Great Super Bowl Ads: What Writers Can Learn

I’m the first to admit that I am not a football fan. At all. And I won’t be watching the Super Bowl tonight. Not even for the ads, even though I do enjoy watching them. So tomorrow, I’ll be looking for the news story or blog that provides the link to all the Super Bowl ads.

But because I have a habit of tying everything in life back to writing, I got to thinking this afternoon about what we can learn from a great Super Bowl ad.

Below are what I believe are three qualities of great Super Bowl ads.

  1. Memorable – We need to create worlds that suck in our reader and when we finally let them go, they’ll never forget where they were. And they will want to revisit that world again and again in their minds. We need to create characters that our readers connect with and can relate to – characters they can have feelings for, whether it’s love, hate, lust, etc.
  2. Buzz – We need to create that sense of overwhelming excitement in our writing, that “buzz”, that keeps people talking about it and you, that keeps them hungry for your next word and your next book.
  3. The Three T’s – Great Super Bowl ads have one or more of these three qualities. So should our writing.
  4. a) TugThey tug at the heartstrings and make you say “awwww….” 
    b) TickleThey tickle your funny bone and make you laugh.
    c) ThinkThey engage your mind and help you think about something in a new way.

Corporations spend millions of dollars on the “media buy” – the 30 seconds (or less) of ad time. But they rarely reveal the time and money that goes into actually creating and producing these ads. Trust me, I used to work in advertising, and it isn’t easy coming up with an ad that resonates with an audience and sells product, no matter what the medium.

At the core, great Super Bowl ads build brands and sell product. And isn’t that what we’re trying to do with our writing? With all the behind-the-scenes blood, sweat, tears and time that we devote to our craft? Sell our books to multitudes of people who will love and enjoy them, and tell all their friends?

That’s my ultimate goal. What’s yours?

MLUV:) Be blessed!



2 responses to “Great Super Bowl Ads: What Writers Can Learn

  1. I’m afraid the Super Bowl is a clear indication our society does not place a premium on intellectual activity and art. I love sports, and still play in spite of the fact I’m old (mostly golf now, no more football these days) but I’d rather read a good book than ever hear another tired T.V. cliche about teamwork.

    Dr. B, author, “The Mandolin Case”

  2. I’m totally with you, Dr. B.
    Sports has its place, but books and art have soul.

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