Smaht Mahketing; Six Pointers from the Super Bowl

The price for a 30-second Super Bowl spot reached $5.6 million this year. Did advertisers get what they paid for? Some did. Here are six ways they can remind you how to get your money’s worth from marketing.

Weird and engaging aren’t the same thing. 
Every marketing message has to answer the same question: what’s the point? Take Planters’ “Baby Nut” spot. Whether they were trying to ride the “Baby Yoda” wave, or following Game of Thrones’ lead in reviving Jon Snow, as their brand manager somewhat dubiously suggested, the spot seemed like a pointless exercise — and an expensive one.

Keep the brand front and center.  
The two Bud Light Seltzer spots with Post Malone each kept the product in the spotlight. Same with Jeep’s “Groundhog Day” spot with Bill Murray for its Gladiator. But the best-in-class example? Walmart Pickup and its blue bags. Make your product as memorable as your message.

Emotion leads to engagement. 
One word: Google. I’m not crying. You’re crying.

Know your audience. 
Mountain Dew’s core audience skews pretty young. So duplicating a scene from a forty-year-old movie like The Shining — even an iconic scene with an actor as likable as Bryan Cranston — is unlikely to resonate with that age group, If you’re going to reference pop culture in your marketing, make sure it aligns with your target market. 

Emphasize the benefit. 
Several spots did a great job of focusing on benefits. The Michelob Ultra spot with Jimmy Fallon and John Cena. The Snickers spot that recalled Coke’s “I’d like to teach the world to sing.” Toyota’s roomy Highlander spot. And our personal favorite: Hyundai’s “Smaht Pahk” spot. Each clearly and cleverly showcased the benefits of their featured products. What’s yours?

Get the details right.
If you’re selling an energy drink, you recruit…Jonah Hill and Martin Scorsese? Coke did. Remember the spot? Or the product? We didn’t think so. Every detail matters.

If you weren’t one of the nearly 200 million viewers who tuned in, you can see all the ads here.