Will you be watching the Super Bowl on Sunday? Of course you will you and many millions of others. No longer “just” a football game, this winter TV ritual is a feel-good medley of sports and entertainment, advertising and snacking. If football isn’t your thing (or your own team isn’t playing!) you tune in for the clever commercials, or the extravagant halftime show. As the daylong pregame show always proclaims, there’s something here for everyone. On Super Bowl Sunday, how can anything top the Big Game in all its glory? Nothing can touch it, which is why competing networks run old movies and marathons of crime shows. Why burn something original when no one’s looking?
Still, there’s another event, on a different network, riding along for the hype to score points of its own. The annual “Puppy Bowl” on Animal Planet is just lots of cute footage of frolicking, adorable dogs, airing every Super Bowl Sunday. It’s no ratings rival for the game, but instead enhances the day with some laughs and the “awwwww” factor. Fans of both events routinely wander from one TV set to another, enjoying two kinds of fun.
Given the mega-success of the Super Bowl, you have to wonder why anyone outside the stadium, so to speak, would seek to grab any of its spotlight. But the upstart Puppy Bowl, which has added new stunts and surprises each year, simply basks in the Super Bowl’s shadow. Rerunning the same sweet shots of pups, plus halftime-cheering kittens, even an anthem-singing parrot, the program never tries to outshine the NFL’s crowning moment. And yet without the gaudy Super Bowl, Puppy Bowl wouldn’t exist, couldn’t provide the smiling extra points that parallel the Super Bowl’s dramatics.
Even if the competition looms large in your life, you don’t have to use all your artillery to outscore it. You can offer an alternative, something perhaps smaller, but strictly unique and separate from that other experience. Whether it’s personalized service or a revised bid for attention, those extra points will point up YOUR value, no matter what’s happening in the big game.