3 Steps to the Ultimate Super Bowl Ad


This Sunday arrives arguably the biggest day of the year for advertisers: the Super Bowl.

On this day, 108.7 million viewers will tune in to watch the Seahawks face the Broncos in the 47th Super Bowl game. To put that number in perspective, the highest viewership of any television show in 2013 came in at a mere 10.3 million for the season finale of Breaking Bad.

Priced at a gut-wrenching $4 million per 30 seconds, advertising spots during the game don’t come cheap. But as the appetite for Super Bowl ads grows, ad real estate doesn’t get any more prime than game time.

With the spots coming in at $133,333 per second, how are these brands getting the most bang for their buck? We’ve watched the 15 teaser clips and leaked spots to reveal the game plan brands are executing this year.


Pick a Theme and Stick With It

comedy-drama copy

The first decision brands must make is the direction of the advertisement: comedy or drama. The most successful ads stick to one or the other to intensify the impact of mere seconds. Whether tickling viewers’ funny bones or tugging at their heartstrings, the best of the pack make every shot count by staying consistent.


Celebrity Appearances Are Gold  


A tried and true tactic — nothing gets more hype than an advertisement featuring a famous face. Here are a few examples of brands leveraging star power this year:

  • Bud Light taps actors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Don Cheadle (House of Lies), and musician Reggie Watts.
  • Audi features a guest appearance from singer and anti-animal cruelty activist Sarah McLachlan.
  • Dannon reunites Full House castmates John Stamos, Bob Saget and Dave Coulier.
  • Hyundai features actor Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory).
  • Jaguar unites British movie villains Ben Kingsley (Trevor Slattery from Iron Man 3), Tom Hiddleston (Loki from The Avengers) and Mark Strong (Lord Blackwood from Sherlock Holmes).
  • Kia brings back Laurence Fishburne to reprise his role in The Matrix.
  • SodaStream kicks off their multi-year endorsement with actress Scarlett Johansson.
  • Toyota sticks The Muppets cast on actor Terry Crews (Old Spice guy).
  • Wonderful Pistachios recruits comedian Stephen Colbert (The Colbert Report).


Go Social


What you show on screen is only half the battle. 63% of viewers plan to use some communication device while watching the game and 61% will share ads via social media.

108.7 million viewers is a prize in itself, but social sharing is what amplifies the impressions into the billions. Extend your brand’s exposure of the audience to your brand by encouraging sharing. Quality content comes first – people share what moves them – but you can take steps to encourage it too.

Creating a hashtag is a way to keep the conversation going through social media. Here are some of the brands hoping to trend:

  • Audi: #StayUncompromised
  • Axe: #KissForPeace
  • Bud Light: #UpForWhatever
  • Butterfinger: #NutTherapy
  • Hyundai: #NiceHashtag
  • Toyota: #NoRoomForBoring
  • Wonderful Pistachios: #GetCrackinAmerica

Some brands are even creating microsites to give their campaigns an online hub. Dannon launched its  “Bromance” page, and Jaguar has


On an average day, TV viewers complain about, fast-forward, or ignore commercials. But as 85% of Americans gather with friends and family to catch the Super Bowl, 78% of them actually look forward to the commercials.

With a projection of 3.9 billion impressions, first-timers like Jaguar, Cheerios and Chobani and veterans like Anheuser-Busch, Doritos, Coca Cola and Hyundai are all vying for a slice of the pie. Even Heinz Ketchup is biting the bullet for the first time since 1997 for the chance to make an impression on the biggest viewership from a single event.

Do you think it’s worth the price tag?


*Stats cited from Venables Bell & Partners Super Bowl Study and Crowdtap Study.

Pampan Zhang

Pampan Zhang is a Marketing Coordinator at 451 Marketing. Follow her on Twitter @PampanAllday!

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