‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ on Brand Storytelling

Brianne Fleming
4 min readNov 3, 2020

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song is one of those timeless classics. In fact, I love it so much, I recently awarded it the top spot on a podcast where I ranked the top five ’90s sitcom theme songs. Whether you’re listening to it on your couch or at the bar, you can’t help but bop along.

Most sitcom intros are set to a feel-good track, like Full House’s “Everywhere You Look” or Friends, “I”ll Be There For You”. But The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song takes us on a journey with a story. In fact, “story” is mentioned in the first line in the song.

I’m sure I don’t have to remind you, but it starts off like this:

Now, this is a story all about how

My life got flipped-turned upside down

And I’d like to take a minute

I’ll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel Air

This first verse sets the stage and the visuals in the opening credits illustrate the storyline.

But what if the Fresh Prince theme song went a little differently? What if the lyrics said:

Now, this is a story all about how

My life was perfect and everything was fine?

You wouldn’t have a story. There’d be no plot — nothing to hook in the audience or inspire them to stick around to see what happens next.

Instead, we learned that Will Smith was facing a problem in his life that got flipped-tuned upside down.

So what can marketers learn from a teenager from Philly who got caught up in some trouble on the playground?

In our industry, our job is to make ourselves or brands looks good, right? We want people to hire us, work with us, or buy from us, so it’s important to demonstrate you’re the perfect fit or solution.

But if you really want to build a bond with potential employers, clients, or customers, you have to share your full story — the good, the bad, and…

Brianne Fleming

I write about brands and boy bands. Marketing and social media instructor at UF. Pop culture lover. Host of the Making the Brand podcast. www.briannefleming.com