Ten Marketing Rules From Super Bowl Ads

To the average business owner, Super Bowl commercials often appear to be frivolous, expensive diversions from responsible, straightforward advertising. But Super Bowl campaigns done right are among the most effective marketing efforts there are. They have to be—or the world’s leading brands wouldn’t spend big bucks on them year after year.

1. Put strategy first. It’s true that creativity is the name of the game in Super Bowl advertising; it’s what gets you into the conversation around the water cooler the next day. But creativity without strategy is ineffective.

2. Be relevant. The Super Bowl is the country’s biggest party; most advertisers know that and create fun (or funny) efforts around it.

3. Keep it simple.

4. Show, don’t tell. It’s always better to get your prospects to draw their own conclusions, rather than trying to talk them into something.

5. Invest in production values. If you’re going to invest in any form of advertising, invest enough to do it well.

6. Provoke thought. Intelligent customers are drawn to brands that recognize them for being so.

7. Strike an emotional chord. There’s a place for winning the minds of your prospects, but if someone else wins their hearts, you’ll lose.

8. Don’t rush the sale. No ad should be expected to both open and close the sale—hence the importance of an integrated plan.

9. Reward engagement. Today, every Super Bowl advertiser looks for a way to make its commercial endure after (or before) the game, and new online and mobile media options continually expand the possibilities. There once was a time when advertisers could force their messages on a captive audience; to be effective today, you must not only leave the audience wanting more, but lead them to where they can get it.

10. Take risks. Doing something unexpected. Taking risks won’t work every time—that’s why they’re risks—but you can be sure that doing the expected won’t work.

Read more at Businessweek.com