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What We Can Learn From Big Game Day Ad Wars

By Oren Jacobson 3 min read

On Super Bowl Sunday, tons of companies will drop millions of dollars for 30 to 60-second commercial spots. During the biggest football game of the year, a short 30 seconds on air can cost as much as $5 million dollars, which sounds nothing short of crazy. However, with 115 million sets of eyeballs viewing each ad, the logic is hard to argue against. Here's a challenge for you this Super Bowl Sunday, as you consume wings, pizza, and beer during the big game: Pay attention to the commercials. You can learn a thing or two about marketing. 

I don't need to convince you that advertising matters. You know that. But, in a hyper-fast world that features endless amounts of consumable information and short attention spans, it's time we accept how important advertising really is for any growing industry. It's time that we accept the reality that marketing is the new sales.

Does that mean the role of a sales team is obsolete? Or that someone will make a complex purchase decision on an expensive product based on a 30-second spot? Of course not. However, if you think that a short yet powerful message isn't far more compelling than a long interaction with a customer, it's time to re-examine your personal paradigm.

Last year, Chrysler released a commercial that intermixed images of safety labels on various household products with images of a mother and her kids engaging in their morning routine. The commercial ended with commentary about bullying, and even though the ad shows a Chrysler minivan, the company didn't mention a product, price, or promotion. The message, however, was clear. Chrysler understands how important the safety of your family is to you. Not only that but their messaging says that they're standing beside you in the fight to prevent bullying in schools and to provide a safe vehicle for your loved ones. I dare you to watch the video and suggest that someone with a 'security' and 'family' hot button wouldn't be moved by this messaging. If you valued those things and were considering a new car, do you think you would stop by the Chrysler dealership? Do you think that the sales rep at Chrysler would have an inherent leg up on the competition because of this commercial?

What exactly does this mean for you? It means that you need to be able to explain to your customer (whether that be in-person or through digital marketing) who buys your product and why they buy your product. You need to be able to sell in a way that resonates. Forget the facts for a moment and focus on the narrative; tell the truth but tell it in the form of a story. A story is what makes an advertisement so powerful. That story resonates with a Target Consumer Group and those people know they are being spoken to directly. Does your TCG know when you're speaking or marketing to them? Be honest.

The good news is this: You should already have a Unique Selling Proposition. If your USP isn't written in narrative form, write a copy. Become great at communicating the story of your buyers to your prospective buyers. Want to earn their business? Create the best 30-second commercial that you can for your community and deliver it to your customers every time.

Oren Jacobson holds an MBA with an emphasis in strategic management and is currently working on receiving his master's degree in economics and policy analysis at DePaul University in Chicago. As the lead strategic marketing analyst for New Home Star, Jacobson specializes in helping builders maximize their asset positioning through market segmentation, consumer alignment, and data analysis. He also leads the NHS team in the creation of training tools and resources to develop and enhance their expertise in sales.

Originally published Feb 3, 2016 under Explore the latest topics, updated March 15, 2024

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