4 Lessons Learned from this Year’s Super Bowl Ads

Love ‘em or hate ‘em (much like your favorite football team or the rival team you despise) Super Bowl Ads are a perennial barometer of our nation’s collective zeitgeist. Since a single 30-second ad placement can cost five million dollars, you can bet there’s a lot of valuable marketing brainpower behind each one. Sure, there are always a couple epic fails (looking at you, car commercial that was actually about a man choking on a cashew), but for the most part, these ads are a pretty decent reflection of what America’s thinking, watching, and of course, buying.

So what takeaways from this year’s battle of the brands can you use in your own TruScribe videos?

1. Nostalgia is always relevant.

We saw the Backstreet Boys crooning “I want it that way” about Flamin’ Hot Nacho Doritos.  The Dude from Big Lebowski casually switched up his legendary drink order in favor of Stella Artois (alongside a Carrie Bradshaw cameo). Campy horror film “I Know What You Did Last Summer” somehow factored into a sales pitch for Olay. The message was pretty clear: if you were hip to pop culture in the 90s, you’re probably sitting on your couch watching the Super Bowl and thinking about what to eat, drink, or put on your face today.

Whiteboard video lesson? Don’t be afraid to stick with what’s iconic. The stop sign. The dollar sign. The play button. Icons are icons because they are simple, memorable, and impactful. (Much like The Dude, they abide).

2. Molds were made to be broken.

Zoe Kravitz whispered her way through the world’s first ASMR commercial; dreamed up by Michelob Ultra to target a super-specific audience, it also got plenty of people talking (and Googling Auto Sensory Meridian Response). T-Mobile steered away from traditional video by showing us a string of texts instead. Burger King rolled vintage footage of Andy Warhol eating a Whopper with a simple hashtag that was as wacky as it was intriguing.

What can you apply to your whiteboard video? You can always go beyond the whiteboard with TruScribe. We can draw over a live action video. We can annotate your actual website with meaningful drawings. We can turn your whiteboard video into a multimedia presentation. (Also, if you liked that T-Mobile ad, you should know we’ve created some pretty cool text videos. They’re actually aligned with our Scribology principles. Element of surprise, and all that.) If you love working with us but you just want your video to look different from time to time, all you need to do is ask! Also, hashtags. People love those.

3. People are compelled by imaginative stories.

It was universally acknowledged that Amazon had the most successful Super Bowl commercial. Not only did that ad take a basic yet thought-provoking premise (ideas for Alexa that didn’t make the cut) and put some serious star power behind it (Harrison Ford, Forest Whitaker, and the ladies from Broad City), it had all of us wondering what a dog would order from Amazon, should it have the power.

How to work this into your next whiteboard animation video? You already know that telling your story gets results. But put some imagination into it. What if your HR department could be illustrated as a flock of birds? Could you stretch a Star Wars metaphor across a video about investment plans? Trust us, you can. (Well, we can. We’ll help you.)

4. When in doubt, cross over.

Taco Bell and T-Mobile. Stella Artois and Dos Equis.  Amazon Echo and Pringles. And of course, the surprisingly effective collab between Bud Light and Game of Thrones. There were a lot of co-promotions in this year’s Super Bowl Ads, especially for those of us watching closely.

When can you use this idea with a whiteboard video? Don’t just post a video on a website and tell people to watch it. Tie it into something people are already experiencing, like a company meeting, a PowerPoint presentation, or even an email. Or talk to us about creating other assets from your video. A poster for your breakroom- an infographic- a helpful handout. There’s a stuffed squirrel named Zippy that exists as a TruScribe video artifact. You have options!

TruScribe visualizes words, ideas, and stories to change how people see, think, and act. If you have a project in mind or want to learn more, get in touch.