Why Every Ad Should be a Super Bowl Ad

Why Every Ad Should be a Super Bowl Ad

At a cost of $7 million for a 30-second spot, most companies don’t have the means to buy an ad during the Super Bowl. But that doesn’t mean they can’t think like an advertiser for the NFL’s championship game.

A local television, newspaper or Facebook ad may not have the reach of the Super Bowl’s 115 million U.S. viewers, but that shouldn’t discourage businesses from being creative in creating buzz about their products and services. It’s not the size of the audience that counts, but the effectiveness of the messaging. And that is where they can learn a lot from those companies committing upwards of $20 million – with production and creative costs along with the price of airtime – for their brief turn in the spotlight.

Creative and memorable advertising campaigns can go a long way toward establishing a brand as edgy and leave people talking about the commercial they just watched.

One of the most iconic and memorable Super Bowl ads was the 1984 Apple spot for the new Macintosh computer. The movie-like feel of the ad and its mesmerizing look sparked a flood of interest in the new computer system, and generated an immediate response from consumers. Sales the day after the ad ran topped $3.5 million and generated $155 million in transactions over the following three months. While a local television spot is unlikely to produce those kinds of results, it is still a goal worth pursuing.

For those potential advertisers thinking there is a big difference between their small business and Apple Inc., and they have neither the time nor the $1.1 million it took to make and air the ad, take heart. While national advertising, especially for an event like the Super Bowl can be prohibitively expensive, a company’s size is no guarantee of an ad campaign’s success. But that doesn’t stop companies from committing the time and resources to make the effort.

That is the lesson. While consumers bemoan the accumulation of advertising they see on television, in print and online, they may just be protesting too much. The hundred or so million viewers of the Super Bowl are not all there to watch football. Many of them are there to see the ads. And talk about the ads. And share their favorites with their friends.

Business owners should approach every advertising opportunity and every marketing campaign as if it was their company’s Super Bowl moment. A chance to stand up and stand out with loyal customers and potential customers alike. Just because you don’t have the budget of an Apple or Anheuser-Busch InBev doesn’t mean you can’t have the same intentionality with advertising creation. And one of those intentions is to create a brand mystique, something that sets your business apart or defines it in an iconic way.

While many business owners look only at the raw return-on-investment from advertising dollars, there is more to selling a product than simply selling a product. Super Bowl advertisers know this. They know they have the attention of consumers who want to be surprised, amused and entertained more than they want a hard sell.

And who knows, in this digital age of ours, it’s not unusual for a creative local advertisement to find new life and reach new heights across social media platforms. And that just might be what really makes advertising super.