Super Bowl 53 Marketing Play Book

For most of us, a TV advertising spot during the Super Bowl is never going to feature in our marketing plan. What can we learn though from the great and powerful brands that advertised during yesterday’s big game? And how can small businesses use these trade secrets to better engage with new and existing clients?

Bud Light: Corn Syrup

Well, they nailed it! This was the first commercial of the day that had everyone talking about it long after it aired! They were brave, bold and weren’t afraid to talk about what makes them better than their competitors. We could all learn a lesson here. There has, of course, been backlash as Bud Light has been slammed by their competitors and the corn industry. The truth is when it comes to marketing and storytelling, you can’t make everyone happy. When you make bold proclamations, be prepared to stand by your story. So really, really, REALLY do your homework!!

Bud Light: Game of Thrones

And then they raised the bar! As GOT fans, we all got goosebumps as soon as the music started to crescendo! But let’s stop fangirling now and talk about some takeaways for smaller brands. Partnerships are an incredibly strong business tool. Work with other businesses, entrepreneurs and nonprofits in your community to help establish your brand. Utilize mediums that evoke an emotional response such as music, visuals, and memories!

M&M’s, Olay, Doritos & Hyundai

Using a face that viewers recognize and pay attention to, such as Christina Applegate, Sarah Michelle Geller, the Backstreet Boys, & Jason Bateman, has unparalleled value. While not all businesses can afford high profile Hollywood names to promote their products or services, organizations can partner with influencers and thought leaders within their community. Additionally, these ads were funny and made us laugh. It is absolutely okay to highlight personality and comedy in your content and messaging where appropriate – it makes your company seem real!

100 Year Game NFL

If not used properly, a recognizable face may not have the effect you’re hoping for. The subject of your campaign should be on brand, recognizable, and relatable. The NFL commercial had two very different camps. One camp loved the camaraderie, seeing their old favorites and listening to the inside jokes. The other camp felt a little lost in not knowing who it was or what was happening. The lesson here? Sometimes you have to pick a side and stick with it. Those that love the brand will “get it” and hopefully love it. The group that doesn’t quite get it will most likely move on without another thought and no damage will be done. Who knows? They might just be curious enough to research your brand.

Pepsi – ‘Is Pepsi Okay?’

It’s okay to make fun of yourself sometimes! Being relatable is key here. Most people have experienced being asked this question and this commercial almost guarantees that the next time you hear it, you’ll think of Pepsi in a positive light.

Verizon First Responders vs. T-Mobile Comedy

Do you gain more traction from sentimentality or humor? We saw the split between Verizon and T-Mobile and it’s tough to say which was more impactful. The Verizon first responders commercial offers opportunity for a call to action telling the viewer to go to the company website to learn more about the heartfelt stories and possibly the services they offer. The T-Mobile commercial invokes an immediate response of laughter but no call to action to inspire engagement.

Mint Mobile: Chunks in Milk

Disgust is definitely an emotion that can stick with viewers and bring out engagement. However, it must be done properly to keep your company in a positive light. Again, staying on brand helps keep your message clear and helps you use the tactic effectively.

Domino’s: Points for Pies

Domino’s pulls a BOLD stunt by offering free pizza to anyone who loves pizza as much as they do. Rewarding new and existing customers brings appreciation and loyalty! Using the CEO of the company as the face of the commercial and highlighting every day pizza-loving moments humanizes the brand. Domino’s also uses today’s technology to their advantage by calling the customer to action to download their app and use it regularly to collect their reward.

Burger King: Andy Warhol Eats a Burger King Hamburger

In 1982, Andy Warhol ate a Burger King hamburger on film. In 2019 he posthumously appears in a Super Bowl commercial. What on earth do the two have to do with each other? Actually, the story is quite interesting and is told beautifully by our friends over at AdAge here:

What is the takeaway? Sometimes, not making sense leads people down a self-discovery path. And while not everything has to make sense all of the time, sending people on a journey does make an impact. And making an impact is exactly what any marketing team should be aiming to do.

Didn’t see any or all of the Superbowl commercials? Check them out here:

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– The Team at Cowe Consulting