marketing lessons from the big game for small businesses

7 Marketing Lessons from 2017’s Biggest Game

We’re guessing your small business probably doesn’t have the budget for a commercial to run during the biggest football game of the year — even a 30-second spot can cost millions of dollars — but there’s still plenty of marking lessons you can learn from tuning in. Take the lead from these clever commercials.

7 Big-Game Marketing Lessons for Small Businesses

1. Focus on Family

Audi’s #DriveProgress “Daughter” commercial pulls at your heartstrings — and that’s what makes it so powerful. Anyone who has kids knows that they can pack an emotional punch, and this spot gets at that elegantly. By aiming for the heart, it creates a moving story in a short time that stays with the viewer.

Whether it’s a commercial, online ad, or print spot, a key component of marketing is sharing a message that the viewer remembers. When you’re spreading the word about your company, doing so through a universal message — family — will keep your business in their heads long after they have viewed that ad.

2. Take Risks

It’s no surprise that in the current polarizing political climate, plenty of commercials during the big game went topical. It’s a bold move, but it can pay off if it’s done well — just be aware that you’re walking a fine line.

Budweiser is known for always having some of the best commercials on the big day, and this year they did something a little different with “Born The Hard Way,” which focuses on immigration. The spot hit all the right notes, proving that making a risky move can pay off when you do it well.

3. Use Star Power

Okay, so we’re pretty sure you don’t have the budget to hire Justin Bieber to star in your ads either, but T-Mobile got it right. By spotlighting one of the biggest celebs, they’re ensuring his massive fans will be tuning into his spot again and again long after the big game is over.

An easy way to replicate that? See what local celebs can do for your brand — small-town heroes can get just as much love.

4. Don’t Forget the Ladies

Obviously women tune in to the game too, but we can’t help but notice that many of the commercials seem to be aimed at men. Last night, It’s a 10 Haircare made history as the very first women-and-indie-owned hair care company to run a Super Bowl commercial. The theme of the commercial, “Four More Years,” was embracing the beauty of diversity and showing that it’s more crucial than ever now — even when styles aren’t perfect.

The brand’s founder and CEO hair stylist Carolyn Aronson has said, “I’ve always gone where they don’t go,” as well as “and there is no better time to push the envelope.” Aiming to empower women and all cultures through the spot, it’s an important message to share with your company as well — beauty has more than one definition. And don’t forget about women, who have mega buying power.

5. Have Fun

In the world of small business, sometimes we all take ourselves a little too seriously. Take a cue from the Buick spot with Cam Newton and Miranda Kerr. The pro baller and supermodel simply make it fun, breezy, and entertaining.

You don’t always have to go deep or serious because leaving viewers with a smile on their face can be the best result. And we all know that positivity can translate to good vibes and trust, and what’s better than that?

6. Leave Them Wanting More

The whole point of advertising is to show how great your product is, whatever that may be. The Skittles “Romance” spot does just that in a funny, quirky and clever way.

Think of what makes whatever you’re selling so great and unique, and put a creative spin on it. That message is sure to grab people’s attention, motivating them to get their hands on what’s so fantastic.

7. Make Them Laugh

Funny lady Melissa McCarthy cracks us up in “Hero’s Journey,” the spot for the Kia Nero. It’s hard not to have a smile on your face through the whole thing. Who doesn’t want to be cruising around in a Nero by the end of the commercial?

Channel those laughs and watchability into your next marketing materials for a feel-good experience for your targeted customers.

Celia Shatzman

Celia Shatzman is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn, New York. She has written about everything from travel to fashion, beauty, finance, health, fitness, and entertainment.