By Rylee Maxwell
Focused writing is important in every area of journalism, not just those involving articles and fact-based stories. Writers in every field have to remember what they are trying to accomplish and keep their focus on that goal.
The top Super Bowl ads had obvious intentions. They pulled at the heartstrings of Americans nationwide. They were able to accomplish this mainly because they were well written — they told stories. The poor ones, like Beck’s Sapphire “Serenade,” however, did no such thing.
So, what was Beck’s’ message? No idea.
One could argue that it caused viewers to contemplate the evolution of hip-hop music from the 1990s until now, for one. It certainly showcased the product. It introduced a pretty, black, singing CGI goldfish.
Quite possibly, the idea was playing off of the “smooth” quality of both the product and the song, but that is just an assumption. The only thing we can be sure of is that the ad itself was relatively pretty, but pretty doesn’t ‘sell’ an ad. And fish can’t sing.
The same questions that writers and editors ask about articles — “What is this piece about?” “What do I want my reader to take away from this?” “Will this catch and keep attention?” “Why is this important?” etc. — are the same questions that writers of any material should ask.
Because whether it’s a news article, an advertisement, a cover letter, a short story or a pick-up line, it has a purpose. And if you want it to serve its purpose, that purpose better be clear.