“New York had lied to me I needed the truth. Oh I need somebody, I needed someone I can trust.” Dead Sea, The Lumineers.
The most popular Super Bowl commercial of all time, the one that people remember, never once mentions the product it was created to sell. In fact, you never see the product – not once – throughout the entire (very expensive) 60 second spot. That blows my mind.
It’s called “Puppy Love,” a Budweiser spot featuring an adorable dog, one of Budweiser’s iconic Clydesdale horses, and some super attractive farmers. And none of them – dog, horse, farmers – are drinking a beer. What gives?
Budweiser understands the power of storytelling. In today’s world of information overload, we’re all cynical consumers. We don’t want a lecture on the things we “need”. We look at data as misleading and confusing. Our attention spans have shrunk to a mere 8-seconds (according to Microsoft), so we don’t have time to compare and contrast.
With “Puppy Love,” Budweiser ignored all these 1970s marketing techniques and instead sought an emotional connection. It told a story of friendship, hardship, and diversity, all in less than a minute. The message? Budweiser isn’t just a beer, it’s a symbol of companionship. Is there someone you need to reconnect with? Treat them to a Budweiser, because that’s the beer company that understands you.
Clear. Concise. Creative. And incredibly powerful.
Not every company is so savvy. Seen a car commercial lately? They’re all selling the most powerful this, the most innovative that. How many car awards are there? They all seem to win at least ten every single year. These advertisements are boring and unremarkable.
Don’t make the same mistake. In the middle of the last century (pre-internet, DVR, and handheld devices), people received information when it was pushed to them. Print media and television ruled. Don’t believe me, Google “1970’s advertisements” and click on images. Do it for the 50s and 60s, too. You’ll see common themes. Prominent product placement, lots of text, and data upon data upon data. Yyyyaawwwnnnnnn.
What do you stand for? As Simon Sinek famously asks, “Why do you do what you do?” Every day, tell stories. With social media, you’re writing a book. People have emotions and so should your advertising. Give your readers a reason to tune in and, ultimately, they will make the decision to take a closer look.