The New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks may have engaged in one of the greatest Super Bowl games in the past decade, but the commercials during the game managed to keep viewers equally enthralled between quarters. From Pac Man to "Pitch Perfect 2," this year’s collection spanned a vast range of topics perfect for viewers of all ages and interests.
There were tear-jerkers, there were celebrity cameos and there were – of course – car commercials. Several of this year’s Super Bowl spots stand out for their messages while others highlighted products and services for the small-business owner, but all offer valuable insight for executives looking to build their brands.
Consider the top five commercials from the 2015 game and what your company can learn from them.
1. Working – GoDaddy
If you recently opened your own business, no commercial hit home quite like GoDaddy’s "Working." The 30-second spot is much tamer than the company’s previous commercials, featuring just one man working during the late hours with a cup of coffee and several bright lamps. The image is quite familiar if you spent the game in a similar situation, "guy who’s not at a party with his friends right now." The marketing team at GoDaddy recognizes how much work and dedication goes into starting and managing a new company, which is why the brand tries to make website hosting and domain name acuiqisition as easy as possible.
The takeaway: If you’re trying to grow your small business, it’s relieving to know that many companies out there recognize how much work you need to complete on a daily basis. When searching for software or services, partner with brands who can offer valuable insight while keeping your own schedule and limits in mind.
2. #LikeAGirl – Always
The surprise hit of the night came from Always, with its touching "#LikeAGirl" commercial. At the beginning of the spot, adolescents and young adults are asked to complete tasks "like a girl." When asked to throw, people show limp wrists and exaggerated high-pitched sighs. Each person who "runs like a girl" looks like a broken puppet with loose strings. However, when the audience shifts to young girls, each participant works her hardest to run, fight and throw to the best of her abilities. The commercial asks viewers to take back the phrase "like a girl," showing a hashtag to accompany the new mission.
The takeaway: Hashtags work. Within seconds, #LikeAGirl was trending on Twitter and Facebook, with TechCrunch reporting the campaign generated the greatest amount of social buzz during the game. You may not be able to generate a similar amount of buzz on your own, but adopting hashtags to accompany any campaign your brand undertakes is a great way to quickly spread information across the Web.
3. Lost Dog – Budweiser
What’s not to love about a commercial that follows the heroic saga of a lost puppy returning to its owner? "Lost Dog" was another highly talked about commercial from this year’s Super Bowl – try to fight back the tears when the puppy’s horse friends save him from the ravenous wolf. The courageous tale of the small puppy taking on the big world may tug at a particular heart string, especially if you’ve recently opened your own business.
The takeaway: Much like the lost puppy, your business may find itself following fruitless ventures that leave you stuck in an unfortunate situation. You may have a rough journey along the way, but going back to square one and trying again can yield successful results – and it doesn’t hurt if you have a few powerful friends chime in with some assistance or advice.
4. Pay With Lovin’ – McDonald’s
Since the beginning of 2015, McDonald’s has unveiled a new marketing venture replete with different colors and an emphasis on love. In this particular commercial, customers discover that instead of paying for meals with money, they’re asked to complete an act of love in exchange for food. People are told to do a range of tasks, from calling their mothers and telling them they love them, to hugging strangers in the store. The company revealed that all stores across the nation would begin randomly accepting these types of payments in the coming months.
The takeaway: The past few years haven’t been the best for McDonald’s, so it’s no surprise the brand is mixing up its marketing tactics. Reception to the new commercials have been generally positive on social media, but the next few weeks will show how successful the new "Choose Lovin’" campaign has truly been. But integrating a little love is never a bad idea for corporations big and small. On a much smaller scale, your business could adopt a similar customer reward program that illustrates how deeply your company cares for its buyers.