The Super Bowl has become quite a spectacle over the years.
While I consider myself a big-time football fan and genuinely enjoy watching “the big game,” it’s rarely ever a GREAT game.
If you’re like me, you’re also watching for the epic commercials.
With viewership numbers easily over 100M, it has gotten to the point where it is literally the Super Bowl for marketers as well.
There have been so many classic commercials throughout the year, and I’m sure everyone can recall a select few of their personal favorites.
However, with a price tag of between $5.1M to $5.3M for a 30-second spot, these big brands (and their marketing teams) better come correct with something new, engaging, and on-brand.
With so much on the line, let’s take a look my four personal favorite leaked commercials for Super Bowl 53 and assess what it means for the rest of us marketers (that don’t have mutli-million dollar budgets).
1. Expensify - The First Music Video you Can Expense
Featuring the rapper and face of “Most Expensivist,” 2 Chainz, and actor Adam Scott, this one was my favorite for a couple reasons.
As the Controller for IMPACT, I recently rolled out Expensify to our company as a way to simplify our expense reporting and receipt collecting process.
"I’m excited about this music video you guys are gonna make. It’s gonna be… dope, ya know. But you know what's even more dope is….saving your receipts from purchases you make for said music video... and then you organize them into a nice, tight, spreadsheet," says Adam Scott.
That’s pretty much me.
This is the first interactive commercial I’ve seen this year, and maybe ever? Their tagline is “the world’s first music video you can expense.”
By using the camera scanning feature within the Expensify mobile app, you "scan the receipts" that you see throughout the music video to enter yourself in the giveaway for that item.
You can even double your chances for each item by sharing a link with your friends that invites them to join Expensify.
It’s a beautiful use of both inbound and outbound marketing tactics, incentives, and new technology.
If you have a great product, the first step to getting people to integrate it into their daily lives is to get them to try it.
And sometimes, you need to change the perception of your brand to appeal to your target market.
In this example, Expensify blends music, humor, pop-culture, and unprecedented interactivity to capture a younger demographic, more tech-savvy generation than their normal clientele.
What better way to try out a product, or product feature, than to be rewarded for doing so!
Use this as inspiration and try come up with a new approach to getting your customers to try your product.
2. Amazon - Not Everything Makes the Cut
Amazon didn’t hold back any punches with this one. It is chock-full of stars and pretty darn funny if you ask me.
The smart home device market is booming these day, but they’re still not perfect yet. I’m sure you’ve all gotten frustrated with your personal robot butler one time or another, and Amazon takes this head on. Hilarity ensues.
Acknowledge your shortfalls as a company. Nobody is perfect and recognizing your flaws shows you are genuine and not trying to be something you’re not. If you can get people to laugh about it at the same time? Mission accomplished.
Also, at a higher level, this ad reinforces Amazon’s overall brand, allowing them to showcase the evolution of their product in a funny, relatable way.
3. Hyundai - The Elevator
In this spot, Hyundai uses an elevator with various floors to represent different terrible situations that we all deal with in our lives (i.e. Jury Duty, 6-hour flight in the middle seat, root canal).
The bellhop (epically played by Jason Bateman) assumes they are on a very low floor because they are shopping for a car. Little did HE know, they have Hyundai’s new app.
The commercial is for Hyundai’s Shopper Assurance Program, which supposedly makes car buying more convenient and more pleasant.
While it’s important to differentiate yourself from your competitors, this commercial shows us there are creative ways to do this.
When I see companies bash their competitors so directly, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but Hyundai doesn’t do that.
Car shopping really can be as terrible as those other situations, but the car company was able to recognize a pain point and deliver their solution in an awesome way… without stepping all over their competition.
4. Michelob Ultra - The Pure Experience
ASMR got a lot of exposure in 2018.
If you haven’t heard of it, climb out from under your rock and go down some YouTube rabbit holes…Or stay tuned because my buddy and teammate, Nick Bennett, is publishing an article on it on Monday.
Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) gives some people a head-tingling sensation and a sort of euphoric calm. ASMR videos have millions of view on YouTube and clearly, have a loyal following. It makes sense for a big brand to finally catch on to the growing phenomenon.
This introduction to the public will have a lot of people talking.
Michelob Ultra uses Zoe Kravitz’s hypnotic voice, a beautiful location, and refreshing sounds of popping a cold one to paint an amazing scene for any thirsty patron watching on Sunday.
In the marketing world, you need to have your finger on the pulse of the internet.
The ability to identify trends and ride the wave in a creative way can help amplify your exposure.
Michelob seems to have found a really cool way for brands to use ASMR to show off their product in a new way.
So... What Other Marketing Lessons Ya Got For Me?
Even if you didn’t have $5M lying around for a Super Bowl commercial this year, there’s still a lot you can learn from these big brands about effectively communicating your message.
This Sunday, see if you can spot the trends in their marketing approaches.
Which brands knocked it out of the park and why? How can you implement some of these marketing lessons into your 2019 strategy?