The Super Bowl has been called “The Marketer’s Holiday” for good reason. At $5 million for a 30-second spot, it’s one of the highest-grossing media events in the world. And with all the hype around previews before The Big Game, it’s become a frenzy to follow all the activity of the big brands before and after the game.
And while the Super Bowl is the ultimate in big brand marketing, there are a number of takeaways that would apply to a business of any size. Entrepreneurs can learn a lot from this year’s crop of advertising. After all, marketing is a spectator sport, and 2018’s spectacle was no exception.
Related: 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing
Consider the environment
Context is everything. Make sure you serve up your brand messages in a way that is appropriate to the environment. The Super Bowl is a massive stage, but it’s also a space for family, fun, friends and gatherings.
So, advertisers stuck to lighter messaging, product benefits and sheer entertainment. Febreze is a great example. The brand reminded people who were throwing a Super Bowl party that there is a key ingredient that they shouldn’t leave out.
Use multiple channels
The best Super Bowl advertising used multiple channels to spread a fully integrated campaign. In those cases, the broadcast advertising is just the launching pad. Many previewed the spots ahead of time via YouTube, utilized influencer networks to review and share, built installations onsite at the game and maxed out engagement on social media.
Rocket Mortgage is a good example. The advertising quickly led to an online resource to learn more, and social media also kicked in to generate leads throughout the game. Since it’s highly likely that, as a small business owner or entrepreneur, you won’t be using broadcast advertising, it’s even more important that you use a mix of media to spread your messages.
Lead with an insight
All good marketing starts with a consumer insight to grab the audience’s attention. This should be a given in effective communication. The more emotional your connection, the more memorable the messaging . . . especially if it’s tied to a product benefit.
Verizon is a good example. The brand honored first responders by connecting survivors with those who rescued them — by having them place a call on the Verizon network, of course. Big brands don’t own any special territory when it comes to finding an insight, and in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Since small businesses are even closer to customers, finding an emotionally unique insight should be easier and more fruitful.
Make someone smile
Messaging that makes us smile is much more memorable and shareable. So, try to find a sense of humor in the work, and the work will more likely get noticed. Amazon’s marketing with Alexa is a good example — it gave us a good laugh as it simultaneously showcased how it can add value to our lives. You should certainly stay true to your brand indeed, but don’t take yourself so seriously. The NFL certainly did a good job of that!
Rinse and repeat
In order to be effective, messaging needs to be repeated to be remembered. So be sure to repeat over and over again to ensure message penetration. Tide is as good example. It owned the night with repeated variations of their “This is a Tide Ad.” And guess what, the messaging stuck. Yours can too if you put it on repeat mode.
As you plan out your own marketing activities, keep these Super Bowl Big Brand lessons in mind. And as you also watch other brands in action, pay attention to how you can apply what they do to your business. After all, marketing is a spectator sport.