What the Superbowl can teach us about story-telling

Today”s #LetsBlogOff challenge asks, “What makes a good story?” My take is below. I have a few more thoughts on this I”ll share in upcoming posts. One was inspired by a coffee shop interview by a young couple looking for a minister to marry them. Another was inspired by an architect”s blog post.


In marketing, there’s a process we go through to get to the heart of a story. It’s called a creative brief – a checklist of questions that force you to look beyond the features and benefits of your product and take some time to get to know the people who will experience it.  It’s a little more involved than this, but it essentially asks questions like:

What’s going on in the lives of the people who will experience it?
What’s going on in the world around them?
How can we possibly enhance it?

The good companies also consider their own heartfelt intentions and ask,

What experience, feeling, insight do we want to evoke?

As I watched the Superbowl half-time show, I wondered who was responsible for the creative process…  If I were planning our country’s most watched television event, I’d dig a little deeper. I”d find a way to use the opportunity to send a more meaningful, inspirational message than this.

Photo: monstersandcritics.com

Given that millions of Americans were gathered in their living rooms, eager for the much anticipated festivities, surrounded by friends, families and fried food – many of them were worried about their future, shaky about their safety and struggling to be hopeful.

I”m wondering if the design team”s dialogue went something like this –

“People need to see glitz. They need to lighten up. Hey, let’s light them up. Literally. Let’s surround the Black Eyed Peas with light bulb dancers. Let’s show them hope. Let’s drop casino Usher from the sky and raise Slash from below.”

I wonder online casino what story would have been told  if the designers worked from the same creative brief that produced Chrysler’s Detroit / Eminem commercial.

Maybe the design team dialogue would have been something like this –

“People need to be reminded that greatness comes from simplicity. It’s within them. In fact, it’s where they came from. They need their world rocked. Hey, let’s rock their world. Literally. Let’s have the make your own way, from Detroit to Hollywood message represented by Kid Rock singing his heart out in a t-shirt and jeans. Let’s place a rock-n-roll legend like Steven Tyler by his side and have an emerging youth, rags to riches story like Crystal Bowersox join them.”

Photos: sexysteventyler.com, Americanidol.com, mtv.com

I”m not sure that”s the best story…  And, I don”t necessarily think the Superbowl has to be a platform for a deep, philosophical message. I just think a little more thought would have evoked a more meaningful, memorable and entertaining experience for its viewers.

What do you think? What story would you have told?

My favorite part of every #LetsBlogOff challenge is reading the posts by other participants. I hope you”ll enjoy them here and join us every other Tuesday as we spread Ideas Worth Blogging About.