaos of Gotham: 9-5ers shuffle quickly past, while a dog gives him a sniff. You get a sense of what happened to him when he looks hopefully up at a girl holding hands with her mother. Clearly, he's been separated from his child-owner, and from there, we see him embark on an epic quest.
"Where have you been? And do you still think of me?" croons the soft vocals on the soundtrack, making you wonder--was he dumped, forgotten?
The panda makes his way to the train, where he has a moment of connection locking eyes with a boy, but then he's out again, in an even more frightening world. He stows away in a cargo car, treads carefully through the woods and through the snow, where he bumps into a shadowy figure. Could things be taking a dark turn? No, it's alright, as this a friendly stranger, who helps him to the next leg of his journey--riding with sheep in a truck, hitching a lift on a motorcycle, and then, a boat in canal.
It seems he's completed a (circular) world tour by the time we find him back on that city sidewalk. A bell chimes, the panda glances down at his wrist, adorned with a square-shaped device, and he flops down, back into the gutter. The moment of revelation: a man pulls over in a car and sweeps up the panda, dropping him into the lap of a relieved little girl. That device was a Tile, the wireless tracker that helps its users easily find their lost goods.
Created out of Deutsch L.A. and directed by Mark Molloy, this ad is part of Tile's first-ever brand campaign, "Together We Find." Other components include "Lost Panda" posters featuring the bear, named Ernie, as well as an influencer push that will be sharing teaser video of Ernie. Online, there's also a more cheery instructional video featuring the girl and Ernie (all cleaned up), which schools consumers on how to use Tile.
Closer to the holidays, Tile will also be debuting "Lost & Tile: Ernie's Journey," a children's book featuring a dozen "look and find" illustrations inspired by the stories of real Tile customers.