Super Bowl ads have continued to increase in influence and reach every year. They are some of the most popular television ads created. A few may go viral such as Mountain Dew’s “Puppy Baby Monkey”, or become immortalized in time such as Coca-Cola’s “Mean Joe Green” or Apple’s “Introducing Macintosh” (1984). This year I couldn’t help but notice the ad quality during the super bowl is considerably lifted, you could even call them… super ads.
The primary reason the quality of ads increases during the super bowl is due to the environment they are developed in. If we can replicate this environment, we can apply these principles to analytics to lift the quality of our insights and recommendations. The three applications for why super ads are head and shoulders above the rest are; set expectations, remove the hurdles, and optimize for effectiveness.
The primary reason why super ads are better is that they are expected to be. You have the biggest platform and highest expectations for a super ad both from the company and from the consumers. Every marketer knows going into creating a Super Bowl ad, it must be special or it will get lost in the noise.
However, we don’t apply this to every project or for the rest of the year. Practically we need to start by setting the expectation for everything that comes across your desk. You may create something better than what you have, but if you want to make it “super” it needs to be a step above.
Remove the Hurdles
Secondly, it’s widely known how much super ads cost (30 sec = $4 million). Personally, I think that probably adds to the pressure placed on the marketers who are trying to create a super ad. But since these ads have such high expectations, and such a high inherent cost, generally these ads have massive budgets. Consider that most of these 30-second spots have anywhere from $500K to $3M to produce. Not only that, but the ads also have one of the most generous time tables in the industry. Company’s find the best agency, provide them with ample budget and time, pick the best ad, then expect a great result.
If you want to create something truly impactful, remove the hurdles from those trying to achieve it. I know it’s unlikely the $500K tool that will make your life easier probably won’t get signed off on from accounting, but there are usually small things that can provide increased quality of work. One such hurdle is time. If you want a killer holiday, take January to celebrate the previous year, but plan in February. Don’t wait to be pushed up against a deadline when something inevitably will be good enough. Reach for the expectation.
Optimize for Effectiveness
If you can get really good at the above, it’s time to optimize. Take a note from Dorrito’s who took a unique approach by crowdsourcing all its super ads with its “Crash the Super Bowl Contest”. This program was highly successful as Dorrito’s broke the accepted model. Instead of spending a lot of time, energy, and money on creating great ads. They let small content creators create powerful ads, and then spent less time and money of their own.
Sometimes you should think outside the box. Sure, the model you have may be working great. The site may have awesome conversion and tons of traffic, but is there a more efficient way to keep the trend up? Maybe we can improve something intangible that will help the customer experience?
Set expectations, remove the hurdles, and optimize for effectiveness and you will end up with a super outcome. I know this model doesn’t seem complicated, but generally this is easier said than done. If you don’t believe me, then why do we have the same boring old ads placing young people eating food, a new car under lights driving fast, or an attractive old woman trying to sell you a pill.
Finally, I just couldn’t leave you without a few of my personal favorite super ads.