Right now, as I type this, I’m prepping for a segment on ABC’s “LIVE with Kelly and Michael” show. Want a sneak peek? I’ll be giving an insider scoop on fascinating Super Bowl commercials.
The same principles that make a Super Bowl commercial fascinating will also work for your communication.
The same is true for ANY type of communication — whether it’s an introduction, a bio, or a first date.
Watching ads at a Super Bowl party is totally different than regular TV. A commercial has to hook people instantly, or we’re off to the kitchen for more chips. Your communication is the same way. Hook people with a message that’s entertaining, informative, or surprising… or they’re off.
Six traits that make a Super Bowl commercial fascinating:
1. Simple storytelling: Super Bowl parties tend to be noisy and distracting-- not to mention “well-lubricated.” At this party, the best spots tend to be no-brainers that don’t ask people to think too much.
2. Surprise your audience: Whether it’s humor or shock value, when we’re watching the Super Bowl, our attention spans are shorter than ever. Special effects and huge production extravaganzas dazzle viewers even when the TV sound is turned off. People can’t help but notice something unexpected. Hello, creepy Mom!
3. Tell a story: When commercials tap into a basic human truth, they don’t just entertain – they make us feel something. They get under our skin and into our conversations. They show us who we are.
4. Make it relatable: Every year, the Super Bowl is brimming with commercials starring animals and babies. That’s because we can’t help but feel an emotional connection with pure cuteness. This year, the Super Bowl will have more animals than Noah’s Ark. We’ll see dogs, puppies, bears, horses, and more puppies. Even a few Muppets.
5. Familiar icons: Neurology shows that we’re more likely to respond to images that are familiar and comforting. During the Super Bowl, or any cluttered environment, familiarity can win out over the more “edgy” ideas, because we already have an association with the image or person. For example, it’s almost impossible to talk about classic Super Bowl advertising and not mention Clydesdales, right?
6. Controversy: When you need to immediately break through and make a statement, it can be worth taking a risk of using shock value or an unfamiliar storyline. (Anyone else remember years ago when Outpost.com shot a gerbil out of a cannon?) Provocative spots definitely get people talking, which add up to media dollars. And then there’s sex… enough said.
Now it’s your turn:
What commercials are YOU most excited to watch? Which ones are most fascinating in those critical first 9 seconds of an introduction? Which ones lost your attention?
Do tell, in the comments section below.
p.s. Over the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to be on a bunch of big morning shows, including a couple of TODAY Show appearances about the Super Bowl. It’s my second time on LIVE with Kelly Ripa, and part of my commenting on advertising.
If you’d like to watch tomorrow morning, send me a tweet at @SallyHogshead so I know you’re out there with me!
I think you've made some truly interesting points.Keep up the good work
That's an excellent question Jayson. Our advice is to center your messages around how you communicate at your best. Have you taken the Fascination Advantage assessment? It's the first step into seeing how you add distinct value. So for instance if you are a Passion personality you could tug at the heart strings with something like "Keeping the important things in life safe." If you speak the language of Mystique on the other hand, you could say something like "Some things are better left secret. Like how much cash you keep in your nightstand." Whatever it is that makes people stop what they're doing and pay attention to you - hone in on those type of messages. Because that is how you fascinate.
As a owner of a small mobile business (locksmith/alarm company) this is something I struggle with! My service vans are moving billboards! And the back of each van is a GREAT place for a catchy ad, but what do I say to totally Fascinate people, and make them want to store my number in their phones???
I love the Clydesdale commercials. I also love the new Geico commercials and the Progressive commercials
Sally, Go fascinate Michael and Kelly! The very best SB commercials I have ever seen Crystler's "Imported from detroit" w/ Eminem and Dodge's "It's Half Time America" w/ Clint Eastwood. Damn! Those were amazing!