Lessons Learned From Super Bowl Advertising

Yes, the Super Bowl has come and gone and, according to many a sportscaster and spectator, this year’s Big Game was not quite as exciting as some had hoped—and that feeling of slight disappointment seemed to stretch from the playing field into the commercials. “The game was horrible. The commercials were slightly better than horrible,” writes Derek Thompson in an article for The Atlantic — a sentiment felt by many inside and outside of the advertising world. 

However, we found some marketing-to-mom nuggets among this year’s Super Bowl ads—even with ads that weren’t specifically targeting moms, the messaging and strategy used are great examples of what can work for your brand. 



The New Dad

Gone are the days when Dad was portrayed in advertising as someone who can’t keep it together—a bumbling clown barely able to get the kids fed and dressed. Today, Dad is more actively involved in all aspects of parenting and advertising is starting to reflect this reality. For this year’s Super Bowl, we see Dad playing a staring role in spots for brands such as Cheerios and Hyundai. In both cases, Dad is shown as a capable and caring parent, a message that resonates well with men and women alike. 

Nostalgia Rules

Messages that positively connect consumers to their past go a long way toward increasing the overall effectiveness of a campaign. “It is the emotion generated from that good feeling that influences people’s evaluation of the advertised offer,” writes Derrick Daye in a piece for Branding Strategy Insider. During the Super Bowl, this strategy was used by several brands including Radio Shack, a spot we loved for how it poked fun at the brand’s biggest weakness and showed its target demographic how it has evolved in the ever-changing tech space.

Tell a Life Story

At our agency, we talk a lot about creating and telling your brand story. But, the other vital piece of that puzzle is to be able for your brand to tell a life story—a story that connects with mom on a very personal level such as the emotion felt when a soldier comes home. The Super Bowl spot that got us with this was from a very non-marketing-to-mom brand, Budweiser. A beautiful job of giving us a sense of the brand’s story—its own legacy—and connecting it with a real-world moment and emotion that appeals to moms of all ages.

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