The Power of Epic Storytelling: 27.5 Million Viewers only Watch the Super Bowl for the Commercials

Party Poser or Faithful Fan?

110,000,000 people will watch Super Bowl LII this Sunday but millions of them probably couldn’t rattle off the names of five players if you put a buffalo chicken wing to their head.

So why tune in? Twenty-five percent just want to watch the year’s best commercials.

Super Bowl LII Commercials

Consider the irony of that! Over 27 million people will consider the game an interruption!

Commercials are typically an intrusive disruption of our entertainment experience but there’s one night when the tables are turned and the main program will be the trigger to return to level 562 of Jelly Splash.

Engage or Enrage

The Super Bowl commercial phenomenon is proof that ads don’t have to ENRAGE; they can engage.

Advertisers bring their A-Game to the Big Game because people are paying attention. They want to be entertained by 30 and 60-second short stories that move them or make them laugh.

27 million people who think an audible is a book they listen to during their commute will wade through 10 minutes of football just to catch a few hilarious commercials. That’s how much we enjoy being entertained!

It’s as though the world is shouting the lyrics from Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit – “Here we are now, ENTERTAIN US!” [sorry for planting that earworm]

The Super Bowl is a lesson for marketers that all the noise out there hasn’t dampened our desire to escape through a good story.

Expensive Engagement

But it takes a lot of time and money to come up with a great storytelling idea.

Cost of AdvertisingOver four hundred million dollars will be spent on Super Bowl ad placements. Each thirty -second spot will cost up to five million dollars and the price tag for a full minute is eight million. That’s over $130,000 per second!

And that doesn’t include the cost of paying someone to come up with the idea or the expense of producing the commercial.

Worthwhile Work

There’s a reason why most television commercials aren’t as engaging as those that run during the Big Game. Few companies could afford it.

I’m in the advertising/marketing business and I know how hard it is to craft a story that resonates with a target audience in a meaningful, shareable way.

Storytelling is both an art and a science. And it is becoming increasingly more important for businesses today to master it. Just ask Miri Rodriguez, Storyteller at Microsoft. Ten years ago, who would have thought that job title would exist? But today, savvy companies recognize the importance of storytelling.

Advantage of Agility

FumbleI wish I could say that all of our campaigns were touchdowns but we have our share of fumbles and sometimes we opt to punt.

But we keep heading back to the line of scrimmage to try to engage our customers more effectively.

We use Customer Journey Mapping to monitor engagement data in real time. That way, we are able to call an audible and adapt our strategies before it’s too late.

It helps us learn quickly enough to change plays so that, instead of waiting for a post-mortem report to explain why we think we didn’t hit our goals, we are able to list all the lessons we learned that helped us surpass them.

[Confession time: My name is Franklin Goldberg and I am a Party Poser. I had to google football terms to come up with the metaphors in this article. But if you enjoyed it anyway, please subscribe to]

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