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?