By Tenisha Mercer
Advertisers spent nearly $4 million on single 30-second Super Bowl ads this year; admittedly,not a whole lot of time to engage consumers. But brands who did it well, did so by doing more by just producing commercials to sell sodas, beers and cars; they told stories — and borrowed a page right of a content marketers’ handbook.
Perhaps more than any other year in recent memory, advertisers not only advertised their products, they primarily did it by weaving storytelling into their advertisements. Whether it was Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson fending aliens to get milk, or Chrysler telling the plight of farmers in the U.S., many brands used stories to tie back to their brands.
Be The Brand Storyteller
It’s the very same tactic that good content marketers should use as well — telling a story. Every brand has a story to tell, no matter how boring or asinine it seems. And it’s our jobs to encapsulate that story, weaving it back to our client. Good content marketing is simply that — a good story. And we are in the brand storytelling business; now what will your story be?
When it comes to the Super Bowl, the reason for all of the storytelling is simple: It’s a tough, tough Super Bowl, at least when it comes to advertisers, who seeminglhy compete just as hard as the players on the field jockeying for position among consumers on Super Bowl Sunday.
Cute Won’t Cut It
Spending on Super Bowl ads has risen from $103 million in 2003 to $1.85 billion today. Brands know they’ve got to be more than cute, funny or racy (Besides, who doesn’t turn into see the talking babies on eTrade or the you-know-it’s-gonna be racy spots by GoDaddy.com).
Viewers have seen it all — and they want to see something different. At the same time, advertisers know they’ve got to raise the ante each year to capture viewers’ attention. More than 111 million viewers were expected to look at the Super Bowl last year.
It’s the same thing with content. Our audiences want more content, in different formats, including videos, infographics and more. They’re tired of boring, run of the mill content without any value. This year, the blackout in New Orleasn provided brands like Oreos with rich opportunities to write content on the fly, such as tweets “newsjacking” the news story with their messaging.
Using Emotions to Sell
This year, more brands used emotions to tell stories, in long form. Last year, Chrysler got kudos for its 2-minute ad with Clint Eastwood. It tried a similar tactic this year with a 2-minute salute to troops and their families.
Pulling out heartstrings, much? That’s exactly what brands what to do — tie favorable perceptions of their products into emotionable, action-oriented content. And it’s exactly what good content marketers should do as well.
The Super Bowl Lesson
Content marketers don’t have nearly as tough a time telling our stories as advertisers vying for 111 million eyeballs on Super Bowl Sunday. So many stories are out there waiting to be told, if we are willing to break the content mold. Content marketing may never get the ad spread that the Super Bowl gets.
But take a look closely at the ads that did well — and the ads that didn’t go over so well. Collectively, content marketers have just as much influence, if we tell our stories right.
Tenisha Mercer is an SEO writer in Atlanta with content on page #1 of Google, Yahoo and Bing. She is an Atlanta web content writer and SEO copywriter and social media expert in Atlanta who specializes in powerful, high-impact copywriting that clicks with customers. Tenisha Mercer has produced and managed content marketing and content strategy for clients in health care, retail and technology, including the CDC, The Home Depot, Sears, GMAC, NCR, General Motors, 1-800-Flowers and small businesses around the country.