The Super Bowl, Farmers and a Clydesdale

What did the Super Bowl tell us about stories?

What did the Super Bowl tell us about stories?

photo credit: Mr G’s Travels via photopin cc

The Super Bowl, farmers and a Clydesdale

The night the lights went out in the Superdome. But, that wasn’t really the story.

Football itself is a story, isn’t it? An epic battle of one mighty foe facing off against the other, struggling for power, physical prowess playing out on a field with the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”

But there are always mini-stories in the Super Bowl too – the personal stories behind the players (don’t get me started on Ray Lewis), and the stories we see in the commercials.

We laugh at the funny ones, and there are always funny ones, always.

The two that struck me as the most memorable – Dodge Ram’s “So God Made a Farmer” with the voice of Paul Harvey (it was from his speech in 1978 at the National Future Farmers of America Convention). We had several people together watching the game, of all ages, and lots of talking, lots of laughing. As soon as Paul Harvey’s voice said “And on the eighth day,” we all were silent. The images were stunning. Harvey’s voice, as always, was perfect.

The story – touching, memorable. Dodge told us a story. One that some of us identify with from our families, from our lives, from our childhoods. Pride, hope, loyalty – the story worked for some of us on many levels.

The other story that resonated with me – the Clydesdale from Budweiser, “Brotherhood.” Yep, tear-jerker.

Here’s a few things to consider:

I didn’t know I wanted to hear a story about farmers. I didn’t know I wanted to hear about a horse trainer and a horse.

Turns out, I did. I enjoyed those stories. Did they do what they were designed to do? I am talking about them, writing about them, passing along the images and the stories. Will I go out and buy a Dodge or a Budweiser? Probably not today. But, don’t fool yourself, when it comes time to buy another truck, that commercial and those images will come to mind.

Copywriting “experts” tell  us ALL the time – tell your audience a story. How big was this audience? 108 million people watched Super Bowl 2013 on television. 108 million people all got to see those stories about the farmer and the Clydesdale.

Our audiences may not be that big (maybe not anywhere near that amount will ever see your work), but we all want to hear a story. We all want to have our emotions engaged, feel something, be captivated.

If you watched the Super Bowl, what stories worked for you?

About melindamcguirewrites

The young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat. ------ William Faulkner, Nobel Prize Speech, Stockholm, 1950
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7 Responses to The Super Bowl, Farmers and a Clydesdale

  1. Every day my Grandpa came in from the fields to have a late breakfast while he listened to Paul Harvey on the radio. Grandma would give me a bowl of shredded wheat, and a cup of hot Postum, and I’d join him. What a bunch of warm memories.

    Oh, and that Clydesdale commercial. ~sniffle~ Gosh, that one did make me tear up. Such a beautiful story!

    Great post! Thanks for the links. 🙂

    • Laura,
      You made me want to know more about your grandma and grandpa 🙂 We listened to Paul Harvey too! And, my grandmother was always the best cook. I don’t know how she did it, but she could make a five course meal from some flour, milk and eggs.

      • Oh, I know what you mean about the food! I always think about Grandma’s fried chicken. I have tried all my life to recreate what she did, but I can NEVER get it to taste the same. I know that hers went from the skillet to a foil pouch she nested in a roasting pan. It would bake for just a bit, and then… Yum! What I wouldn’t give for even a tiny bite right now!

  2. Pingback: Because Dinosaurs Are Still Freakin’ Awesome « Laura Ritchie's Blog

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