[Story Sells] Happiness Sauce in this 2016 Superbowl Commercial

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Wanna be happy in your work?

Apparently, here’s the secret: Just do one thing well.

That’s the message of Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism. When you pursue too many things at once, you burn out. (Or maybe even worse, never make an impact anywhere.)

If you own a fancy garden hose nozzle, you know what I mean: Use the “SHOWER” setting and you get a bunch of limp streams.

Use the “JET” setting and you get one forceful blast that can chip the paint off your siding.

So to make a big impact, you have to focus.

Good advice — and not just for life-hacking.

As in life, so in art. Focused stories crater the biggest impact in our minds. And the same is true for a good sales story.

No matter how many bells and whistles your product delivers, a good story can really only impart one big benefit at a time.

In a sales story, this “one thing” is our theme. Our whole narrative should hang on this point.

(You put your hero in trouble. And he gets out of his predicament with the magic of your big benefit.)

One Superbowl commercial this year got it right.

Hyundai pitched their new set of wheels in a 60-second spot starring comedian Kevin Hart.

In the story, Kevin is the protective Dad whose daughter is going out on a date with a pompous Dude. So Dad gets all nicey and hands the guy the keys to his Hyundai. “Why don’t you take my new car?”

What the Dude doesn’t know is that the Hyundai is secretly loaded with a GPS called “Car Finder.” That’s how Kevin dogs their steps the entire date.

That’s the whole commercial – dramatizing how Kevin shadows them wherever they dart.

Of course it’s over the top – Kevin dangles from a helicopter over “make-out point” in the end. But the melodrama drives home the message: you’ll be able to protect your kids when they roll in this car.

This commercial showcases just the one feature – the Car Finder. They could have muddled the message with several other features. But if they had done that, it’s unlikely any would have stuck. IT would have been the same boring list of features we’ve heard countless times.


Focus your story on ONE message.

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Scott McKinstry
Scott McKinstry
Scott McKinstry is a direct response copywriter who specializes in telling stories. You can contact Scott and learn more about using the power of stories in marketing at marketingwithstory.com.
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  • Reply

    Scott, this is starting to get creepy! How do you always seem to know what lesson most needs to be implanted in my brain when you begin to write your articles?

    So simple! So obvious!

    People are always asking “What does ___ do?”

    So I does me research and I tries to list all the features, benefits and results in a logical flow in such a manner that the reader doesn’t get bored and click away. I am working on that in my head right now for a product called “Verapol.”

    Verapol is a new name for an old product called Manapol. It is a powdered form of Aloe inner leaf gel. 6 doctors and scientists wrote a 171 page book titled “The Science Behind Aloe: The Healing Plant” which I have read twice, and refer to often when considering new copy for marketing it.

    But you have awakened me to how simple it is.

    People who take it Feel better, get better, heal faster and have better health.

    It doesn’t prevent, diagnose, treat, mitigate or cure any diseases. The FDA can relax.

    People who take it feel and get better faster. Period.

    If you want to know why, read the damned book. I’ll be glad to sell you one of those, too.

    take it >>> feel better >>> heal faster >>> be healthier >>> guaranteed

    So simple! So obvious!

    • Reply

      Hey Bruce, thanks for that. Glad to help … even if it does get a little “creepy.” 🙂

  • Reply

    Yes Scott.

    I observed this singleness on the top copywriters’ newsletter. It’s worth reading. Just one point at a time.

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