The Super Bowl is always a hot topic here at Chartwell. Not for what did or did not happen during the game but for the commercials. We’ll save the discussion of the halftime show for another time. We all have our favorites and the ones that didn’t hit home for us. Opinions usually vary, showing there is no perfect commercial that will win everyone’s heart.  

While it seems many of the commercials talk about everything except the actual product, many of these companies are playing the long game, aiming for brand awareness instead of sending anyone running to the store. For example, no one I spoke to remembered that the Rakutencommercial was about a cashback website but remembered the name.

Here are some of the takeaways from this year’s batch of Super Bowl commercials.

Social activism is growing

Last week, Emily Hartzog offered some insight into the increasing amount of companies taking a stand on social issues in their marketing. The commercials this year were no exception. There was an increase in representation, both in race and gender, as  well as companies increasing their social impact messaging. With commercials like Budweiser’s Wind Power and Toyota’s RAV4Hybrid, more companies are taking the risk of not only delivering their message but also tying it in with social commentary.

Messaging that can be tailored

While outrageous one-off commercials generate buzz for a short time, developing themes for long-term use, packaging stories into a series and other repeatable messaging are the most efficient ways to reach your audience in multiple ways. For example, Clydesdales are immediately recognizable as Budweiser, as is the Bud Knight series, which appeals to a different demographic. A cohesive theme allows organizations to tailor their message to reach a variety of audiences. While the T-Mobile commercials have been widely panned by critics, as a package, they tell a larger story that you cannot get in one 30-second commercial. Creating scalable messaging that can be laser-focused to suit your audiences is another way to create brand awareness.

One commercial will not rule them all

Everyone has their favorite commercial and the spots are all different. For example, the NFL fumble commercial was a fan-favorite in our office but was given a “B” by the Chicago Tribune. Others may love the outrageous Top Dog by Avocados from Mexico or the creepy RoboChild by TurboTax. This reinforces that there is no ad campaign that will bring everyone to your door. The most efficient use of your organization’s time and marketing dollars is knowing who your desired audience is and what message you want to share.

Creating ad campaigns and spending marketing dollars can be intimidating. Whether an organization is spending $5 million or $500, knowing what you want to say and exactly who you want to say it to are the best ways to get the most bang for your buck. If this sounds a little daunting, Chartwell Agency can help facilitate this messaging and campaign development.