Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Ten lessons from this year's Super Bowl ads

We all love the Super Bowl. We love the bigness of it, the spectacle and the drama. Not just of the game, but also the ads. They're fun to watch, criticize and occasionally praise. But the fact of the matter is, most businesses can't afford to advertise in the Super Bowl.

So what marketing lessons can 99.99% of American business learn from the successes and failures of .01% of the marketers who can afford a $3,000,000 spot? Here are ten.
  1. Your brand promise must drive your idea. That's why Chevy's Silverado 2012 spot worked for me and Audi's Vampire apocalypse didn't.
  2. Big production values are not a substitute for a great story. Pepsi's King's Court is a perfect example of this.
  3. It's not enough to be different. You have to be relevant. TaxACT.com failed on this test. As far as I know, peeing in a pool has nothing to do with preparing taxes.
  4. If you're going to have a call to action, make sure you're ready to handle the action. Acura's website crashed because it couldn't handle the traffic after Jerry and Jay were done battling over the NSX. And the UI on Toyota/Shazam contest entry was impossibly slow.
  5. Sex doesn't necessarily sell in 2012. Teleflora, H&M, and GoDaddy are proof of this.
  6. And while we're on the subject, doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is the definition of insanity, GoDaddy.
  7. Just because I like your spot, doesn't mean I'm going to like you on Facebook. Give me a reason to visit. Just about everyone.
  8. Make sure your message is appropriate to the media. Both GE and Cadillac had nice spots, but neither was right for the stage that is the Super Bowl.
  9. In our over saturated, 24/7 multi screen media environment, subtlety is not your friend. Just what is Bud Light Platinum and why should I drink it?
  10. When all else fails, remember these three words: babies and dogs.
If you haven't seen the spots I referenced or would like to see them again, you can on USA Today's Admeter home page.

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