Long Live the Super Bowl

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How to make the magic of the Super Bowl a year-long approach

Advertisers are used to being at the bottom. Every year we sit amongst the least trusted professions. Say hello to our fellow bottom dwellers, the used car salesman and the oh-so popular politicians.

People go out of their way to avoid us. Can you imagine getting a TV plan without a DVR? Ad blockers continue to increase in adoption with every quarter that passes.

And no matter how many years you’ve been working in this industry, your parents will never understand what you do.

Then comes the Super Bowl and everything magically changes. People don’t just watch the ads, they tune in to watch them, in some cases more-so than the game itself. People talk about the ads. They debate the ads. And they all go to USA Today to rank the ads.

What’s going on?

The Super Bowl is a great demonstration of something we need to remember the other 364 days a year: People don’t hate advertising, they hate bad advertising. The unfortunate reality is that there is just a lot more bad advertising out there.

Yes, having a massive audience and a cultural moment to unite audiences around a shared experience are massive multipliers that make the Super Bowl special, but there are many examples the rest of the year where great creativity proves itself in consumers’ willingness to opt-in.

So, how do we make every day as magical as the Super Bowl? Making the Super Bowl a 365 day approach

Put the audience back at the center

As advertisers, we can never forget that there is a person sitting on the other side of the screen. People understand the social contract. They get that businesses need to advertise to grow. But how you choose to treat that moment is everything. If we expect consumers to swallow whatever RTBs we try and force down their throat with nothing in return, then we’ve lost.

Consumers are willing to give ads a chance if they get something back in return. It can be funny, it can be heartfelt, it could be entertaining, or it can be introspective. The canvas is large, just make sure not to hit copy and paste. Give them something new that they’ve never seen before, and they will reward you for it.

Don’t shortchange the craft

We’ve all read the headlines about how our industry’s belt is getting tighter. Our need for speed and 6 second ads are all the rage. Banners will solve all your problems, especially the programmatic ones. But, what happens when we put all that aside for a day? What happens when we invest the appropriate amount of time and money to produce something more significant? Well, as they say in almost every other industry, you get what you pay for.

Give a damn

Anyone who has worked on a Super Bowl campaign knows that there is a completely different feeling once you start working on that campaign. Every meeting has a heightened sense of importance. Everyone in the agency is talking about it. We give it our undivided attention and care deeply about the one piece of work our friends and family will see. The question is, why do we limit this passion and energy for Super Bowl ads? How could all our work improve if we took the same care and attention we do for a Super Bowl campaign to that campaign in July?

All of this is not to say that there aren’t duds in the big game or stars that bring the goods throughout the year, but if we can all deliver better work throughout the year, then we will all be better off for it.

Let’s take these lessons from the Super Bowl and try to raise the bar of the work we produce and, as a result, consumers’ willingness to opt-in.

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