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Super Bowl 2014 Commercials: Don't Be Afraid To Be Different

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Super Bowl 2014: Don’t Be Afraid To Be Different


Image courtesy of Fanexperiences.com

Image courtesy of Fanexperiences.com


Super Bowl 2014 ended on a high for Seattle and a low for Denver.  Peyton Manning is a class act and Seahawks long-suffering fans ended their championship drought.

Some advertisers also ended the day in agony.  Others danced for joy.   They all ran big budget commercials throughout the game that could make or break them.  Smart business owners know it’s risky anytime you’re marketing your business.  Controversy is not favored when you’re answering to shareholders.  But, controversy makes you go viral and that’s every marketer’s dream or nightmare.

If you run a small business, what does Super Bowl 48 have to do with anything?  After all, all those commercials were created with well-paid creative minds and resources.  Let me see if I can translate.

Here’s how I see it.  The unifying theme around most of the Superbowl commercial advertisers is that they weren’t afraid to be different.  They had a viewpoint and a voice.  They knew their audience and worked to reach them.  They were funny, sentimental, irreverent, odd and some were just plain weird. Weird may not be for everyone but, being funny, sentimental or a bit irreverent will make you stand out and be memorable.

Clear winners among the 88 aired commercials were Bud Light’s Hidden Camera, T-Mobile’s Tebow No-Contract, and Budweiser Puppy Love (with the Clydesdale mafia).

Puppy Love was a pure sentiment.  It got lots of attention pre-game.  Chevrolet’s promotion of World Cancer Day was wonderfully touching.  In your local marketing, it’s okay to reveal your personal side, talk about your family as long as you keep it short, it’s not too revealing and has a point to it.  Revealing sentiment humanizes you.  Makes you relatable.

Chevy’s ad for World Cancer Day was very touching.  I nearly cried.

Puppy Love

World Cancer Day Chevy


Bud Light’s creative team seemed like they’ve relocated to the Southwestern desert and experimented with peyote.  The whole Up For Whatever part 1 and 2 were fun.  I laugh everytime I watch Arnold Schwarzenegger in that crazy wig.  Of, course the former governor’s extra-marital exploits make him unpopular with some and his running of California touches off a whole nother legion of haters.  Didn’t stop the Budweiser crew from making a lighthearted, hilarious commercial.  Don’t be afraid to make fun of yourself from time to time.

Up For Whatever – Part 1

Up For Whatever – Part 2

Tim Tebow – hated and loved by many.  An excellent ballplayer with no NFL contract.  Let’s make fun of it.

Time Tebow No Contract

Don’t be these guys. Audi’s mashed-up Doberman/Chihuahua dog was really weird, perpetuating Doberman’s undeserved reputation for being unnecessarily aggressive.  The creators stretched their concept to match their message.  Tag line: “Some combinations do work really.”  Very forced and, at times, the mashed up dog is just disturbing.

Doberhuahua Audi Commercial


I could go on and on evaluating all these commercials.  Just don’t have the time right now.  Don’t be afraid to be different and let people know.  In local small business, the entire business relies on you.  Let the REAL you shine through!

Let me know what commercials you liked and hated.


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