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3 Super Bowl Ads Consumers Loved in 2022 & What Marketers Can Learn from Them [New Data]

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3 Super Bowl Ads Consumers Loved in 2022 & What Marketers Can Learn from Them [New Data]

Each year, the Super Bowl teaches us a lot about healthy competition. But — we don’t always see it play out on the football field. 

In fact, when the commentators send us to a commercial break, that’s where some of the biggest game-day face-offs take place. While football teams compete for trophies, companies spend millions trying to get more views, leads, and revenue than other brands advertising in their industry on the same day.

Think about it. When haven’t you seen 10 competing car ads during one big game?

And, despite the noise of dozens of ads with blockbuster budgets, viewers might only recall just a few commercial spots. 

If you’re a video marketer, even for a small brand, you can learn a lot from the top Super Bowl ads. Although they have budgets we couldn’t imagine, they still leverage creativity and cleverness that have allowed them to grow mass awareness and stand out among their fiercest competition.

To help you zone in on key takeaways from the Super Bowl ads that resonated most with viewers, we asked more than U.S. 150 consumers to vote on their favorite big-game ads within three major product categories this year.

Below are three consumer favorites, plus takeaways that any marketer can leverage to fend off their biggest competition.

 

The 3 Most Popular 2022 Super Bowl Ads, According to 150+ Viewers

Consumers’ Favorite Auto Company Commercial

Toyota: “The Joneses”

Everyone wants to keep up with the Joneses, aka the cool family, click, or group in the neighborhood that has all the best stuff. That’s potentially why 24% of consumers we surveyed enjoyed Toyota’s ad over other auto-company Super Bowl commercials.  

Toyota plays up the relatable need to keep up with the people you idolize by showing some of the most famous Joneses, including Rashida Jones, Tommy Lee Jones, and Leslie Jones, racing in Toyota Tundras. Quite literally, everyone in this ad is trying to keep up with the Joneses. When the race ends, the Joneses are surprised to see popular musician Nick Jonas pull up and say, “It’s keeping up with the Jonases now.”

While this commercial was boosted by a lot of star power, it’s easy-to-understand storyline offered a witty, yet effective message – “to keep up with the cool people, you’ll want to buy a Toyota Tundra.”

If you want to create a video marketing campaign that uses a similar strategy, consider telling stories of credible, notable, or somewhat popular people, micro-to-macro influencers, or thought leaders in your industry – and how your product has benefited them. This will boost trust and credibility towards your product or service, intrigue the fans of the people in your campaigns, and also let your audience know that people they strive to be like or learn from are using your offerings.

Consumers’ Favorite Tech, Telecom, or Software Brand Commercial

Verizon: Goodbye Cable

One of actor Jim Carrey‘s classically funny films was The Cable Guy. In the 1996 movie, Carrey’s character becomes infatuated with a client he’s fixing the cable for and keeps finding more fake reasons to fix the man’s cable and bond with him in his apartment.

During the 2022 Super Bowl, Verizon creatively plays up the film’s nostalgia by bringing back the somewhat-elusive Carrey for a mini-reboot where he comes to an apartment to set up a prospect’s cable and finds that she’s using Verizon 5G instead.

The cable prospect shows Carrey her internet setup and counters comments he offers, such as, “You must be locked into quite a contract.” and “This might be illegal… I’m gonna need to know who installed this! Who set this up?” As Carey’s character finally understands the value of Verizon 5G, he puts his hand up in the air and – kind of – admits defeat by saying, “Reception’s good, but I’ll be back tomorrow to check.

Although some viewers might not have seen the decades-old film, most people at least understand the ordeal cable customers face when trying to cut chords. As someone who’s tried to cut cable out of my life, I’ve been put through almost the same line of questioning by a cable company’s customer care team.

Ultimately, while Jim Carrey and the ad’s storyline make the commercial nostalgic, attention-grabbing, and fun, its message is still valuable and relatable to anyone who has or has had cable – even in 2022.

Consumers’ Favorite Food or Meal Service Commercial

Budweiser: “A Clydesdale’s Journey”

While most food and beverage brands focused their ad slots on their product during the Super Bowl, Budweiser – famous for its Clydesdale mascot – chose a different route. And, with most of the consumers we polled (18%) picking this ad as their favorite food or drink company commercial, Budweiser likely made a good choice.

Budweiser’s ad tells the story of a Clydesdale that hurts its leg in a jumping accident. The horse lies and moans sadly in a barn for days as farmers and a concerned dog look on. Just as the farmers, and Clydesdale’s dog friend, begin to show lost hope, the horse finds the strength to get up, walk out of the barn gallantly, and run full speed through pastures again.  

The commercial’s end text reads “In the land of the brave, down is never out.”

 

The ad from Budweiser, which didn’t buy space during last year’s Super Bowl, shares a story of hope and optimism which is also a metaphor for national resiliency and how America will eventually heal following years of difficult times and pandemic-related uncertainty.

Although Budweiser’s ad doesn’t highlight a product, it tells a memorable, relatable, and empowering story about the brand’s well-recognized mascot and enables the brand to flash its logo with viewers feeling entertained and hopeful. This is a great example of how a narrative can create an interesting break from a saturated stream of food brands – and stand out among consumers.

Takeaways for Video Marketers

While all the ads above featured celebrities, the stars didn’t necessarily make these ads stand out among consumers in an already-crowded stream of celebrity-filled ads.

In fact, the three ads highlighted above shared the following themes.

  • Relatability: All three ads, even Budweiser’s commercial about a Clydesdale, had a message that was relatable on a human level – making them more memorable andd interesting to watch.
  • Humor: While many Super Bowl ads in past years had heavier tones, two of the commercials on the list above – and many of this year’s ads – won audiences over with a lighter, optimistic, and funny tone.
  • Strong storylines: While most of the Super Bowl ads we saw had celebrity cameos in them, not all of them had memorable or intriguing storylines. The three above all had an interesting narrative that threw viewers into the action and left them wanting to know how the commercial would end.

Even without a million-dollar ad budget, you can keep these themes in mind, and create scaleable affordable video content that caters to them and really draws your audiences in.

Inspired by these ads, and want to revel in some of the best Super Bowl commercials of all time? Check out this post to learn more from the greats.

Or need help building your newly budgeted video marketing plan? Download the free resource below. 

Discover videos, templates, tips, and other resources dedicated to helping you  launch an effective video marketing strategy. 


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The Future of Content Success Is Social

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The Future of Content Success Is Social

Here’s a challenge: search “SEO RFP” on Google. Click on the results, and tell me how similar they are.

We did the same thing every other SEO does: We asked, “What words are thematically relevant?” Which themes have my competitors missed?” How can I put them in?” AND “How can I do everything just slightly better than they can?”

Then they do the same, and it becomes a cycle of beating mediocre content with slightly less mediocre content.

When I looked at our high-ranking content, I felt uncomfortable. Yes, it ranked, but it wasn’t overly helpful compared to everything else that ranked.

Ranking isn’t the job to be done; it is just a proxy.

Why would a high-ranking keyword make me feel uncomfortable? Isn’t that the whole freaking job to be done? Not for me. The job to be done is to help educate people, and ranking is a byproduct of doing that well.

I looked at our own content, and I put myself in the seat of a searcher, not an SEO; I looked at the top four rankings and decided that our content felt easy, almost ChatGPT-ish. It was predictable, it was repeatable, and it lacked hot takes and spicy punches.

So, I removed 80% of the content and replaced it with the 38 questions I would ask if I was hiring an SEO. I’m a 25-year SME, and I know what I would be looking for in these turbulent times. I wanted to write the questions that didn’t exist on anything ranking in the top ten. This was a risk, why? Because, semantically, I was going against what Google was likely expecting to see on this topic. This is when Mike King told me about information gain. Google will give you a boost in ranking signals if you bring it new info. Maybe breaking out of the sea of sameness + some social signals could be a key factor in improving rankings on top of doing the traditional SEO work.

What’s worth more?

Ten visits to my SEO RFP post from people to my content via a private procurement WhatsApp group or LinkedIn group?

One hundred people to the same content from search?

I had to make a call, and I was willing to lose rankings (that were getting low traffic but highly valued traffic) to write something that when people read it, they thought enough about it to share it in emails, groups, etc.

SME as the unlock to standout content?

I literally just asked myself, “Wil, what would you ask yourself if you were hiring an SEO company? Then I riffed for 6—8 hours and had tons of chats with ChatGPT. I was asking ChatGPT to get me thinking differently. Things like, “what would create the most value?” I never constrained myself to “what is the search volume,” I started with the riffs.

If I was going to lose my rankings, I had to socially promote it so people knew it existed. That was an unlock, too, if you go this route. It’s work, you are now going to rely on spikes from social, so having a reason to update it and put it back in social is very important.

Most of my “followers” aren’t looking for SEO services as they are digital marketers themselves. So I didn’t expect this post to take off HUGLEY, but given the content, I was shocked at how well it did and how much engagement it got from real actual people.

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7 Things Creators Should Know About Marketing Their Book

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7 Things Creators Should Know About Marketing Their Book

Writing a book is a gargantuan task, and reaching the finish line is a feat equal to summiting a mountain.

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Being position-less secures a marketer’s position for a lifetime

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Optimove Positionless Marketer Optimove

On March 20, 2024, the Position-less Marketer was introduced on MarTech.org and my keynote address at Optimove’s user conference.

Since that initial announcement, we have introduced the term “Position-less Marketer” to hundreds of leading marketing executives and learned that readers and the audience interpreted it in several ways. This article will document a few of those interpretations and clarify what “position-less” means regarding marketing prowess.

As a reminder, data analytics and AI, integrated marketing platforms, automation and more make the Position-less Marketer possible. Plus, new generative AI tools like ChatGPT, Canna-GPT, Github, Copilot and DALL-E offer human access to powerful new capabilities that generate computer code, images, songs and videos, respectively, with human guidance.

Position-less Marketer does not mean a marketer without a role; quite the opposite

Speaking with a senior-level marketer at a global retailer, their first interpretation may be a marketer without a role/position. This was a first-glance definition from more than 60% of the marketers who first heard the term. But on hearing the story and relating it to “be position-less” in other professions, including music and sports, most understood it as a multidimensional marketer — or, as we noted, realizing your multipotentiality. 

One executive said, phrasing position-less in a way that clarified it for me was “unlocking your multidimensionality.” She said, “I like this phrase immensely.” In reality, the word we used was “multipotentiality,” and the fact that she landed on multidimensionality is correct. As we noted, you can do more than one thing.

The other 40% of marketing executives did think of the “Position-less Marketer” as a marketing professional who is not confined or defined by traditional marketing roles or boundaries. In that sense, they are not focused only on branding or digital marketing; instead, they are versatile and agile enough to adjust to the new conditions created by the tools that new technology has to offer. As a result, the Position-less Marketer should be comfortable working across channels, platforms and strategies, integrating different approaches to achieve marketing goals effectively.

Navigating the spectrum: Balancing specialization and Position-less Marketing

Some of the most in-depth feedback came from data analytic experts from consulting firms and Chief Marketing Officers who took a more holistic view.

Most discussions of the “Position-less Marketer” concept began with a nuanced perspective on the dichotomy between entrepreneurial companies and large enterprises.

They noted that entrepreneurial companies are agile and innovative, but lack scalability and efficiency. Conversely, large enterprises excel at execution but struggle with innovation due to rigid processes.

Drawing parallels, many related this to marketing functionality, with specialists excelling in their domain, but needing a more holistic perspective and Position-less Marketers having a broader understanding but needing deep expertise.

Some argued that neither extreme is ideal and emphasized the importance of balancing specialization and generalization based on the company’s growth stage and competitive landscape.

They highlight the need for leaders to protect processes while fostering innovation, citing Steve Jobs’ approach of creating separate teams to drive innovation within Apple. They stress the significance of breaking down silos and encouraging collaboration across functions, even if it means challenging existing paradigms.

Ultimately, these experts recommended adopting a Position-less Marketing approach as a competitive advantage in today’s landscape, where tight specialization is common. They suggest that by connecting dots across different functions, companies can offer unique value to customers. However, they caution against viewing generalization as an absolute solution, emphasizing the importance of context and competitive positioning.

These marketing leaders advocate for a balanced marketing approach that leverages specialization and generalization to drive innovation and competitive advantage while acknowledging the need to adapt strategies based on industry dynamics and competitive positioning.

Be position-less, but not too position-less — realize your multipotentiality

This supports what was noted in the March 20th article: to be position-less, but not too position-less. When we realize our multipotentiality and multidimensionality, we excel as humans. AI becomes an augmentation.

But just because you can individually execute on all cylinders in marketing and perform data analytics, writing, graphics and more from your desktop does not mean you should.

Learn when being position-less is best for the organization and when it isn’t. Just because you can write copy with ChatGPT does not mean you will write with the same skill and finesse as a professional copywriter. So be position-less, but not too position-less.

Position-less vs. being pigeonholed

At the same time, if you are a manager, do not pigeonhole people. Let them spread their wings using today’s latest AI tools for human augmentation.

For managers, finding the right balance between guiding marketing pros to be position-less and, at other times, holding their position as specialists and bringing in specialists from different marketing disciplines will take a lot of work. We are at the beginning of this new era. However, working toward the right balance is a step forward in a new world where humans and AI work hand-in-hand to optimize marketing teams.

We are at a pivot point for the marketing profession. Those who can be position-less and managers who can optimize teams with flawless position-less execution will secure their position for a lifetime.

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