Design Inspiration: 5 Of The Best Super Bowl Ads + Design Tips
Do you watch football? Are you a big fan of the NFL?
Irrespective of your answer, we can safely bet that the Super Bowl is on your radar. In the weeks that lead up to the big event, the Super Bowl is anywhere you look. Especially if you live in the U.S. or Canada. Right from billboards to social media to video ads – you simply cannot escape it.
Now with so much love from audiences, and almost 100 million viewers, Super Bowl ads are in a league of their own. And with good reason. Who wouldn’t want to capitalize on such a vast viewership.
The interesting thing is these ads don’t exist solely in the digital domain as most ads do these days. Despite the fact that the marketing world generally agrees that TV commercials are no longer a must-have, the NFL is a big exception. Every year, the world waits with bated breath to see what brands will come up with for their Super Bowl Ads.
The ads are so good that people often don’t want to leave their seats to miss them during commercial breaks. And they’ll even go out of their way to look them up after the fact.
The Super Bowl even has an ad meter that declares the most popular Super Bowl Ads of a particular season.
With so much hype and competition, you may wonder – is a Super Bowl ad so important for a brand? And what are some of the best Super Bowl Ads of all time for small businesses to learn from?
That is why in this blog by Kimp, we take a stab at answering all of this and take a trip down memory lane to break down some of the best Super Bowl Ads of all time.
Let’s get this started! *cue referee whistle*
The Super Bowl – A Showdown For The Best Ads
The Super Bowl is not just a big thing in the world of Football. It is actually an enormous deal in the world of marketing as well. While quarterbacks and coaches are making game plans before the game begins, marketers in the USA start strategizing too.
Everyone covets getting a precious Super Bowl ad spot so that they can bring their brand in front of an extremely engaged audience.
And these slots are difficult to get and super expensive. A Bloomberg study tells us that each spot can go up to $5.1 to $5.3 million. In fact, the 2021 Super Bowl ads brought in combined revenue of $485 million, which is a new record.
It’s no surprise then that 26% of Super Bowl viewers feel more excited about the commercials than the game. Along with the best and worst plays, the ads too become the topic of conversation for months to come. In 2020, close to 44 million interactions took place on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter regarding the Super Bowl, and the ads were a huge part of it.
Super Bowl ads bring in revenue for brands in addition to a lot of social capital and brand awareness points. A report from Fortune tells us that the ROI from Super Bowl Ads can be as high as 36% for some brands, and hit an average ROI of 12%, including but not limited to revenue, leads, and brand awareness.
When the stakes are so high, no wonder some of the best ads we have seen have come from the world of Super Bowl Ads.
And if you too want a slice of the pie, maybe by making your own social media posts or YouTube videos, you should know how the big names did it and prepare accordingly.
So, let’s dive right in.
5 of the Best Super Bowl Ads + Design Tips
The term “Best Super Bowl Ads” is very subjective, isn’t it? Just like most things in pop culture are. Everyone likes a particular ad over another because of how it connects with them. And sometimes it features their favorite celebs or influencers and that is always an added advantage.
In this compilation by Kimp, we bring you the Super Bowl Ads that we feel do the best work in translating a brand’s personality and connecting with its audience. Some of these are quite typical in design but the takeaway lessons are aplenty.
1) Reddit’s SuperBowl Ad
The Super Bowl has moved from being an event for just traditional retail businesses to a space for all brands in the past five years. And a prime example is this Reddit ad from the 2021 Super Bowl.
Something so atypical from all the Super Bowl Ads that it became the stuff of Super Bowl ad legends.
Reddit ran an extremely short 5-second advertisement. It was a slide from Reddit that interrupts typical ad footage and speaks of how the underdogs too have a chance to change the course of events. This was, of course, a nod to the day-traders of WallStreetBets that disrupted the industry recently.
The slide speaks of the possible communities the viewers can join with a little political humor.
You know your ad worked when a 5-second ad slot brings you huge momentum on social media.
Takeaway: Be creative. Push the envelope, and do not let your budget limit you. Sometimes when you swing high, the results can be amazing. But always, remember that your branding identity has to shine through in all ads. If not for the typical orange background associated with Reddit, many would have indeed missed the ad.
2) Google Loretta Super Bowl 2020
Google has become a regular face in the Super Bowl ad space with some fantastic ads, and this one is no exception.
Storytelling always wins in marketing. Instead of blatantly pushing your product to customers, try telling them a story to hook them in and show the value of your product. In fact, that is what Google does in the Super Bowl 2020 Ad – “Loretta”.
This heart-touching video shows how Google plays a huge role in a husband’s efforts to keep his wife close even when she is no longer with him. He uses the voice search feature, interacts with the Google Assistant, and takes a trip down memory lane with Google Photos too.
Everything in this ad tugs at your heart strings. We know how indispensable Google is in our lives. But do we really recognize the value of the little things the company helps us with?
Well, after watching this Super Bowl Ad, that is all you will think of.
Takeaways: A good marketing campaign is one that emotionally connects with the audience and paints your products as something most valuable to them. If you have the option between listing down the features vs. showing them in a story, pick storytelling. You will see resounding success.
Seeing is always better than hearing, and when the customer sees the product in action, it breaks a barrier between you and them. Just like this Google Ad does.
Want to make your stories come alive on screen with videos? Try a Kimp Video subscription!
3) Rocket Mortgage
From very atypical campaigns, let’s move to a Super Bowl Ad from 2018 that has all the hallmarks of a very typical and great Super Bowl Ad.
In this ad by Rocket Mortgage, the company slowly builds up the premise of how some people unnecessarily complicate certain concepts and leave customers in the dark. While the first few instances are smaller incidents, the last one is a very serious financial decision – buying a new home.
And that is when Keegan-Michael Key pops up once again to show how Rocket Mortgage makes it easier to understand the terms and conditions with their app.
Again, a classic example of the effectiveness of showing instead of talking about a feature of your product.
But the brand did not stop here. They quickly put together a resource center for their customers who were turning up from the Super Bowl Ad to maintain the promise they made. This resulted in one of the most successful lead generation attempts from a brand from the Super Bowl.
Takeaway: A Super Bowl ad is amazing, like any other prominent ad placement, but you cannot stop there. The ideal advertisement has an engaging CTA. And you have to live up to the CTA. Your investment will not pan out if the follow-up to the ad is not as promised for the customers.
4) Microsoft We all Win commercial
Customers are becoming extremely conscious of who they patronize. This is especially true for Gen Z and Millennials. So no brand should miss an opportunity to showcase the good side of them.
Understanding this, Microsoft launched its “We all win” commercial during the 2019 Super Bowl. The company is an intrinsic part of the gaming industry and realized the pleasures of gaming are not equal for all. For some, their disability stops them from playing to their full potential. To solve this, Microsoft devised an adaptive controller that does not limit anyone’s play based on their physical disabilities.
But the most interesting part of this advertisement is that it features real children who game and suffer from physical limitations. They recount how important gaming is to them. and their parents voice their appreciation for Microsoft launching the controller too.
This is the best way to showcase a new product – via social proof of the need and the product satisfying it. And it perfectly fits the spirit of sportsmanship in the Super Bowl.
Overall, a great win for Microsoft.
Takeaway: Social proof wins, especially in the video advertisement format. Customers are more likely to connect and believe you when they see other customers speaking about your brand instead of a celebrity. So, pick the best testimonials you have and repurpose them to create a killer ad.
5) TUMS’ Twitter campaign
The next Super Bowl ad we are going to feature is not exactly an ad, but a very effective Super Bowl campaign from 2021 that we think you should know about. Not everyone can afford the coveted slot, and even if you can, sometimes you don’t think it is the right fit. But why forsake the attention and all the other benefits of the Super Bowl?
Take a cue from TUMS that launched a giveaway with gamified content. The company wanted to attract a younger audience since TUMS has a reputation of being just for older generations. So they asked people to tweet Tums-worthy moments during the Super Bowl. If they tweeted enough moments to fill up a Super Bowl themed bingo card, they could win prizes up to $55000.
This encouraged people to engage with the brand. TUMS made use of the ad frenzy of the Super Bowl and raked in a lot of brand recall from new audiences.
Takeaway: Your customers love engagement as much as you do. Marketing campaigns that encourage them to take some action and strike up a conversation with a brand always win.
Btw, did you notice the design of the bingo card? Anyone can spot it as being that of TUMS from a mile away. This in turn increases the chances that new customers will pick up TUMS the next time they spot it because they now recognize the brand. What a great way to build brand recall.
Leveraging the Super Bowl the right way for your brands
The Super Bowl is not just for the big brands. In our previous section, we broke down the techniques and strategies used by them. But we think it is pretty clear that any business can replicate these models if they have the right platform and the right team with them.
In fact, the Super Bowl has a lot of scope for small businesses. The average consumer spends $75 on Super Bowl Sunday. So if you can reach them in the crucial window with a meaningful proposition, you can crack the deal in no time.
Given the significance of the event, here are a few pointers from the Kimp team to create a memorable Super Bowl-themed campaign.
The Super Bowl is an unofficial holiday in America. And holidays usually mean shopping. So get in there and create memorable and exciting discount offers for your customers. Ensure that you make it Super Bowl-themed to make the deal even sweeter. Launch exclusive products to enhance your customer’s viewing experience, and the products are sure to fly off the shelves.
Auntie Anne’s pretzels did just that by introducing this game time platter and promoting it on Social Media.
Celebrate the weekend of Super Bowl
Create relatable and relevant content. We know that the conversations around the big day are also going to be football-centric. So if you want to be part of it, you must also get into the spirit of the game.
You can start by promoting your products in the context of the Super Bowl or just share some interesting facts about the event like the Guggen Heim.
Another alternative is to launch a branded AR filter to promote your brand during the Super Bowl weekend. Check out the filter by Gatorade for inspiration.
If you want your customer’s attention, then we recommend investing in video marketing. Like all Super Bowl ads, you too can create a meaningful, emotional, and relatable video ad for your brand for this occasion.
It does not have to be heavy in production as long as the intent is there. You can work with a design team like Kimp Video to create animated videos or to creatively edit footage from your phone that keeps with the theme without breaking the bank.
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The Super Bowl may feel like a very intimidating and out-of-reach platform for your brand. But that doesn’t mean you can’t run your own promos on social media. Every brand can make use of this great opportunity to gain a stronger foothold in their market.
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