The Design Business Show 215: Legendary lessons we can learn from Rihanna’s SuperBowl performance (inspired by her song lyrics)

Director : Melissa Burkheimer | February 17, 2023

Hi. My name is Melissa. If you’re new here – hey!! I’m so glad you’re here today. If you’re not new, heeey! I’m grateful that I get the privilege of being in your ears and eyes. I say ears for those who listen and eyes for those who prefer to read the show notes on our website at Sometimes I prefer to skim show notes instead of listening to a podcast.

So, typically the podcast format we follow over here is an interview style, but as I mentioned in episode 210 sometimes, I’m going to do solo episodes, when I’m into it. And that’s record and publish a few solo episodes in addition to our weekly interviews where I talk about things I’m obsessed with related to business, design, product launches, branding and life. Think current brand + design trends meets my real (business) life.

On episode 210 I shared 3 things I love about the brand, OUAI. And in this episode, I’m going to share Legendary lessons we can learn from Rihanna’s SuperBowl performance (inspired by her song lyrics).

Some people watch the SuperBowl for the football. Or the commercials.

I only watched Rihanna’s concert. 🙂

I’ve been a fan of her brand and her music for years. So of course, like the rest of the world, I’ve been obsessed with the buzz around her SuperBowl performance and all the glass ceilings she’s breaking with her brand.

And I wasn’t gonna talk about it in this week’s email, but then she dropped this legendary British Vogue cover about her being Reborn, while ASAP Rocky holds their baby and she’s leading them on a walk on the beach, and my brain has so many things to say.

So here we are. I love lists, so I’m calling it Legendary Lessons We Can Learn from Rihanna’s SuperBowl performance, inspired by her song lyrics, and the results it landed her.

1. She told us she was a savage in her song, Needed Me.

Here’s why that’s true:

:: More people watched her performance (118.7 million) than the game (113.05 million).

:: The streams of her songs went from 12.4 million on 2/11 (the day before), to 20.4 million on 2/12 (the day of), and 38.5 million on 2/13 the day after).

2. She can do things her own way darling, in her song, Consideration featuring SZA.

Here’s what she did:

:: All her dancers wore custom Savage x Fenty (Rihanna’s lingerie line) sports bras and boxers in white.

:: She touched up her make up using one of Fenty Beauty’s Invisimatte, in the middle of a song. Google Searches increased by 833 percent when she did that.

:: Her make up artist told us exactly what products RiRi wore during the performance.

:: Custom NFL x Fenty Beauty products launched and her team did several brand activations in honor of this.

3. She shined bright like a diamond, like in her song, Diamond.

Here’s why:

:: In the finale to her performance, she sang her hit song, Diamond, while the audience held up the flash lights on their cell phones for a super cool visual effect.

:: She showed up as herself, performing some of her best hits, with 80+ dancers and no other artists because she knew she was enough. And she knew it.

:: She nonchalantly announced her second pregnancy during the performance, and when you look at the physicality of doing everything she did – like sitting down when she needed to and dancing up on a stage in the middle of the sky, on a stage, it’s nothing but enough.

:: There’s a viral video of ASAP Rocky, her boyfriend, cheering her on.

4. Chasing the American Dream, as she sings in American Oxygen.

In case you didn’t see the adorable video that was created with Apple Music, the NFL, and RocNation that features her song Run This Town with footage of a little girl walking down the street in Barbados to fly kites at the cemetery, where she dreamed her big dreams. You must watch it. The story telling brings literal tears to my eyes.

I loved this work of art especially, because it hits kinda close to home. She’s from Barbados, and her mom is Guyanese. My dad was born in Guyana, and was a big believer in the American Dream.

I joke with my family that we could be cousins. I have no proof of that, but a girl can dream, right?

Okay, I’m going to reapply my Fenty Glow lip gloss and make a Reel about this. Maybe. 🙂

Talk soon!