7 Lessons From the 2013 Super Bowl Commercials

For the past seven years I have enjoyed watching the Super Bowl commercials and sharing lessons learned from this event. I do my best to interact with consumers and marketers live during the game and solicit their feedback about the commercials. Here are the top five voted commercials (from my Super Bowl party), but more importantly seven lessons marketers can learn and apply to their own programs from these commercials.

The kiss: GoDaddy creates buzz each year and this year was a little more “cute and risqué.” The company had a lot of buzz to its site and excelled by putting “The Kiss” as a YouTube video on its home page.

We know our stuff: Amy Poehler walking through a Best Buy was entertaining and left consumers with the thought that if you want to know stuff – just go to your Best Buy. Of course, Amy’s “one-liners” made the journey even more interesting.

Come talk to us: If Pepsi didn’t get a million sign-ups for its new drink trial, it certainly blew it away with Beyonce’s halftime extravaganza. Pepsi got people to participate in the chatter and certainly leveraged being the center of attention.

An astronaut: Who would have expected Axe to pop out of that commercial? It was an interesting commercial that moved the consumer from a rescue to an astronaut to the Axe spray. What a way to get people going!

The sniffles: Two commercials did really well here. First, there was the Oprah/Jeep ad about “Bringing America home” or “together.” It was long, engaging, and got quite a few people going. Then, there was the other favorite – the man and his horse, the Budweiser story!

I am sure that you have your own top five, but let’s move on to the lessons learned.

1. Choose your words well. Every advertisement leveraged Twitter by including a hashtag (why isn’t hashtag a word in the dictionary yet?) in the commercial. Consumers understand Twitter. You can use it to spread the word, and the key is for you to choose the right words and use Twitter to spread your word.

2. Keep it short and intriguing. Your content has to grab your consumers’ attention. Take time to create good content – at the end of the day, this is how your consumers are going to remember you. Intrigue is important because that is what is going to move you to inquire about the rest of the story.

3. Involve your consumers. Both Pepsi and Coke did their best to involve consumers. Coke got consumers to vote on who would get the Coke. Coke even made you share more of the commercial on social media with your friends. Pepsi got consumers to sign up to receive a free drink coupon. Involve your consumers, as many hands make light work. (By the way, Coke has ignited a major controversy with its commercial!)

4. Test that it works before it goes live. Fortunately, this year was no Dockers (remember how its site crashed during its Super Bowl ad?). Be sure to load test; don’t just test out your stuff before you go live. It makes the experience real-time and more palatable.

5. Don’t let them come to an empty discussion. Make sure that you have a discussion happening on the landing page of your social site. This way your consumer is coming to a conversation that is already active. If the site is bare, the consumer just clicks away.

6. Track and respond. You need to be monitoring your social media discussions. Your customer service team needs to be trained to respond to social interactions. Do not wait for 24 hours to respond!

7. Can you start now? There are still brands that think social is a fad that is going to go away. There are also many that are not fully leveraging social media or integrating social into their marketing mix. It is time; just do it!

Three things were apparent during this year’s Super Bowl – you use social to find new consumers, you use social to interact with consumers (so you can know them better), and social is a powerful way to get consumers to spread your word. Of course, your “word” or content needs to be interesting!

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