Slice-of-Life Definition:
Is an advertising technique where a real life problem is presented in a dramatic situation and the item being advertised becomes the solution to the problem. This advertising format is relied upon heavily by detergent manufacturers.

The Slice-of-Life format was first made famous by Procter and Gambles in the 1950’s during the early days of television advertising. During this time, P&G spent massive amounts of money on advertising and promotion and the company controlled 45-50 percent of the household products market.

Slice-of-Life Format:
Made up of 4 Components:

· Encounter
· Problem
· Interaction
· Solution

Example: A commercial where a child playing soccer and his parents are cheering (the encounter). His dirty uniform is shown with comments by the other children that it will never some clean before the championship game the next day (the problem). Another parent then introduces the benefits of the new laundry detergent (the interaction). The commercial ends with the proud parents taking their daughter to a championship game in a clean uniform (the solution).

Slice -of-life executions are possible in most media, including TV commercials, and print material such as magazines or billboards. They are also becoming very common in business-to-business advertising as companies use this approach to demonstrate how their products and services can be used to solve business problems.

Sometimes Slice-of-Life television commercials do not work, primarily because the intended consumer’s attention is pulled away from the product and focuses on another element in the story. Slice-of-life will only work if the consumer’s attention is on the product and sales message.
Some of the important things to remember when writing a slice-of-life commercial are:
· The story must be easy to understand, especially by the intended consumer.
· The character should be believable
· Make sure that the product becomes central to the plot of the story. The product’s name should be mentioned several times so that is registers in the consumer’s mind.
· Make sure that the intended consumer’s attention should be captured in the first few seconds.
· Make certain that the product’s major benefit to the customer is conveyed.
Make certain that the intended consumer’s attention focuses on the product, no on something else.

In some of the slice-of-life ad’s the actors can portray the dilemma or problem and solve the problem themselves. In others, a voice-over explains the benefits or solution to the problems that the good, service or company provides.
Slice-of-life commercials always avoid disasters. By using the advertised brand, a happy ending is always the result.

This video, taken from is an example of Slice-of-Life advertising but also demonstrates the effects of Dramatization.

Dramatization is similar to the slice-of-life executional framework in the sense that it uses the same format in which a problem is first presented and then a solution is offered. The only difference is that dramatization uses a higher level of excitement and suspense to tell the story.

For more information see also:


Clow, Kenneth E., and Donald Baack.(2010)."Integrated Advertising, Promotion, and Marketing Communications", Fourth Edition, Prentice Hall Upper Saddle River.

Sirsi, Ajay K., Michael R. Solomon, J.Brock Smith, and Elnora W. Stuart. (2005). “Marketing: Real People, Real Decisions”, Second Edition. Toronto: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Tuckwell, Keith J. (2009). “Canadian Advertising in Action”, Eighth Edition. Toronto: Pearson Prentice Hall.