Are you one of those people who fast-forward through commercials? I live with a person who does that (I won’t mention any names). But this person also listens to podcasts or YouTube videos at 1.5x or 2.0x the normal speed. She just wants the facts and she wants them as soon as possible.
But, back to commercials. If it’s a commercial I haven’t seen before or a commercial I want to see again, I’ll take over the remote and watch it like a normal show or a movie…with my full emotional attention and at the normal speed that it was intended to be experienced. But why such an obsession with watching commercials? Let’s think about that for a second.
If you were given an unlimited amount of money to spend and allowed 60 seconds to tell a story about your business that could influence behavior or create an emotional connection with your audience, what would you do?
I’ll tell you what I would do. I would first gather the most creative people I know. We would spend hours and hours defining the objective. Once that’s set, we would start brainstorming some outside-the-box ideas. Then, we would develop a script and create a storyboard along with other visual aids to help communicate the concept. We would then pitch the concept to everyone we know to make sure it aligns with our vision, brand, and goal. We would continue to revise and tweak the idea, and that would lead to even more ideas. This would go on and on until everyone is in agreement. Not only in agreement but beyond excited about the project.
Then the real work begins. Let’s talk about pre-production which includes selecting a location, casting actors or spokespersons, scheduling..yada yada yada. Then the actual production where we start filming. Lights, camera…action!! Now the post-production, where everything comes together…finalizing the commercial, adding the music, sounds, and special effects. Then finally, the distribution to our target audience through different platforms – TV, streaming video, social media, and all advertising channels. Are you exhausted?
What’s my point? The point is that thousands of hours were spent crafting this perfect idea and millions of dollars were spent making it and distributing it. And if all that time, money, and energy were condensed into a magical 60 seconds, do you think it’ll be good? It better be. It better be the most thought-provoking 60 seconds of my life. And it better make me cry! When that happens, I am not going to miss it nor watch it at 1.5x the speed. I am going to grab my popcorn, sit in my comfy chair with my fuzzy socks and give it my complete focus, with a Kleenex box on my lap.
Well, obviously, not every commercial will live up to that standard, no matter how much money they spent or the effort they put in. But once in a while, one will rise up and win my heart. And if you are following the “My Favorite” series this month, I am pleased to announce my Favorite Commercial of the Year – I love it so much that it’s earned this award two years in a row.
Here’s the Toyota Super Bowl Commercial.
You might be wondering… “What does this have to do with Toyota??” That’s actually the part I like the most.
At BOS Media, we always say the best marketing is about MAKING SOMEONE ELSE THE HERO. People don’t connect with companies who talk about how great they are – the key is for your customers to feel like they’re the great ones.
The commercial ends with the line: “We believe there is hope and strength in all of us.” That’s the message Toyota spent all that time and effort to deliver in their 60 seconds. This is bigger than a marketing slogan – it’s a true story, and ultimately it’s the reason we’re talking about Toyota for two years in a row.
Here’s to finding a story that will touch the hearts of our customers and help them be the hero in 2023. “It might not be easy, but it’ll be amazing.”
Have you heard of the term “Tiger effect”? It represents the countless ways that one person (Tiger Woods) completely changed the game of golf and its industry as a whole.
The tournaments that he played in had to prepare for quadruple the number of spectators that showed up to watch; the concession stand had to inventory additional pallets of beverages and food to accommodate for the crowd; the tournament winning purses skyrocketed; TV ratings went up; data shows that even the competing players achieved above-average results in their effort to keep up with the incredible standard he set for competitive play. Also, he made the game cool.
So, you can imagine what the scene was like when he finally came back to play after a tragic car accident that left him permanently injured, questioning whether he’d ever play again. The crowd just went crazy. They watched his every move, recorded his every swing, and followed everywhere he went, fighting for the spot to have the best position to record him doing his magic.
I mean come on, once you’ve got that on your phone, you can basically tell the whole world what you saw and what you captured through your Instagram or your Twitter account, right? You could be the next viral post that becomes a trending icon…who knows, maybe someone will turn your video into a meme and you’ll be a legend, passing on your digital imprint throughout the history of mankind. Who wouldn’t want that?
Meet Mark. Look at the photo taken above – Mark is the one without the phone. He’s the one who’s fully present, enjoying the moment and soaking in the awe of what that moment represents. No phone. Just Mark…and his Michelob Ultra Beer.
I have to confess, I am not Mark. I am the other guy that always gets asked to “put your phone down” because I am too busy documenting the moment rather than being in it. The lesson I learned is that you can’t do both. Trust me, I tried. I tried to be in the moment and document it at the same time. It just doesn’t work that way. You have to choose one or the other.
Going forward, I choose to be in the moment.
On a side note, very quickly, the marketing folks at Michelob saw the opportunity and went with it. Here’s their brilliant 15 second commercial highlighting my favorite lesson I learned. Also, see the below video of The Sports ON Tap youtube channel commentating on the entire event.
If you are like me, be Mark. Embrace the now. If you are in marketing, be Michelob and make a commercial out of it. It’s a win/win.
Joy is living in the moment. If you need more proof, let’s get together and talk about it over a Michelob Ultra sometime.
For those of you following my weekly emails, we just got into a series on “My Favorite Things.” And as a marketing agency, I am super pumped to present my next winner.
The category? Best Logo Rebrand.
Yes, that’s right, which company spent hours and hours researching the new trends, came up with their development plan and spent millions implementing it across the various touchpoints to enhance their customer experience and image? Or should I say, which company strategically engaged a humorous and ridiculous satire and took it to another level? Well, McDonald’s did.
As background to this hilarious story, let me introduce Emily Zugay. She graduated from University of Wisconsin with a degree in Animation & Digital Media. Before she became a famous “logo designer,” she was busy working on her side business called Pet Portrait Outpost where she paints people’s pets. She downloaded TikTok during quarantine as a joke and started posting silly videos. On these videos, she talks in a monotone voice with complete seriousness yet presents the most hideous, childish and absurd rebranding ideas. She even purposefully mispronounces the names of obvious brands. (i.e. she calls the NFL “NaFal”) Hahaha! Through this comedy act, she captured the hearts of many. Well, actually, millions. 3.9 million to be more accurate.
Not only that, many of these brands have responded and even changed their social media profiles to her new design…let me show you one.
Look at their profile image, and what they posted…”thx for the new logo” – is that funny or what?
So, why am I even sharing this? Why is this important to the rest of us? Because the rules have changed when it comes to marketing. It used to be: be professional, look polished, speak smart, be excellent, appear competent…then you’ll be noticed and you’ll be trusted. Now it’s simply: be you, be human. Social media has changed the landscape. Allowing us to be us and allowing a huge brand like McDonald’s to be just like us too. A human to human connection. We’ve cracked the corporate barrier.
Well, let me take that back, maybe the rules never changed. Maybe this just re-emphasizes what we knew all along. The best rule of marketing is: you be you. Be creative, work hard and be your authentic self. No matter what.
Here are some of her other iconic re-brands…pay attention to all the comments she received. They even offer her a job.
- McDonalds, NFL, Amazon & Doritos.
- 7-11, Disney, UFC, Camping World and AT&T.
- Ohio State, Root Insurance, Fortnite, blk. Windows (FYI Microsoft Windows only follows one account, hers).
I’ll close with a question: “What’s your story?” That might be the most important thing for business owners and entrepreneurs to answer. It will help you set priorities, give customers a clear understanding of your identity, and when you feel lost, it will be the North Star to guide you home (much like “Disey’s” new logo).
Your story matters. The good and the bad, the changes and the core level non-negotiables that you are willing to fight for. Remember who you are, and be more human! The more you do, the more others will be inspired to join in and play along with you.
Do you know what I love? Let me tell you. I love raindrops on roses. Or how about whiskers on kittens?…so cute. In my kitchen, I like bright copper kettles, and don’t forget my warm woolen mittens on cold winter days. And if you knew me, you would know that I love gifts, especially when they come in brown paper packages all tied up with strings. And I guess you could say, these are a few of my favorite things.
I am dedicating this month to reflect on some stuff and give you a little insight and inspiration on what I found to be “my favorite things.” Let’s kick it off this week with the category, “The favorite thing I watched.” I know what you are thinking – looking back at a year of TV, movies, silly videos, all the stuff we streamed when we probably should have been doing something else. Take a second to scan through your memory of the most impactful movie that moved you, or the most educational YouTube video that taught you a skill, or the funniest TikTok that you forwarded to all your friends that was so relatable you couldn’t resist.
Before I reveal the favorite thing I watched, let me first tell you about the happiest, least stressful, most meaningful jobs, places and activities in America. It’s an analysis from the data collected from Bureau of Labor Statistics’s American Time Use Survey to find out what brought people the most happiness. Happiest Jobs? Agriculture, logging and forestry have the highest level of self-reported happiness and the lowest level of self-reported stress. Happiest Places? Outdoors ranked at the top of the list. Researchers across the social and medical sciences have found an undeniable link between mental health and green space. It also kinda relates to forestry and agriculture, don’t you think? Happiest activities? Sports, exercise and recreation…green fields and such…hmmm, golf anyone?
So, why am I sharing all that? Because our family got to spend a lot of time outdoors last year. And we ended up living by this phrase every time we went out for a new adventure: “Never miss a sunset.”
Picture the scene as we quietly walk along the the soft sand feeling the warm yet refreshing sensation with every step. The beach is quiet, no one is in sight and all I hear is the soothing rhythm of the waves. We timed it perfectly as we sat down in front of the camp fire, the sun starts to cast a golden glow. Then it happened. The sky darkened and the colors deepened…the clouds took on the firery red and orange tint. And those same colors began to reflect on the water…vivid and vibrant. Beautiful and serene. I took a deep breath.
Oh, and I also took a picture. See above.
That was the favorite thing I watched, and as I share, I hope it will encourage you to share as well. What was the favorite thing you watched last year? What brought you inspiration? What taught you something significant? What made you belly laugh? What impacted you in a way that might change the trajectory of your life or your perspective?
I can’t wait to share some more favorites. Because when the dog bites, or the bee stings, or when I’m feeling sad, I don’t know about you but sometimes all I have to do is remember my favorite things, and then I don’t feel so bad. Someone should write a song about that.
Can’t wait to chat more next week!