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What Small Businesses can Gleam from Super Bowl Ads

Those Patriots…Those Eagles! What a game! Those Doritos…Those Bud Lights!  What did you buy?

That’s a Super Bowl for you. And the action continued during the commercial breaks, with many people interested in what companies thought was worth paying upwards of $5 million to parade in front of 110 million people.

We all know the importance of marketing, at any and every stage of your small business, but for those of you who don’t have a cool $5mill to spend, here are some affordable ways to get your point across without breaking the bank.

Our short list of “learnings” from Super Bowl Sunday 2018

  • Create a story – Stories tell us why it matters and why we need to care
    • Kudos to the Australian Tourism ad
    • Used poorly by Hyundai commercial using cancer survivors as the spotlight for a car ad
  • Be creative – but make sure it makes sense
    • This was implemented well by Tide
    • Didn’t work? – Diet Coke’s dance
  • Introduce something new
    • Worked for Pringles and the idea of “Stacking”
    • Didn’t work for Febreze’s catch phrase- “Bleep don’t stink”
  • Engage emotionally, but appropriately
    • Olympics ad featuring a serious push to allow viewers to get a glimpse into the mind of an Olympic athlete.
    • Lost in translation was the Ram Truck ad and the use of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech
  • Create a marketing and promotional budget that fits your business goals. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to advertise effectively

The keys to getting the most out of a limited budget?

  • Know your target audience/market – Research how to identify your target audience and how they like to engage
  • Use a balanced approach – A balance between Social Media, Print, In-person, is most effective
  • Strive to build trust through consistent and transparent communication- 68% of customer defection is a result of poor communication
  • Be approachable, and curious in your marketing – Social media platforms are the best way to create that conversation

If you are still struggling to reach your target audience, or have yet to identify who they might be, reach out to the University of Pittsburgh Small Business Development Center for market research assistance!

-Lisa Iadicicco