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What’s Your Story?

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John Rash, a reporter and author of the “Rash Report” for Advertising Age, is an acclaimed media analyst.  In a article he wrote in 2009, he is commenting on the ups and downs of Nielsen ratings for the network super powers, which shows are performing, which shows are not performing, and other various media gossip.  Normally I disregard these articles but there was something about this particular article that caught my eye.

I am a huge sports fan.  It pretty much is my only pulse on outside society outside of the marketing world that I live in.  So, when I noticed that Rash was commenting on the most recent Monday Night Football game between Brett Farve’s old team and now his new team, I had to read what he was talking about.  Here is what he said:

But wait! The least likely Monday media narrative is this: A soon-to-be Hall of Fame quarterback, so paralyzed with indecision he makes Hamlet look resolute — decides to join what was his biggest, bitter foe — and leads them to 4-0 days before his 40th birthday. In the process, Brett Favre also leads the game to the most-watched event in cable history.

The ratings record for the Minnesota Vikings victory over the Green Bay Packers also proved again that it doesn’t always take big markets to get big numbers. It just takes a big story. Fans responded, as the game was watched by over 21.8 million viewers and 15.1 million households, receiving a 9.0/23 rating and share in the ad-centric adult 18-49 demographic.

OK.  So we know that football watching in America is a pastime and this is no big deal.  But, it was this statement that made me think:

The ratings record for the Minnesota Vikings victory over the Green Bay Packers also proved again that it doesn’t always take big markets to get big numbers. It just takes a big story.

We are well aware that Minneapolis is not New York.  It is not LA.  Heck, some might argue it is not even Indianapolis. But, that did not matter to the viewing audience.  What mattered was the story.  The soon to be 40 year old man who won’t give up his passion paying verses the team that said “It doesn’t matter your passion–you are too old for us”.  It was real, authentic and true.

The same can be said for our industry today.  Yes, there are the big marketers out there dominating the landscape but what makes them real to Ms. Jones?  Price? Product? Promotion?  Probably not.

Ms. Jones wants and demands authenticity from everything that we do.  Let’s find that story, craft it and shout it til’ your hearts content.  Ms. Jones will love you in the end for it.

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