There are 60+ national advertisers paying $5.2M for 30 seconds during the Super Bowl. I watched these spots in the serene confines of my office. Besides some keyboard finger tapping, the only noise in the room is the soundtrack of the commercials as I view them.

This is NOT a realistic viewing experience.

During the Big Game, there are groups of folks talking during the commercial breaks about the score, second guessing coaches, chatting about how hot the wings are, or simply excusing themselves to empty and then re-fill with another beer. It is anything but serene and quiet, at least if it is a good party!

I find it amazing when a commercial works well with or without the soundtrack being heard.

This year’s Silence Award goes to Jeep – Gladiator “Crusher”.

JEEP effectively tells the story with or without the soundtrack through powerful visuals. It’s not the first time JEEP has taken this path. Their 2018 JEEP Anti-Manifesto spot took the same approach. While it did have a subdued voice-over, it really was irrelevant to the 30-second, one-shot visual of the commercial that was powerful, especially to JEEP’s target market.

Takeaway for Marketers:

Whether you are creating a video, radio spot, print ad or online banner, consider using the fewest words possible. The technique that I’ve honed over many years in writing radio spots follows this path:

  1. Write a 60-second spot that sets up a compelling call to action
  2. Write a 30-second version of the 60 – This process forces you to edit focused on the priority and often creates a MORE compelling script than the 60 (which had more words)
  3. Go back and re-write the 60 based on the learnings from the 30