10 Winning Themes In Super Bowl Ads

The following is adapted from a Smith Brain Trust piece “Top 10 Winning Ad Themes from 50 Super Bowls”:

10 Winning Themes In Super Bowl Ads

SMITH BRAIN TRUST – A feminine care brand sponsoring a football telecast might seem odd. But the Proctor & Gamble Always Like A Girl commercial that aired during the 2015 Super Bowl dovetailed with the NFL’s “Football is Family” marketing campaign. It also reaffirmed the Super Bowl as advertising’s biggest stage. “It’s a platform broadly reflecting what it means to be an American with all the complexities and nuances,” says marketing professor Hank Boyd at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.

He says the groundbreaking “Like a Girl” spot effectively identified and challenged widely held stereotypes about women’s athleticism. “The message that girls can compete and ultimately win tapped into the generational divide experienced by Millennials and Generation Z,” he says.

Ahead of Super Bowl 50, Boyd, identified Super Bowl ad trends to help create Progressive Insurance’s online “Super Duper Bingo” game and promotion targeting Super Bowl 50 viewers. Boyd identified 10 themes in past Super Bowl commercials that people tend to talk about and remember:

  1. Humor:Snickers lets us watch Betty Whiteget tackled into a mud puddle (2010).
  2. Sex:See Danica Patrick’sunrated GoDaddy spot (2010).
  3. Cute kids:Doritos’ Sling Babyshows why children make us smile (2012).
  4. Dogs:Awwwww! Look at Budweiser’s Dalmatians(1999) and Doritos’ Pug Attack (2011).
  5. Heartstrings:Feelings matter more than thoughts in Google’s Parisian Love(2010), Budweiser’s Clydesdale Brotherhood (2013) and Microsoft’s Empowering (2014).
  6. Singers:Pepsi taps P. Diddyto cultivate its image as the choice for Generation Next (2005).
  7. NFL heroes:Coca-Cola’s Hey Kid, Catch!spot uses “Mean Joe” Greene to appeal to a broad range of viewers (1979).
  8. Voiceovers:Clint Eastwood gives Chrysler a powerful voice in It’s Halftime(2012).
  9. Animation:Thanks, Wile E. Coyote (Pontiac, 1998) and Homer Simpson (MasterCard, 2004).
  10. Personality symbols:Geico’s Cavemanshows how a fictional character can define a brand (2008).
10 Winning Themes In Super Bowl Ads

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