The country is buzzing in anticipation for the Super Bowl this weekend. Brands have begun releasing ad campaigns leading up to the Big Game. Our big question is: why are Americans so obsessed with Super Bowl ads?
People normally hate ads, hence the migration to ad-free streaming services like Netflix. So why do non-football fans opt in for a three-and-a-half hour game just to watch the commercials? Because people don’t hate all ads, they hate bad ads. Ads that lack originality, inspiration, and purpose. Been there, done that ads.
But Super Bowl advertisements are like the Lamborghini Veneno of cars. Planning starts a year in advance, and costs on average $5 million for a 30 second spot. The best ones start conversations, inspire, or make people laugh with delight.
So what strategies make a winning ad? Here are a few that work when they’re done right:
Tug at those heartstrings
We love a good cry, and brands that tap into the audience’s pain points trigger an emotional response that resonates. Google’s “Loretta” ad touched viewers’ hearts as an elderly man asks Google for help remembering his late wife.
Laugh your socks off
“Advertising is about attracting, holding, and focusing attention, and nothing gets our attention like a funny TV spot,” notes Nigel Hollis of The Atlantic. A comedic ad, when done right, is memorable. Crude humor doesn’t usually resonate well. These Super Bowl ads got us laughing:
Rocket Mortgage “Jason Momoa Gets Real”
Michelob Ultra’s “Jimmy Works It Out”
Little Caesars “Sliced Bread”
Support a cause
Sidelining or eliminating your product in the ad, and focusing instead on a cause, shows altruism and helps the audience connect to your company.
Microsoft “Be The One”
Work in a creative partnership
Brands with similar audiences can partner and create an ad together, allowing them to reach new markets. If done right, both brands will reap the benefits and build a relationship that may pay off in the future.
Budweiser/Uber “Whassup Again”
Pringles “Rick and Morty”
Smart advertisers know how to captivate an audience and share stories people care about. And between the high stakes and tough competition, the Super Bowl drives them to create their best work–and that gives us something to get obsessed about.
Need a little help taking your ads to the endzone? Give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org.