Each year, sports fans across America come together to watch one of the biggest American Football matches of the year. With this huge audience, the event has been dubbed ‘The Marketer’s Holiday’. With more than 100 million Americans expected to tune in to watch it each time, according to Sports Illustrated, it’s one of the biggest stages for marketing campaigns. Plus, according to YouTube, the number of people re-watching these adverts on its service has increased by 16% in a year by year analysis.
While this event is usually reserved for big business marketing, there are several lessons that can be learned by businesses of any size. This week, I’m breaking down the success of the biggest adverts at the Super Bowl and how you can apply them to your marketing.
Amazon Alexa – use humor to your advantage
Great advertising is memorable and it’s worth remembering that adverts that make us smile are more likely to be remembered and shared. If appropriate, humour can go a long way in making sure that your marketing stands out from the crowd.
Knowing that the Super Bowl is a time for upbeat advertising, Amazon used this to their advantage in marketing their intelligent personal assistant, Alexa. Its ad, dubbed ‘Alexa loses her voice’, starred Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, singer Cardi B, actors Anthony Hopkins and Rebel Wilson and chef Gordon Ramsay as the voice of the device.
This ad garnered more views than any other spot during the Super Bowl. This made it the most popular advert to rewatch on the streaming service. In addition, information published by RBC Capital Markets states that Alexa now occupies 70% of the smart speaker market. Amazon is estimated to generate $10 billion in additional revenues from Alexa-enabled devices. This is due to showcasing the technology in adverts that play on humour. With audiences engaged and actively searching the device on platforms, such as YouTube, its $6 million investment into its Super Bowl ad is paying off.
What to take away: If the topic and situation call for it, don’t be afraid to use humour in your marketing. Your product is more likely to catch the attention of your audience if the advert is light, funny and memorable. Don’t take yourself too seriously and focus on entertaining your audience. If they’re having fun, they’re likely to engage better.
If you have one product or technology that you think stands out, invest in it. The exposure you can gain through marketing can attract the attention of more potential customers and engage your audience better. Investing in marketing can lead to a big pay off in the long term.
Budweiser – say something important
If humour doesn’t fit with your brand, try tapping into an important message. If there is a particular issue your brand is passionate about, your marketing could be the perfect place to showcase this. This means that you can promote the ethics and values of your brand, effectively promoting what your company stands for, as well as a great cause.
This year, Budweiser broke from tradition to support one of its causes. Rather than creating a memorable advert for its product, such as the ‘Wazzup’ ad of 1999, the company instead shows the work that went into bottling water this year, in response to numerous natural disasters all over the world. Focusing on areas such as California and Puerto Rico, their approach was set to the song ‘Stand By Me’ and followed one factory worker who helps bottle the water. This advert used real employees from the company’s Georgia brewery. As Budweiser has donated 79 million cans of drinking water in response crises around the world over 30 years, the moving advert displayed the social outreach the company does. This powerful message resonated with their audience.
What to take away: Make your adverts represent you as a brand. Through showcasing your company’s values, you’ll create a brand that customers can relate to. Research by the Huffington Post shows that 61% of millennials are worried about the state of the world and feel personally responsible to make a difference. This also showed that 92% of Millennial customers are more likely to buy products from ethical companies. Through showcasing your own ethical values as a company, you can tap into this audience.
It’s important to remember that this should seem natural. Choose an issue you have a genuine interest in and aligns with your business philosophy. If you’re passionate, it’s more likely to come across in your marketing.
Febreze – consider your environment
When it comes to marketing, consider your context. Through researching your environment, such as where the advert is being broadcast or who the target audience is, your brand message can be better tailored to the audience you are trying to reach.
For the Super Bowl, odour eliminator Febreze mastered their environment. In a 30 second clip, titled ‘The Only Man Whose Bleep Don’t Stink’, focuses on the need for a bathroom spray at a Super Bowl party. Considering that the Super Bowl is a space for fun, friends, family and gatherings, the company took this premise to create a shared experience. The lighter messaging, product benefits and entertainment on offer perfectly fit the setting. Working as a subtle reminder to people throwing parties that day, Febreze used is marketing to create a demand and need for its products.
On Febreze’s official YouTube channel, the advert has amassed over 629,000 views. This advert was followed up with a Twitter campaign, with the hashtag #BleepDontStink trending afterwards.
What to take away: Although a relatively simple concept, this is carried out well. Learning from Febreze, your campaign can have a simple concept and light topic, while still making an impact. Through keeping your advert and message broad, you’ll be better positioned to create a universal experience that more of your audience can share.
Through inviting campaign viewers to use a hashtag, you’re encouraging engagement on social media. As Hubspot reports, 84% of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising. This means that effective digital marketing means that your campaign will be able to reach the younger market. With traditional marketing reaching older generations, you’ll be able to reach a wider audience.
Tide – short and sweet, on repeat
If you want your advert to be remembered, keep it short and to the point. Through careful research and thorough understanding, you should be able to reduce the message you want to convey in a single sentence. Don’t try to overcomplicate what you’re saying, as you increase your chances of losing your audience. The simpler and more memorable you can make your message, the better.
The best example at this year’s Super Bowl came from the laundry detergent company, Tide. Their ad showed a variety of scenes depicting stereotypical advertising, such as a having an ad set in a bathroom or a beer advert set in a bar surrounded by friends. Over this, the message ‘This is a Tide ’ was repeated. Through repeating this saying over and over, they ensured message penetration. The message stuck. The imitation of stereotypical scenes from past Super Bowl advertising successes, such as Budweiser and Old Spice, created a self-aware reflection on advertising. Drawing together the common theme of clean clothes, Tide suggested every advert with clean clothes in was really an advert for Tide. This meant the conversation ‘is this a Tide ad?’ played out all night both online and in real life.
The Super Bowl success of Tide is carrying on, due to their clever use of social media. The days following the event saw Tide was the top band story trending on Twitter. Through not spending their entire budget simply on the advert, the company was able to consistently support the message through digital advertising. Tide maintained momentum gained through its initial advert through their #TideAd work on social media
What to take away: As shown by Tide, keep your message simple. This allows you to have a crystal-clear message that won’t overwhelm your market. Making sure your message is being communicated is key. You can’t make your audience pay attention to a boring or unclear advert.
Use repetition to drive your point. If a phrase is repeated, it’s more likely to stick and be remembered. This hook will mean that your advert can stand out from your competition.
Using social media effectively helps to continue driving your campaign. While an initial advert can capture the attention of potential customers, social media can engage with them and create a lasting relationship. Make sure to budget for social media in your advertising costs.
When you’re planning out your own marketing strategies, the lessons from these big adverts are helpful. Using these as guidance, watch how other brands act and pay attention to how you can apply what they do to your business, products and services. No matter what your budget, learning the skills and techniques of successful advertisers is great for inspiring your marketing.