Did you watch #sb50 last Sunday? Some people tuned in for the high-octane athleticism, some for the show-stopping rendition of the national anthem by Lady Gaga, and others for Beyonce’s star-studded halftime show. However, clever marketers and entrepreneurs paid close attention to the commercials.
It’s no secret that businesses and brands invest millions into the coveted super bowl advertising spot, putting their best creative juices forward. So why not use these adverts as your free seminar to the best in marketing innovation? Here are the top 3 trends we noticed flickering across our screens this year:
Affinity Marketing: When done correctly, the power of strategic partnerships can take a lesser known brand to the next level. As a relatively newcomer to the game, Wix.com rolled out its second ever Super Bowl spot by teaming up with big boy DreamWorks Animation (as in the Creative geniuses behind Shrek, Madagascar, The Croods, and more) to create their Super Bowl 50 ad campaign. Under the hashtag #StartStunning, the 30-second spot promoted the release of one of the biggest animated films on the market right now: Kung Fu Panda 3. This strategic and wonderfully executed partnership is known as affinity marketing, when two brands team up to create a mutually beneficial relationship. A win-win all around.
Furry Friends Do the Trick: From Heinz’s wiener dogs romping through a field, to Honda’s fuzzy sheep belting out Queen’s ballad Somebody to Love, the presence of cute furry animals to warm your heart and make you laugh was pure marketing gold. Simply put, using animals to sell stuff typically works. Alex Nowicki from Marketing Dive states: “The emotional pull consumers feel towards a furry friend makes them more inclined to take notice, and using animals makes a commercial seem less like an ad and more like a story.”
Reverse Psychology: From MINI USA challenging us to defy labels to Prius poking fun at itself while simultaneously showcasing its strengths, brands tapped into the power of reverse psychology this year to tell their message. Rohit Bhargava from IMG states: “MINI USA used a bunch of celebrities to tackle many of the perceptions of the car head on. Not strong enough? Too small? Too slow? The ad perfectly challenges all the assumptions and ends with a perfect tagline and call to action likely to appeal perfectly to their target customer … defy labels.”
By calling out their own perceived weaknesses, these brands seemed edgier and more in-the-know than brands that chose to ignore the haters. In doing so, they established an up-front and honest connection with the consumers and challenged them to reverse their perceptions.
Check out this full write-up on #sb50′s greatest ad triumphs and blunders – and don’t forget to incorporate what you learned into your own creative marketing strategies this year!
How do these adverts inspire your creative marketing campaigns? Sound off in the comments below!