For many Americans, after winding down from the undoubtedly crazy holiday season this time of year means only one thing and that is SUPER BOWL time! Although there are still die-hard fans of the pigskin who glue themselves to their seats while watching every play and yelling at the TV when their team screws up, nowadays many viewers just tune in to watch the much anticipated commercials.
Every year in anticipation of the big day, companies pour their hearts, minds and money into creating an ad that will (hopefully) drive sales and web traffic. Just in case you were unaware of the sticker price for an ad these days, during the 2013 Super Bowl the cost for a 30-second spot hit a record high of $4 million.
Now that you know how much a 30-second spot costs, you can see how important it is for companies to effectively utilize every single second. (After all, no one wants to drop millions of dollars and be forgotten before halftime.) And yes, I know that many of you will not be purchasing a televised Super Bowl spot anytime soon and are probably thinking, “What does this have to do with my brand?” My answer to that would be, “More than you think.” Whether it’s the good, bad or absurd, looking back at Super Bowl ads can be a beneficial way to understand what works and doesn’t work when selling a brand. So to help get the football rolling, I thought it would be useful to provide some game-winning creative tips for you to integrate into your own marketing.
Evoke an Emotion
Last year Budweiser’s Super Bowl ad brought a tear to every viewer’s eye with their “Brotherhood” campaign. If you don’t recall, they featured a horse trainer raising one of Budweiser’s famous Clydesdales, and then reuniting with him years later. The ad’s purpose was to connect with people emotionally and give Budweiser an opportunity to connect with their customers physically. The physical connection came from a social media initiative that gave people the chance to name a baby Clydesdale using Twitter.
Brand awareness is an important way of promoting your products. This is because there are often very few factors that differentiate one product from another. Therefore, the product that maintains the highest brand awareness compared to its competitors usually gets the most in return. For example, in the chip industry, very little separates a store-brand chip from a brand-name chip in terms of taste. However, most consumers are aware of Doritos, because of their crazy, outlandish and easily brand-identifiable advertisements.
Use Timely Messaging
When the power abruptly went out during the 2013 Super Bowl game Oreo immediately saw this as an opportunity to get noticed in another medium outside the commercial they already had running. This simple image and message was sent out over Twitter and Facebook in real time and received over 16,000 retweets and more than 20,000 likes on Facebook. And the real kicker of it all is that this “free” tactic generated more buzz and reach than many multi-million dollar commercial spots.
If the rest of your competition is using the same old marketing strategy, don’t be afraid to take the opposite approach. (No one will fault you for being a risk-taker.) As you can see in Audi’s “Prom” commercial, their messaging of “Be bold” tells the tale of a timid young man going to prom stag. However, with the keys to his dad’s Audi in hand, he now has enough confidence to do anything.
This spot is different from other automotive commercials not only because of the storytelling aspect but because the actual product (the car) takes a backseat to the message. Instead of fast shots of the car’s interior or a smooth voiceover talking about mileage, Audi creates a different message: driving this car will make you feel invincible.
If you don’t have $4 million to spend on an ad, don’t feel left out! These tips aren’t just for companies trying to make an impression in the Super Bowl. No matter what your company’s size is or what your marketing channel of choice is, it’s important to create content that represents your brand and resonates with your audience. Whether your evoking an emotion or spreading brand awareness, always have a strategy and build a creative message that supports it.
Marketing to men is not a new or novel concept. Marketing to women, well, that’s a different story.
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