Why Super Bowl Advertising Works

The Power of AdvertisingSuper Bowl Advertising

If you happened to be one of the 114.5 million viewers of what is known as the biggest sporting of the year, the Super Bowl, then surely you viewed your fair share of commercials. Maybe the commercials are the sole reason you watched the game; it was for me. Alright, it was also to see the Seattle Seahawks potentially lose after beating my beloved Green Bay Packers. Commercials during the Super Bowl have always possessed a more creative and free-willed spirit about them. Many times we have found brands breaking away from their perceived image to provide shock value that resonates with consumers and helps to create a potentially new image and lasting impression.

Advertising 20 years ago

I’ll admit, while I have been around for fewer than 30 Super Bowls, there was an era of advertising during the big game that I still consider to be the best and most entertaining. This era was known as the dot com boom. In the late 90’s and early 2000’s, it seemed as is every commercial you saw during the Super Bowl was that of a new and unheard-of dot com business. Since they didn’t have a deep brand history, and therefore no real public image, they were able to get away with the most obscure albeit memorable advertising that I feel we have ever witnessed to this day even.

Many of the commercials gave you zero information as to what the company’s service actually was. Take Cyberian Outpost, better known as “Outpost.com” for example, a great example actually, of a dot com brand who’s Super Bowl commercial left one of the most memorable impressions to this date. Whether that impression was good or bad was entirely up to the viewer. The commercial, which aired in 1998, featured a seemingly well off and accomplished businessman sitting in his library saying that they want you to remember their name and that that is the sole reason for the commercial and its absurdness. Have a look for yourself. Outpost.com went out of business only a few years later, but the commercial is still a fan favorite.

The Memorable Ads

Now, if you watched the Super Bowl this year, what commercial stuck out to you? Can you name one? I can, and it nearly brought me to tears. Budweiser’s lost puppy commercial was meant to tug at your heart strings and show the brand’s caring side. They went with the same dramatic and heartwarming (if not gut wrenching) approach last year with the young Clydesdale in a big city parade finding his was to his original owner to greet him after their years of separation . Yup, nearly cried there too. While the Budweiser ads take a different approach to their attempt at being memorable than Cyberian Outpost did, both were very successful and attracted the attention of the brand faithful in Budweiser’s case and the curious consumer for Outpost.

With all of that being said, take a moment to think, is your brand memorable? If you had a Super Bowl commercial, what would it be like? Maybe it’s time to show a different side to your consumers.

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