Marketing Lessons From Super Bowl LII

Content Marketing

The Super Bowl: A day for football fans and marketers to come together to cheer, eat, laugh—and analyze 30-second commercials. With over 103 million people estimated to watch the Super Bowl this year, the pressure was on to come up with content to engage the viewers.

The Super Bowl was prime time to catch the attention of millions of people—quickly. From tugging on our heartstrings to leaving us confused, this lineup of ads revealed some definite winners. Here are four different commercials from this year’s Super Bowl that we think nailed their marketing goals:

1. Be inspiring

Toyota’s “Good Odds” commercial was one of the first ones we saw, and it set the bar extremely high for the rest of the commercials. This 60-second ad drew you in from the moment it began with the journey of Canadian paralympic skier, Lauren Woolstencroft. What made this commercial stand out is that it wasn’t product-focused. Toyota did a great job of capturing a moment and creating a message. And, to top it all off, it promoted the Winter Olympics through the entire advertisement. Now that is smart marketing.

2. Perfect your message

With the number of commercials that viewers saw, it was important that marketers made their message clear rather than leaving people wondering what they just watched. Viewers saw a number of different food and drink commercials, so creating content that made a brand stand out was difficult. This year, Budweiser went with the emotional angle and showed Budweiser cans being replaced with fresh drinking water for disaster victims. Similar to Toyota, Budweiser took the focus off of itself and showed its brand values through helping communities. It did a great job of clearly communicating the message to the audience.

3. Know your audience

Knowing your audience is key in marketing, especially when you’re paying millions of dollars for a commercial spot. You need to connect to a certain audience, and the NFL commercial did just that. Now, this may sound obvious because it’s the NFL. But for those who watch the Super Bowl just for the commercials, they were able to connect with the NFL through humor of a well-known movie. And, in turn, the NFL also connected with football fans by using well-known players. They got it right with both types of audiences.

4. Continue the conversation

A Super Bowl commercial costs a lot. And by “a lot,” we mean about $5 million for a 30-second spot! With that being said, marketers recognize the importance of continuing the conversation with the audience beyond the Super Bowl. One of the marketing trends we saw this year were commercial sneak peeks that started the conversation early. This got the audience talking about commercials before they even aired, and then the conversation continued even after the Super Bowl was over. While not all advertisers had strong CTAs, most had their own hashtags to prompt further sharing. One brand that scored this was Tide. Since it poked fun at almost every type of commercial viewers saw during the Super Bowl, it was able to take to social media to converse with different brands. And by Monday morning, Tide was a trending story on social media because it wasn’t just a typical ad: It was a Tide ad.

The Super Bowl creates a window of time for marketers to shine. Many viewers remember commercials because of their creativity, or lack of. What were your favorite commercials?

 Lauren Manecke, Branded Content & Social Media Strategist

 As the team’s social media strategist, Lauren manages, creates, and publishes content for a variety of clients in order to achieve their marketing goals. When Lauren isn’t scrolling through social media, you can find her at home binge watching documentaries on Netflix.

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