Superbowl is coming up and while I don’t want to be that dick who only-watch-it-for-the-ads, this is a narrative marketing site, not a sports site so ads away. But if you do know what a forward pass is and why XLIX is going to be exciting then Go Seahawks Go! So here’s a preview for Snicker’s ad for the Superbowl by Ad Agency, BBDO New York.
Now a good commercial will be able to fit a great narrative in a couple minutes, maybe even a minute, but a 22 second runtime is equivalent to a paragraph in a story. However, this teaser to a 30-second commercial has already racked more than half a million views. Do you know why?Because Danny rode-a-motorcycle-minigun Trejo is a member of the Brady Brunch. Bang that’s why. It’s kickass premise.
In stories or narratives, a premise is what it’s about in succinct terms i.e. Inception is A heist movie in a dream or “Hobo with a Shotgun” is about a Hobo with a Shotgun. And premises should be exciting for the potential entertainment gained from seeing it fleshed out. In the Snicker’s ad, it’s the hilarity of why and what could happen. There is so much we want to know, why does Carol Brandy think Danny Trejo a middle-aged Mexican tough guy is her teenage white little girl? Why does Danny Trejo think he’s a teenage white little girl? How is Snickers going to play it?
The premise of real-life badass Danny Trejo clashing against classic family sitcom from the 70s could be a guest star episode in itself (I’m imagining Danny “Machete” Trejo having lost his mind and only a Snickers bar can remind him who he is before he mows down the rest of the Brady Bunch with a machine gun for making him think he was a little girl).
This is why the Snicker’s ad got so many views, it succeeded in capturing the entirety of an amazing premise into something we would immediately watch. Any writer can tell you that capturing the entirety of a story in only a couple of words to be the headline/title for a narrative can be one of the hardest parts of writing. In marketing especially advertising, there is only so much time you can have before the reader loses interest (we only have an 8-second attention span, less than a goldfish). This is why headlines in articles and blogs have to be click-baity.
And with Superbowl ads being a thing more than just an ad and having such wide coverage (with a $4.5 million price tag) being able to capture people’s attention in a sea of other undoubtedly amazing ads is crucial. However, Snickers may be getting the prize now, for holding us with the thought of Danny fretting over a high school crush.