Ponder This as You Watch the Super Bowl

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

Did you know it’s estimated that more people watch the Super Bowl each year for the commercials than they do for the actual game?  I was one of those people last year, at least through the first half.  Then I decided I really didn’t need to watch the second half of the game, I would just see which commercials my friends on Facebook thought were the best.

As I pondered that thought again this morning, something hit me.  There are several lessons marketers can take away from Super Bowl commercials.

1.  Timing Matters
Your message has to be played at the right time, or no one will pay attention to it.  That is why so many companies were willing shell out $3 million per spot on their 2012 Super Bowl ads, and why they’re shelling out almost $1 million more this year.  They knew people would be watching.  More importantly, they knew if they did the ad right, people would remember.

When do you play your ads on radio and television, or put them in newspapers and magazines?  When do you post things on Facebook?  Did you know in many markets it is often worth it to pay more to have your radio ads played in drive time, to have your television ads played between 6:00-10:00 p.m., and to run your newspaper ads on Sundays? Additionally, your Facebook fans have a set time when they typically visit Facebook.  Finding the right time to post throughout the day can greatly increase your interactive rate with your friends and fans on-line.

2. Involve Your Fans/Patients in Creation of Your Ads
Most of my friends agreed that the award for the best commercials of the first half  last year went to Doritos – and the grandma who launched her baby to the tree house to get the bag from his little brother.  Ironically, Doritos had help coming up with that commercial.  From October 3, 2011 until November 21, 2011, fans of Doritos had the opportunity to submit their commercial ideas to Doritos on-line at CrashTheSuperBowl.com.  The rules of their contest were simple:

  • Review the assets provided in the Toolkit on the Web Site.
  • Get together your idea for a DORITOS® brand Super Bowl XLVI commercial. Make it action-packed. Make it funny. Make it something you’ve never seen before. It’s up to you. Just make it awesome.
  • Create and submit a 30-second spot featuring DORITOS® brand tortilla chips.
  • Your Submission should be in commercial form consistent with these Official Rules.

Then fans voted on the top commercials submitted.  Talk about a viral marketing campaign showcasing how the fans of Doritos liked their product.  More importantly, talk about being able to test your commercial for a minimal investment.

After Hours Pediatrics Urgent Care in Florida held a similar contest called the “Thumbs-Up Groove” online music video contest, where participants danced to their theme song.

You may not be creative, but your customers who love you probably are.  Utilize their talents and their passion for the services you provide to create a new commercial, to promote your jingle, or to come up with the layout for your new ad.  Then make sure to time it right.

3. You Have to Learn from Others
The final thing I took away from watching the Super Bowl last year is you have to take time to study and learn from others.  Every time I watch a commercial or see an ad, I take time to notice what it was that caught my attention.

Think of all that as you watch the Super Bowl tonight!

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