Lessons From This Year’s Super Bowl Commericals

Feb 9, 2016

Lessons From This Year’s Super Bowl Commericals

What Christmas is to little kids, the Super Bowl is to marketers. At a robust $5 million for 30 seconds of ad time, companies need to bring their A-game in order for their creative output to match their financial investment. While only the biggest brands can afford to play on this field, even small business owners can learn a lot from watching what marketing efforts failed and which were being talked about on Monday.

Here are a few things businesses of every size can takeaway from this year’s Super Bowl commercials.

Nostalgia Scores Big

While you can’t always count on the game being entertaining, Super Bowl viewers can always feel confident they will see an ad featuring the Budweiser Clydesdales. Even though Anheuser-Busch markets it’s most famous beer in a variety of ways, the company always comes back to the iconic imagery of the Clydesdales pulling a cart of beer during the Super Bowl. Some of the most popular commercials this year also featured classic rock tunes from the likes of Queen and David Bowie.

So what’s the lesson? Simple, nostalgia sells. If you’ve established a mascot, motto or iconic image that’s closely associated with your product, you need to strive to keep your brand heritage alive in all of your marketing efforts. It is through this type of established branding that your loyalist customers relate to your business. That’s not to say you shouldn’t try new marketing ideas, just don’t forget about your roots.

It’s All In The Context

A number of spots that tried discussing current healthcare issues or warning about the dangers of drunk driving failed to resonate with audiences this year. Advertising a need to drink responsibly or the merits of improved health care certainly has a place, but perhaps that time isn’t when the majority of your audience is at a party, bar or hanging out with friends and family.

Be conscious of when and where you advertise your marketing message to make sure the content fits with the context. You need to make sure potential customers are in the right mindset when they receive your message so they can better understand and accept what you have to say.

Comedy Is Hard

Super Bowl commercials have become so ingrained into our society that viewers now expect to be thoroughly entertained by what they see. Companies like Miller, Doritos and Mountain Dew are expected to produce memorable and engaging spots, most of which rely on humor to entertain. While a few companies were able to successfully hit the funny bone, many others failed to receive much of a chuckle.

Be careful when trying to use humor in your ads. While weird, non sequitur humor (hello, Puppy Monkey Baby) might work on some, it’s very difficult to have humor successfully resonate across your entire customer base. If you only appeal to part of your target audience in your marketing, you run the risk of alienating the rest.

Go Big

With a chance to win it all, the Denver defense showed up big. A disjoined and somewhat hard to watch contest was largely dictated by the hard-hitting defense of the Broncos that showed the importance of giving it all you got. You only have so many chances to connect with your current and prospective audience, so make sure you wow your customers by giving 100 percent to your marketing efforts.


Great marketing doesn’t require a Madison Avenue budget. Small businesses owners can create compelling marketing content just as effectively as the big boys. You just need to work a little harder and be just a little more creative. Local Fresh can help your small business succeed in marketing on the biggest stages. The companies that advertise during the Super Bowl have the brightest minds in marketing working for them, and so can you.