There is an event which takes place around February time every year in the USA which is one of the most watched, talked about and hyped events on the planet. Its actually a sports event but these days the sport seems almost secondary – its the climax of the American Football season, the Superbowl. This year was the fiftieth Superbowl and despite the fact that the Denver Broncos were facing the Carolina Panthers, all the focus was again around the half time show and the adverts that are shown to the TV audience of millions.
Coldplay performed at the prestigious half time show this year sandwiched in between a plethora of TV Superbowl video adverts. These features of this sporting event are often more talked about than the game itself – who remembers Janet Jackson’s infamous ‘wardrobe malfunction’? Who remembers the score of the game from that year? Or which teams were playing? On the TV advert side, brands can live or die by the quality of the advert they put out as consumers judge them based on the ads they show.
The video above features some of the adverts shown at this year’s Superbowl but all of this just goes to show the power of the video advert in today’s marketing environment. Its almost as much about being seen to put a Superbowl video ad out there as much as the content itself so if you manage to get both right then its surely a winning formula. This points to the effectiveness of video as a promotional tool, people are engaged by what they see and how its presented in a video. Its embracing all the best facets of video and selling a message to the consumer. The viewers don’t want basic information pushed on to them when it comes to this medium, they want to be entertained, engaged with, moved and inspired. There aren’t many other types of media that can do this which is why the likes of Mini, Doritos, PETA and more all paid the highest airtime advertising rates of the year for their 30 seconds of glory.
In some cases the attention that an advert will create may be negative but this is all about attention and the old adage of ‘the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about’ applies here. The video above features a Doritos ad with dogs but another Doritos Superbowl video featured a pregnant woman giving birth during her ultrasound scan. Viewers took to Twitter to register their disgust at the advert but that won’t bother the crisp maker as they were the focus of attention across social media.
While all of this seems to be a million miles away from corporate video production and video advertising, the principle is exactly the same. You may not be able to afford the budget it costs to get your video aired to millions of people but any company, no matter the size, can use the principles of a Superbowl video advert to promote their company. Your target audience probably isn’t millions of TV viewers or general consumers anyway but the basic message might be the same and it can still be presented in a creative, engaging and compelling way. The Colgate Superbowl video even included a call to action based on its online viewing community, encouraging people to share the video and include their hashtag in any social media activity which points towards a heavier bias to online engagement over the TV spot.
Whilst it obviously helps with a lot of things, its fair to say that it doesn’t always matter about budgets, its about getting the right content, the right message and using the right channels to communicate your marketing message in any video that you produce. The principle of using video far outweighs whether you are displaying it during the Superbowl or targeting your customers via a YouTube advertising campaign and, relatively speaking. the results can be the same. So next time you think about using video as a marketing channel, it might be worth taking a look at the video above for inspiration.
And for the record, the Denver Broncos won Superbowl 50.