Writing Content? Use Super Bowl Ads as Inspiration.


The Super Bowl. That special time of year when Americans gather around their televisions to watch commercials. Oh yeah, and we tune in for a little football too! It seems that each year anticipation for the big game becomes more focused on what advertisers will pull out of their creative bag of tricks than the athletic competition.

Our fascination with these commercials is amazing when you think about how most of us can’t wait to fast forward through them any other time of the year. So why do we care? Because they make us laugh, connect with us emotionally or simply make us go, “hmmm.”

The ability our favorite ads have to draw us in is actually due to one thing – the content connects with the desired audience. Something we marketers often overlook as we’re working to push out that new website, direct marketing campaign or print ad. We tend to spend so much time focusing on cool images, selling our product and weaving in our QR codes that we lose site of building our campaigns around content that resonates. Of course, we all think that the dog trying to shed a few pounds in the VW The Dog Strikes Back commercial is adorable, but it’s what the dog is doing to get his groove back that connects with us.

VW Dog Strikes Back

Here’s a challenge. Next time you write content or brainstorm that new campaign, go back and watch your favorite and least favorite Super Bowl ads. Think about why you really like or dislike them. Then, ask yourself the following:

  1. Who is my audience? Are they male or female? How old are they? Socioeconomic status?
  2. What does this audience care about? What do they like to do?
  3. In other words, what will connect with them emotionally? Is it humor, nostalgia, inspiration, pride?
  4. How does my product or service tie to that emotion? For example, the Downy Mean Joe Greene ad got me thinking about how much I like that fresh from the laundry scent to last as long as possible. It made me think about their new product while taking me back in a funny way to that golden era of my Steelers.
  5. What do I want my audience to do? The call to action (CTA) is important and often forgotten about. In Super Bowl ads the CTA is often more subtle, but it’s typically to instill the desire to buy a product or service.
  6. Is the theme or concept easy to follow? Think about it. Your least favorite ads are probably because the humor or content makes you think too much.

And remember, just because you might not be writing content for a Super Bowl ad, there is no reason why you can’t make them think your ad isn’t worthy of a $3.5 million spot! Drop us a line and tell us about your favorite Super Bowl spot and why it connects with you.


Stacy W. • February 8, 2012

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