It was estimated that 12 million viewers watched Super Bowl LIII from home; if you add the restaurants, bars, and clubs who also tuned-in the total number of viewers was closer to 112.7 million people (according to the Nielsen report). The commercial spot cost $175,000 dollars per second, or $5.25 Million dollars for 30 seconds. What did these companies get for their money? Visibility, Attention, and Connections.
First, Visibility. There are 28 million businesses online and more being developed every day, but they are also competing with daily news, entertainment sites, social media and more. If your site is camouflaged with the wrong message than you are invisible.
Second, Attention. The one thing all businesses have in common is to attract people to their site. The average clocked time when viewing a site for the first time is 3-8 seconds. If you can’t capture the viewer in this time segment you’ve lost a sale.
Third, Connections. All the commercials in Super Bowl LIII made connections not only with the game but also the winner-The Patriots. This type of connection is important, and has been done since ancient times. In both the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods, rich patrons paid big money to commission well known artists to paint their likeness into a religious painting. For example, the patron, Chancellor Rolin, is seen kneeling before the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus. Putting him in the same picture with the Virgin and Child was a 14th Century branding spot. It elevated his prestige among the people, his place in the nobility, and his place in Heaven.
Most businesses online could not even imagine having the funds to produce a 30-second Super Bowl commercial spot; however, everyone has a story to tell. A story that makes the emotional connection can produce an action; if you have the right story to tell. The key is to connect the emotions of the viewer to the product or service as a solution.
Back in the 1980’s, there was a PSA on addressing the subject of drug addiction. In 15 seconds the viewer would see an egg fried on a hot skillet. The narrator had only 14 words: “Okay, last time. This is drugs. This is your brain on drugs. Any Questions?” A quick storyline like this has three immediate points: Attention, Arousal, and Action. The commercial has had several parodies over the years, but the message is still clear.
I have written about the chemical changes that occur in the human brain when a story is told. It doesn’t matter whether the story is told by a person or an animation; the results are the same if emotions are triggered. (See: The Perfect Story)
In March, I will be hosting a free Webinar to teach how to develop digital storytelling. I will not be selling any books, CD’s, or material. There will be time for questions. If you are interested send a request for more information and to reserve your place. Hope you will be able to join us online.