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by John Bonini John Bonini on February 2, 2013

4 Viral Marketing Lessons Learned from Super Bowl Ads

5-viral-marketing-lessons-learned-from-super-bowl-adsWhen it comes to viral marketing, there's no better weekend when it comes to inspiration than this weekend.


Super Bowl Sunday. It's the day advertisers wait all year for. It's a day they plan, write, and pull all-nighters for. After all, there's simply no better opportunity to reach as many consumers in one night.


However, all brands and advertisers know the same thing. Therefore it becomes critical for brands to stand out, create a memorable advertisement that will be the talk of America for the next couple weeks. (Or maybe even years.)


This is why brands pull out all the stops. The best jokes. The hottest celebrities. The best songs. It's like game 7 of the World Series; everyone shows up to play. That's why watching what these advertisers have come up with is so much fun. It's the creative process at the top of its game.


As you can imagine, there are many lessons to be learned from Super Bowl ads that you can apply to your own marketing content in an effort to go viral. We've covered it here, detailing 4 viral marketing lessons to be learned on Super Bowl Sunday.


4 Viral Marketing Lessons Learned on Super Sunday


1. Quickest Way to a Consumers Heart is Through the Funny Bone


It's no secret that the most talked about Super Bowl ads are always the funny ones. The Budweiser frogs. The Terry Tate commercials. Any Bud Light or Doritos ad.


People are looking to laugh on Super Bowl Sunday. Funny sticks in the minds of consumers for a very long time. The key is finding and taking a unique angle.


Take this years Volkswagen commercial set to air during the big game tomorrow. The theme is "Get in. Get Happy." It features an office workers strolling around, talking to everyone with a spot on Jamaican accent in order to brighten up everyones day. Granted, this one has come with a bit of controversy, but it's still funny. Check it out below.



Moral of the story? Be funny. Be memorable.


2. People Like a Familiar Face


Now obviously we don't all have the access or marketing budgets to attain big name celebrities for our marketing messages, but the point is people like a familiar face.


Whether it's Brad Pitt or an expert in your industry everyone knows, "celebrity" cameos go a long way toward making your content go viral.


When HubSpot parodied "Gagnam Style," they featured a brief cameo of industry expert David Meerman Scott which appealed directly to their target audience.


On a larger scale, Toyota is featuring The Big Bang Theory's Kaley Cuoco in their big spot tomorrow night. Check out the video below.



So will Kaley Cuoco grab the attention of viewers? In short; yes. Check out #3 below for clarification.


3. Sex still sells


There's a reason why "sex sells" is still a advertising cliché; because well....it does. I'm sure this was the determining factor for Toyota to feature Cuoco in their big TV spot, as they know she'll be a main topic discussed at water coolers everywhere.


But you can bet that Toyota won't be the only major brand to use sex appeal in order to grab some attention on Sunday, as its proven to be perhaps the most effective measure of doing so since...well...forever.


4. Get to the Point Quickly


Viral marketing videos often share a similar trait; they're short, brief, and to the point.


In the age of the digital and mobile consumer, the attention span for long winded ads and pieces of content has shrunk like a Subway footlong.


The most memorable Super Bowl ads will be between 30 seconds to a minute.


This obviously poses a challenge, as it's hard enough creating viral content...now you also have to do it quickly.


But isn't this part of the reason why Super Bowl commercials are so much fun? It's as much of a display of talent as the game itself.

John Bonini

John Bonini

John is the Marketing Director at IMPACT, responsible for the overall marketing and branding strategy. He also writes for the HubSpot Blog, Social Media Examiner, and Convince & Convert among others. He enjoys playing guitar, high-fives, and anything with marinara sauce.

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