There is one day that all American advertising agencies look forward to each year. It is essentially the night of nights. A show reel featuring some of the most carefully planned, researched and executed advertising. Yes, it is the Superbowl.
Advertising at the Superbowl has become a must-have for any large American brand. With the enormous viewership and the prestige and heritage of quality advertising during this event, the adverts almost have their own cult following.
(Whether it is actually worth the investment of time and resources due to the intense competition and volume of noise required to stand out above the crowd is a question for another article.)
I have been scrolling through lists of the best advertisements from the 2015 Superbowl today and there appear to be three strong trends which are resonating with audiences across America. And they couldn’t be more different from each other if you tried.
Self-Deprecation always works well when it comes to celebrity advertising. There are very few things that are more memorable than a much-loved celebrity who admits their public-perceived faults on national television. This year, championing the banner of self-deprecation, are two very famous and very flawed individuals who already had the public talking and are sure to continue this wave of water cooler conversations from tomorrow morning.
Nostalgia is a strong selling point for any brand. You can see it in the entertainment world with revivals in the theatre, remakes in the cinemas and covers of 80s pop songs in the music charts. But these Superbowl adverts show that it doesn’t even need to be nostalgia related to your brand, you can leverage the nostalgia of others through some very clever product partnership.
Yes, our four legged friends have formed the centre of even more advertising campaigns. Always a popular choice, clever use of animals can easily transfer the warmth we feel when we see a puppy across to a product. (Even if it is completely unrelated as is shown in this Budweiser advert).
The effectiveness of these advertisements is questionable. Were they overshadowed by the amazing performances throughout the sporting match? Were they lost among the crowded advertising landscape? Or were people simply fast forwarding through the advertising in order to see more of the Superbowl? Regardless of the effect they will have on sales tomorrow, these advertisements are certainly generating a lot of word-of-mouth due to these three powerful marketing techniques.
Imagine if you could combine all three – I’m going to start working on a self-deprecating advert featuring the nostalgic animal television star Lassie!