“Puppy-Monkey-Baby, Puppy-Monkey-Baby…Puppy. Monkey. Baby.”
Soda, cars, taxes, beer (and post-Super Bowl intimacy) were a few of the diverse industries that spent millions of dollars on commercials and brand messaging during Super Bowl 50. Most of the ads were pretty standard for marketing’s biggest night of year. Actually, as yesterday’s Happy Monday! blog post highlighted, the best ad wasn’t technically an ad at all.
Peyton Manning: Super Ad Champion.
Surprisingly, the one company that would have benefited from an informative (and reassuring) prime-time Super Bowl commercial didn’t say a word on Sunday night.
In other words, Chipotle’s kitchen was closed again.
With a months-long problem of patrons getting sick from E.coli in multiple locations nationwide, the logical next-step for the favorite food franchise seemed to be one commercial away. Imagine if Chipotle founder Steve Ells faced the camera and directly addressed the painful concerns customers have (literally and figuratively) and explained what he and his restaurants have done, are doing and will do to comply with and resolve their health issues to recover the damage done to its reputation?
An ad without spin would’ve been refreshing. In many ways, a refresh is what Chipotle needs right about now.
Simplicity and candor seemed to work brilliantly for Peyton Manning and Budwesier.
‘One More Thing’ with PR
Every story has a beginning, middle and an end…
with twists, turns and surprises.
Distinguishing quality between firms/brands (ie- the grocery shelf test) is found on or between known and new. And working with media/journalists is a key dynamic in this task. Perhaps the most critical (and subtle) strategy in working with this relentless force of inquiry is knowing what the fourth estate wants to know and focus on.
One of the ultimate goals of a PR campaign is for its audience to ask about the company and/or products. The media is no different. Instead of focusing exclusively on responses one news release at a time, crafting an interweaving arc for the company sparks next-level intrigue.
Stories are what people want. They want it with their investments, their favorite consumer brands, charities, business partners, celebrities, television shows and movies, books, friends and family.
People read words and financial statements, but they connect with stories. And when this happens, the firm becomes more than a company and the governing philosophy reinforces the balance sheets. The firm transforms into an extension of the customer. Media/journalists want to invest their time in a Steve Jobs and Apple, reporting on the successes and failures alike with curiosity about what will happen next through an optimistic lens.
Steve Jobs > Steve Wozniak in the public eye because his personal journey of ultimately “playing the orchestra” with a hungry and foolish imagination is relatable and inspiring to people.
Strategically developing, promoting, and aggrandizing clients in a variety of ways in the PR universe is a tough, yet highly-rewarding venture. And elevating a company above its competition, in part, requires eye-catching opening statements to the media and the public.
Like a headline.
Betting Big on a Message
“I want you to want me”
Late last night, the quintessential ’90s romantic comedy (with raw emotional depth, edge and incredible deftness at the angst and hilarious realities of living within the relentless tornado of high school cliques) 10 Things I Hate About You played on HBO and it was a wonderful escape. This movie, with a pitch perfect cast, shows what can happen when creative storytellers (actors and actresses) are given a creative story (the script) to interpret intersections of romantic quests, heartbreak with seemingly immovable barriers and the continuous dancing on the edge between funny and crude.
For those who have seen 10 Things, the latter always fell on funny.
And that’s the point. The 100-minute movie still sparks repeat views and flashbacks of happy, nostalgic memories because it told a fantastic story that connects with people in a positive light. This despite its all-to-familiar gut-wrenching moments of trying to find and understand love. The journey was tough (with subtle nods to a tame Shakespeare play), but genuinely worthwhile and enjoyable. While I could write a glowing analysis of more than 10 things I love about this movie (c’mon, I had to), the purpose of this blog post is to highlight the investment people will make for a story that takes the time and effort to be worthy of being paid attention to.
There are lots of substantial topics one could write about from this 1999 classic, but the issue today is highlighting its storytelling prowess. If you think about your favorite television commercials or advertisements, falling somewhere within the digital and print universe, odds are high they are clever and likely don’t appear like a linear plug of a product or company. They’re different in some way. These companies made the choice to be distinguishable, while maintaining high standards. And it’s the firms that choose to mix some traditional themes with a little bit of unorthodox communication and engaging characters that establish themselves as more than a product or company.
They become a story worth investing time and money in. These firms elevate their message and image above the competition with the rare quality of continuously maintaining people’s attention, like a movie that’s still as popular, unique and relevant today as it was 16 years ago.
And isn’t the quotation at the top of the page (the name of a song covered in 10 Things I Hate About You, as well as a major plot point) the primary message of any business?