"Seinfeld" TV series - "The Marine Biologist" - Feb. 10, 1994

For Marketers, ‘The Sea Was Angry That Day, My Friends’

As marketing technology continues to evolve and shake up the way marketers do things, the centerpiece of successful campaigns remains unchanged, a good story.

Let’s scooch over in the booth at our local diner and listen to our friend George. The setting he casts is dramatic, an angry sea with a large mammal in distress. A crowd gathers waiting for Superman to arrive and save the day. In this case, it’s an ordinary bystander caught in a lie he told to impress a girl. As the crowd looks upon him with a sense of urgency, he marches toward the distressed animal beached by an angry sea. We lean in and ask, what happened next?

It’s an improbable sequence of events. George’s friend Kramer was hitting golf balls toward the ocean earlier that day and happened to lodge one in a whale’s blowhole for a “hole in one.” These were extraordinary circumstances that called upon an ordinary person to rise to the occasion, a thread not lost on comic book artists who gave extraordinary power and brightly colored costumes (that tested well) to their superheroes. What made these heroes ones we could relate to was they walked among us in secret. They held 9-to-5 jobs and had cherished loved ones who worried if they were getting enough sleep.

“Seinfeld” TV series – “The Marine Biologist” – Feb. 10, 1994

The surprise outcome in the recent presidential election has shattered predictive models. As strategists and marketers pull apart the hay looking for the needle, it may not be a data-driven, programmatic one. Rather, it may prick the finger to find an inexhaustible storyteller who expanded the size of his booth and told a good story to a targeted audience in real time.

/George’s story adapted from Seinfeld, “The Marine Biologist,” aired February 10, 1994./