Writing for the Super Bowl: The Wix Playbook
Wix was my first big writing job. The start of my career. Previously, I wrote marketing materials for a glasses company, before that a car dealership and before that, my diary. I hit the ground running. I gave every project my all and 6 months into writing for Wix, I had stars in my eyes. I had just finished working on a campaign starring the New York Yankees and now I’d be working on the biggest marketing campaign of the year—our second Super Bowl commercial. Yeah, I was freaking out. I mean, who wouldn’t be?
The Super Bowl was Mount Everest. In university, I was assigned to watch commercials and take notes for my copywriting class—what worked, what didn’t work and what blew my mind. It all seemed like some kind of secret sauce to creating epic memories and booming, celebrity voice-overs. How that magic unfolded I was never quite sure.
Shortly after getting hired at Wix, I heard all about our first Super Bowl campaign the previous year and the old wives’ tales that went along with it. The long hours, the bathroom tears, the desk dinners, the war room. But how, oh how, was it worth it for those 30-seconds broadcasted to over a 100 million fans. And now, I was chosen to be a part of it. Me. The Canadian. Like I said, who wouldn’t be freaking out?
So I took a cue from Chris Hadfield, the Canadian (relatable) astronaut (space guy) who said, “Things aren't scary. People are scared.” And it was true. Turns out, the Super Bowl was just like any other campaign at Wix—one big adrenaline rush to the finish line. Plus, this wasn’t our first rodeo. Wix had been here before, even if I hadn’t. So here’s how we conquer the Super Bowl year after year.
We consume as much info as we can We create glossaries for each personality in our campaigns. We follow them on social media and read about them online. We want to embody their spirit by using their words and catchphrases. Linguistically, we look at the talents’ origins. We watch YouTube, movies and TV shows just to get the phrasing right (I know, torture). We make something that’s not real and hope fans believe it (and most of the time they do).
We work simultaneously with design We create all the content, production and editing in two months. Since all our other marketing doesn’t stop just for the Super Bowl, we still have an obligation to deliver to our regular Wix users as well. So we research in the early evening and work on the Super Bowl until late at night, sometimes 2 AM.
We keep the Wix voice strong No matter who we are embodying—Brett Favre, Kung Fu Panda or Gal Gadot–we stay true to our Wix guidelines. We aren’t afraid of having personality, but we always keep it straight-forward and friendly. We use language that we know resonates well with our audience.
We remain pros at making websites We’re not experts in football...we’re pros at our product. We research and capture the talents’ spirits, but drive home website creation. Each talent adds their linguistic interpretation, but it’s still a commercial for Wix. The product always comes first—and in that way, it’s not a competition. We need to find the harmony that their personalities can lend to our product.
We stick with our trusted tools We write all our content in Google Docs, the same format we use for every content type. It’s the same sharing, writing and editing flow as always. We never throw our usual methodology out the window because it keeps us on track.
We think about our users We know our story line is cool, but what’s in it for our users? Ultimately, a brand appearing on the Super Bowl stage with a commercial is significant. It helps us boost credibility and gain trust. We want to let our users know they’re working with a brand that’s big and reassure them that they’ve made a great choice in choosing Wix.
Even after all this, don’t get me wrong. It’s still the Super Bowl and there’s no real method to madness.
Special thanks to Nora Ginio, Head of Content at Wix, for her sage wisdom and for providing insights on writing for the Super Bowl at Wix.
Netanya Bushewsky, Marketing Editor at Wix