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As a kid without cable in the early 2000s, game shows were peak entertainment. But until Netflix surprised viewers with a 15-episode release, I’d all but forgotten one of my all-time favorites: Supermarket Sweep.

Which meant, of course, I had to check out this month’s reboot. Thanks to some well-earned wisdom, I now understand that the show is essentially a 42-minute commercial. And I’m…weirdly okay with that.

In fact, it even made me think about all the ways advertising could take a cue from the skinny-microphone-bearers of yore.

Make it advertainment.

Supermarket Sweep has me yelling slogans at the TV like a focus group’s star student, proving that entertaining advertising is an incredible way to build brand awareness.

According to our canonical How To Brokaw handbook, great marketing gives customers: “Something they can participate in. Appreciate. Like. Share. Create a couples social media account with. You get it.”

So give your audience a way to play along and interact (and a reason to visit abandoned fast food restaurants).

Draw from the everyday.

Turn the mundane into the mun-YAY-ne. Re: Supermarket Sweep, David Ruprecht, host of the ’90s edition, said: “It’s kind of everybody’s fantasy to run through a market, grab whatever they want, and not have to pay for it.” 

Which reminds us of McDonald’s newest bookish ads, showing us the transporting power of story time. Or Temptations’ “Scaredy Cat” short film, which preys upon felines’ oddly specific fears. Exaggerating daily events into fantastical moments is a very real recipe for success.

Get real.

All those contestants “randomly pulled” from The Price is Right audience give me hope that I, too, could one day win a 2019 Kia Forte.

Similarly, there’s something special about ads that use real people and real stories. While I’m not an ultramarathon competitor (yet), New Balance’s “It Started With a Run”  makes me want to hit the pavement. After the next episode of Match Game, that is.

Finally: you don’t have to wait for the next episode of Let’s Make a Deal to see some stellar costumes. You can vote in Brokaw’s contest right now!

Have a grand-prize-winning weekend, everybody!

—Your always-game friends at Brokaw

There’s something special about ads that use real people and real stories.

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