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Super Bowl Ads: 3 Important Lessons to Apply to Your Marketing

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events in the world but it’s not only about the game.

The ads run during the Super Bowl have come to be seen as entertainment in their own right.

The obvious thing for me to do in this article would be to critique this year’s ads telling you which ones I thought were the best and which didn’t quite make the grade.

I’m not going to do this because I see it as a fool’s errand.

It’s all subjective.

Plus, it doesn’t help you improve your marketing and this is where I would rather focus.

I’m guessing like me, you don’t have a budget that allows you to drop $6.5 million for a 30-second commercial and that figure doesn’t even include production costs.

However, there are always lessons to be learned that you can apply and a few went through my head as I was watching Super Bowl ads.

Lesson 1: Why Are You Running an Ad?

An estimated 117 million people tuned in to see the Rams claim their first Super Bowl championship in Los Angeles.

That’s a lot of eyeballs and in itself shows why NBC charged a record amount for commercials this year.

An ad during the Super Bowl has the ability to create awareness on a scale that you and I can only dream about.

It does bring us back to the question of why you are running an ad. It’s a question that I think you have an answer or you’re likely to be wasting your money.

Are you trying to create more awareness?

Are you hoping to generate more interest?

Is it more sales?

You might be nodding your head to all three of these but can you answer these three questions with specifics?

Not all awareness is the same and this in itself will impact the kind of interest you’re able to create which will, in turn, impacts sales.

This just doesn’t just go for ads. It goes for any marketing and public relations (PR) you are doing.

These aren’t the only questions you should ask yourself.

Michelle Garrett has a great post on her site in regards to the questions you should ask yourself before you engage in PR but they also apply to anything else related to marketing.

They are all relevant but two that I especially think are important are:

  •  Are your expectations realistic?
  • Are you aligned internally?

Lesson 2: Who Are You Trying to Reach?

There are many possible answers but there is one, in particular, that is a sign that your marketing will fail.


You are not trying to reach everyone.

This is an answer that I often get so I’m going to repeat myself to make sure you hear me.

You are not trying to reach everyone.

Got it? Good.

So, who are you trying to reach?

In the most general terms, you are trying to reach the people who would be most interested in the solution your product or service provides.

If you don’t know who this is, you aren’t ready to do any marketing or PR.

You need to stop and do your research.

Don’t take it for granted. The research you do will have a huge impact on whether your marketing fails or succeeds.

It all goes back to the question of who you are trying to reach. If you can’t answer with some specifics, you’re in trouble.

Lesson 3: How are You Going to Support Your Ad?

Crypto showed up for the Super Bowl. In all, six crypto ads were run but it isn’t exactly mainstream yet.

This tweet by Vincent Landino offers some good advice:

While it might happen, it will be rare that somebody will see one piece of marketing and run out and buy your product/service.

In addition, the more expensive it is, the more information they will need before buying.

This speaks to the need to have content for every step of the buyer’s journey.

It also alludes back to what I said in the previous section. Do your research.

You will need content that tells people how your product/service solves their problem, how you differentiate from your competitors, and shows your expertise.

This can come in the form of content you create such as service and about us pages, blog articles, videos, podcasts, or even webinars.

Your website is often overlooked as a marketing tool. You need to make sure you not only have great content but that your website can handle the traffic that is coming to it. This is a lesson that Coinbase learned the hard way.

It can also come in the form of earned media which is where PR would come in. These are those things such as guest posts, interviews, articles about your company, guesting on a podcast or on a video channel.

People are looking primarily for two things. The first is that you can solve their problem with your product/service. The second is that you are trustable.

If you aren’t able to do this, it’s going to be tough to convert those who have seen your ads and other marketing to customers.

*Image by 3D Animation Production Company from Pixabay

Shane Carpenter
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