‘Brave Novo World’ ad perfectly targets small business owners

by | May 16, 2022 | Blog | 0 comments

Somehow, Court TV’s coverage of the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard trial appeared on my TV this morning and — during a sidebar — the commercial above played several times in a row, the way commercials on Court TV often do. It’s an ad launching Novo‘s “Brave Novo World” campaign, and I love it.

The spot homes in on the horror show small business owners have faced in recent years. As an announcer gravely ticks off their travails, the owners’ faces flash by in their assorted workplaces. They look into the camera, sober and aware of the mayhem. Nevertheless, they persist.

You’ve been resized. Virtualized. Pandemicized.

You’ve been copyright-wronged. You’ve been ransomwared and you’ve been terrified.

But always brave.

The ad is a poignant distillation of the sort of “hero’s journey” marketing recipe taught by experts like Donald Miller via his StoryBrand system.

Basically, your customer is the hero. They are on a perilous journey — a mission to make things better. You, the wise wizard, are offering a brilliant solution, a bridge over troubled waters that can lead the hero to victory.

It’s also a polished, modern update of the classic darkest-before-the-dawn formula used by Eddie Lawrence as “The Old Philosopher” in his hit 1956 single, complete with rousing marching band music.
You say your furniture’s out all over the sidewalk ’cause ya can’t pay the rent, and ya got chapped lips and paper cuts, and your feet’s all swollen up and blistered from pounding the pavement, looking for work?

Is that what’s troubling you, fella?

Lift your head up high and take a walk in the sun with dignity and stick-to-itiveness, and you’ll show the world, you’ll show them where to get off! You’ll never give up, never give up, never give up … that ship!

(There’s no reason to mention here how the “Old Philosopher” bit ends.)
While Eddie Lawrence used “National Emblem” in his routine, the rousing march music in the Novo commercial is the 2013 release “Track Suit,” by Minor Mishap Marching Band of Austin, Texas.

There’s not a ton of information online about the production of the ad. Greg DiNoto, CEO at DiNOTO, mentioned it on LinkedIn a couple of weeks ago, thanking some team members.

I believe the first face in the spot is Aisha Diori.

“Brave Novo World” is, of course, a play on Brave New World, a 1932 dystopian science fiction novel by Aldous Huxley that I have considered reading once or twice. It’s about a future world where society has been engineered out of messy emotions and into a neat caste system.
Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
So what is Novo, anyway? Apparently, it’s an app for managing the finances of your small business. You can pay people, get paid, do invoicing, make debit card transactions, integrate with Stripe, Square, and PayPal, set money aside, transfer funds, deposit checks, send ACHs and paper checks, send international transfers, pay via Apple Pay or Google Pay, and so on.

Novo is the technology piece — the app. The actual bank is Middlesex Federal Savings of Somerville, Massachusetts.

And now — back to work.

 

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