How to Leverage a $9 Million Ad in Your Practice

Ok, I confess. I didn’t actually watch the Super Bowl last Sunday. Well, I sort of did, but not for the football. I watched it for the ads.

This year NBC asked $4.5 million for one 30-second ad (a 12.5% increase over what Fox Network requested last year). What’s always interesting to me is to see which companies completely throw their money away by conveying the wrong message (which is the majority, in my opinion). In a poll conducted after the game about people’s recollection of the ads, fewer than 30% could actually match the ad with the advertiser. In other words, just because your ad is shown to viewers at halftime and makes them laugh, doesn’t mean they remember what was actually being advertised, which (in turn) greatly reduces the chances of people rushing out to buy that product.

Anyhow, I digress. What is of greatest interest to me is those few companies who do get their ads right. They use a message perfectly targeted to their audience. They convey it in a memorable way. And the ad does its job — by reinforcing the brand value so there’s no mistaking what the ad is advertising.

Let’s take a closer look at my favorite ad of the this year’s Super Bowl, and (judging from the number of social shares), America’s favorite ad, too:

The Wild Dog vs Adorable Puppy Ad for Budweiser (a $9 million ad). If you haven’t seen it yet, you can view it by clicking on the image below. Once you’ve watched it, click back to this article and I’ll give you a short (but extremely valuable) lesson on how you can use some of the same strategies they used, to craft a highly effective TV or “Viral Video” ad for your practice.

Here’s why Budweiser’s $9 Million ad was so successful:

  • It (first and foremost) tells a compelling story.

It evokes strong emotions and even brought a couple of people I was watching the game with to tears. This isn’t an ad about cute animals and men drinking beer. There’s an actual storyline which can’t but help bit draw the viewer in.

Lesson: The most powerful marketing is story-driven (or as I call it, Personality-Infused Marketing). If you’re not leveraging this style of marketing in your practice, you are missing a big opportunity.

  • The ad speaks perfectly to its target audience — on multiple levels.

It features a particularly handsome young farmer, based in middle America, who clearly embodies all-American values — hard-working, honest, down-to-earth. That’s their primary target market for beer drinkers. But the reason the ad is so genius is that it also resonates with a whole other target market — dog lovers, horse lovers, animal lovers… and women in general (who, believe it or not, purchase 48% of the country’s beer).

Lesson: Make sure the message you convey is perfectly matched to your primary target audience. The right message to the wrong audience is a limp hit that misses its mark. The right message conveyed to the right audience hits its audience dead on.

  • The ad is entirely consistent with the Budweiser brand.

It’s not “being creative for being creative’s sake”, like one ridiculous ad I watched for Mexican avocados that started out strong with a spoof of draft picks, and then lost its way. Everything about the dog ad is consistent with Budweiser’s brand and brand values.

Lesson: Know what is distinctive about your brand and make sure that every piece of your marketing is consistent with that. Brand consistency is critical: to be remembered, and to be trusted.