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Superbowl ads to no longer make a spectacle of the brand


When sex doesn’t sell

According to an AP news article by Mae Anderson, this year’s Superbowl ads will focus on the brand and will be more mature. She notes that brands like GoDaddy and Axe who have typically promoted their images with risqué scenarios and tawdry images will clean up their acts.

Thank goodness. After last year I was left with the determination that national brands spending millions of dollars on :30 of air time had totally forgotten the reason they purchase ads. Shock doesn’t sell. It only stops traffic.

Features, benefits, value anchor a brand

Your ad, whether in your local newspaper, direct mail, or digital format, must always focus on the time proven essentials: features, benefits and value to the customer.

Your marketing messages must reinforce your brand promise and help future or current customers comprehend the value of choosing your products.

Overselling the sizzle

Elmer Wheeler said, “Sell the sizzle, not the steak,” and while I agree that using memorable touchpoints of the brand helps consumers comprehend and recall your brand, if you oversell sizzle and it is not a core component of your brand, you have failed.

GoDaddy has famously used bombshell ads to help you remember the company name, but not a single ad they have ever run helps my remember their reason for being: domain name registration.

Flash does not build trust

Your ads should, like your content, help your brand build trust with your audience. Flashy ads do get attention, but do they reinforce the enduring quality of your products or services? I would answer, “No.”

Thank goodness this year we will see more ads such as the one from Budweiser which will focus on friendships and relationships. Budweiser has always focused on essential qualities to anchor their brews into American consumers’ minds.

Though Bud has also used their share of sophomoric humor (remember Whassss up?) to appeal to young men, a subsection of the market. On the whole Budweiser has more often focused on the building of relationships and their brew’s place as a product that fits into the life of their consumers.

Yes, sex sells, but will your customers trust or remember you in the morning if that is your primary tactic? I think not.

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