Of course, a Super Bowl post

Joseph Phelan, Worker Justice Fellow

February, 2015--I love the Super Bowl. It is where American culture and politics meet amazing feats of athleticism all interspersed with expensive ads made by the best and the brightest agencies in the country. 

Ads are a great study in compelling emotionally driven storytelling with one very clear purpose and goal - to sell you something. Good advertisers are ahead of the curve when it comes to: creativity, cultural resonance, applied psychology, and ultimately emotional manipulation. 

There were a lot of amazing ads (both in the good and bad sense) during this years Super Bowl. Rather than go through all of them we are leaning on The Goodman Center which puts out a great monthly news letter called free-range thinking. In this month's newletter Andy Goodman focuses on this ad from Carnival Corporation

To summarize Andy, this ad is powerful and hits the marks of best practice for compelling compelling communications for a few reasons: 

1. It is just so beautiful. The ad is shot by a professional cinematographer who uses the camera shots to convey human emotions (happiness) tied to compelling larger than life emotions (like awe). 

2. They got the messenger right. I mean, John F. Kennedy. Who doesn't like that dude? 

3. The right message. As Goodman writes Carnival was up to thier eyeballs in poop cruises, they had to go for some deep messaging here to get them out of the sh*t. 

4. Timing. Part of the the holy trinity of strategic communications is the timing (Saying the right thing, to the right people, at the right time). The Super Bowl is the most watched LIVE few hours of television all year, there is no way to avoid the ads (timing and people). 

Read the whole thing here 

For media watchers and communications nerds something else stood out about this years Super Bowl: Marshawn Lynch. While many people in the press lost their minds at his refusal to "participate" in pre-game press conferences, I was struck by his discipline to stick to his message. When I train people in how to talk to  the press I often say "Don't answer their question, deliver your message." But we all know that when a reporter shoves microphone in your face it is this is hard to do. Lynch sticks to his message like, well a running back champ. 

Check him out in a post game interview after beating the Cardinals last year (wait till you get to the very clear message he wants people to hear): 


I can't wait until next year's Super Bowl for some more awesome startegic communications lessons.