Super Bowl commercials

Ah, the Super Bowl: one of the few times when people actually want to watch commercials. 

You have over 90 million people gathered around their flat screens, but most of them are drinking beer, stuffing their faces with chips, and socializing.

How can brands get the attention of a distracted viewer?

1. Build buzz beforehand.

The Volkswagen Darth Vader commercial generated 13 million views online before it officially aired.  You get your money’s worth with maximizing exposure, and the previewers will tell their friends to pay attention when it comes up on TV.

2. Do something a little crazy.

Expectations are high and people want to be surprised, impressed, or otherwise stimulated.  If you can’t wow the crowd, at least find a way to pique interest.  The Best Buy spot wasn’t great but seeing Justin Beiber caught my group’s attention.

3. Get people talking.

Most people are watching the game in groups, so encourage conversation.  The GoDaddy commercial was garish, but when it came on, some people asked what the site was, others were explaining, and a few were discussing Joan Rivers’ hot body.

4. Repetition.

I remember seeing the “Chevy Runs Deep” tag line with the Chevrolet logo several times.  Same with Doritos.  I’m sure both brands spent a lot of money getting me to recall that.

5. Keep it simple.

With a distracted viewership, commercials should have a simple plot line that can be told entirely through images.  If you watch the Volkswagen Darth Vader commercial without sound, you still understand what’s going on.

There are a lot of lists for the Best And Worst Super Bowl ads of 2011.  The two I like so far are from Influential Marketing Blog and the Kellogg School of Management because of the brief marketing perspectives behind each ad.  Check them out and let me know what you think.

UncategorizedWes Kao