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What event advertising teaches us about marketing

Do you ever struggle to decide if you should spring for a few hundreds bucks of Google ads? If so try to imagine a bigger expenditure. Way bigger.  At this year’s Super Bowl a 30-second commercial cost as much as $5 million. That’s a lot of lattes.

But when you see those kinds of numbers it’s wise to take some notes on what works and what doesn’t. 

That’s because a significant amount of time and effort goes into creating these commercials to ensure they are representing the company’s product or service in a way that gets maximum bang for the buck.

Here are four lessons from this year’s Super Bowl ads that can teach speakers, trainers and other business professionals just like you how to market yourself better this year.

Attach your product or service to a timely message

One of the quickest ways to get your product, service or business noticed is by joining in on a conversation that is already happening, instead of trying to create a new one. This not only shows your current audience that you are up-to-speed on what is going on in the world, but it can attract a brand new audience who was also part of the conversation.

Regardless of where you stand on the political scale, the topics of diversity, equality and togetherness are hotter than ever. In an opinion piece by Alex Holder for The Guardian, he argues that sex doesn’t sell anymore, but activism does. Several companies saw this as a marketing opportunity and jumped at the chance to join the conversation and creating Super Bowl commercials that tackled the topics, including AirBnB’s commercial “We Accept and Coca-Cola’s commercial “It’s Beautiful

While these two commercials had nothing to do with the service or product that the companies provide, they were able to catch the consumer’s interest by focusing on things that they care about.

Use storytelling and personal anecdotes to your advantage

Everyone loves a good story, so much so that storytelling is actually an incredible marketing technique. Even though it is a subtler approach to advertising, it invites consumers to buy into an idea instead of a product or service.

Budweiser had the right idea with its Super Bowel commercial Born the Hard Way, which tells the story of how the company’s founder, Anheuser Busch, immigrated from Germany to the United States to eventually develop the Budweiser beer. The commercial doesn’t mention anything about the beer itself, but instead captivates its audience by selling a story instead.

Focus less on you and more on your audience

In Nintendo’s Super Bowl commercial, consumers do not learn much about the new product Nintendo Switch. Instead they are shown various scenarios of how easily and seamlessly the product could fit into their lives, regardless of their age or gender.

When businesses focus more on their consumers’ wants, needs and desires, they are more likely to develop a positive connection with them. And by giving the consumer an opportunity to focus more on themselves and their own lives, the more likely they are going to want to learn about the product or service a company is offering.

By showing consumers just how easy it could be to regularly use the Nintendo Switch — instead of bombarding them with all the interesting and innovative features the new product has to offer — Nintendo effectively created intrigue and left consumers wanting more.

Don’t be afraid to have fun with your content

Adding personality to marketing is more important than ever to ensure that you have a warm and inviting presence. Adding a bit of humour to your approach can pay off in a really positive way, if it’s done tastefully.

The 2017 Kia Niro commercial “Hero’s Journey”, which stars actress Melissa McCarthy, is funny and relatable yet stays on point and gets the marketing message across. You don’t need a celebrity and a millions of dollars to do the same. People remember things that make them feel good, so if your marketing approach can put a smile on their face you are more likely to make that sale, connection, etc.

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