Why Super Bowl Ads Succeed

In 10 short days, people will gather not only to be apart of the millions that watch the Super Bowl, but also to watch the long awaited, highly anticipated super Bowl ads. For sports fans, the commercials are an added bonus to the already exciting day, to non-sports fans, the commercials are what they’re really there to see. The Super Bowl commercials are such a big deal that we actually want to sit and watch these ads and then discuss the best, and worst, ones with our friends.

Over the years, we’ve all laughed, cried and have been dumbfounded by the ads that companies pay millions to air for a mere 30 seconds. The best parts about the ads though are that they’ve always been this way. Years pass but the good ads from decades ago are still talked about.

There are a few that truly stand out and have defined the way that Super Bowl commercials are made today. Here are 12 ads that changed Super Bowl marketing. The author of this article understands why these ads are successful and points out things that viewers may not have noticed before.

Using the author’s text for why these specific ads changed Super Bowl marketing, I created a “wordle” to show the words most represented in the article. Notice that name brands that are represented: Apple, Chrysler, Budweiser, etc.  They have a history of creating humorous or interesting ads that are still talked about it. These brands adapt to the changing times, which increase their presence and brand name in the advertising world.

The takeaway? Super Bowl ads make the cut when they’re funny, thought provoking and making fun of today’s news pop culture.  Assuming you can do it in a tasteful way, there’s a thin line that they have to be careful not to cross, their ads and thus their brand will be talked and admired.


“We Play For You”

As I was watching the NFL games last Sunday, I saw an NFL commercial that literally gave me goose bumps. The ad was a “thank you” for NFL fans from the players. But they were thanked in a way I had never seen before.

Sponsored by the NFL, players from the Carolina Panthers (Go J. Stew!), St. Louis Rams, Minnesota Vikings, Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens sang the “Wind Beneath My Wings” to fans in restaurants, at their private homes or in public places. The brief 1-minute ad ends by saying, “we play for you.”

This is the most simple and appreciated type of PR you can get. It’s a reminder that even though there were issues revolving the NFL lockout earlier this season, leaving fans panicking about how they were going to spend their Sundays, the players ultimately have a job because of the fans and want to publicly thank them for their patience and continued support.

The best part of the advertisement was that it seemed ligitament and not just a PR stunt, though it increased my respect for the NFL and the teams represented in the spot. Those involved looked like they were having fun and actually surprised the people they were serenading.  Maybe it was just really good acting, or maybe the ad came from their hearts and they meant every word.

Another example of recognizing fans is shown here in David Stern’s, commissioner of the NBA, letter to the fans after their lockout had finally ceased. It’s refreshing to see that both the NFL and NBA acknowledged the fans and their support they expressed while the teams were experiencing the lockouts.

Other organizations, not just in athletics, need to realize that they exist because fans, consumers, you name it, support them and a little recognition every now and then is all it takes to keep them as long time supporters.

If you haven’t seen it, here’s the ad below!