The Ads that Prove Advertising is Shifting Focus Towards Building Better Relationships with Customers
For many years brand advertising has focused on the great features that the product provides and brands would have pretty standard formulas for what that looked like. For example – a car ad would show the brand’s car driving around, focusing on the benefits of the car: whether it was fast, good for certain terrains, or perfect for fitting a bad family.
Recently, we’ve noticed a big shift in advertising. Brands are now putting out ads that are focusing more on what the brand stands for rather than the feature benefits of the product. This shift is part of a bigger trend that is inspired by the evolution of the consumer-brand relationship. Consumers want brands to represent something bigger than themselves and to feel a connection with the company.
One of the best examples of this shift in advertising can be seen during the Super Bowl. While the day is the biggest sporting event of the year, it is also one of the best advertising opportunities of the year as well. This year, while the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots battled for the big championship, major companies battled for your attention at the same time.
For Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis, a 30-second TV commercial cost on average $5 million.
For Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis, a 30-second TV commercial cost on average $5 million. For that amount of money but very little time, companies need to make a special statement to try to make that connection with their audiences.
There were, of course, the many fun and hilarious ads that typically end up in ad lineup for the big game, but we noticed there were a lot of meaningful ads this year that inspired unity, inclusion, and connection in an effort to build relationships with audiences. There were a few that specifically spoke to us because we also strive to make a more connected world, so we wanted to highlight some of our favorites:
Budweiser 2018 Super Bowl Commercial | “Stand By You”
A consistent player in the yearly event, Budweiser took a break again from their usual ads featuring Clydesdales to pull at the heartstrings and show that they are making an effort to step outside of their brand and make a difference in the world. They used their ad to show the company’s disaster relief response to the areas of the U.S. that were affected by natural disasters in 2017. Budweiser canned and donated more than 79 million cans of clean drinking water in response to crises around the world in the last 30 years, and specifically to Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and California in 2017. The brand stepped out of its usual promotion of their beer and product to focus on their connection to the community and their efforts to help those in need.
Toyota 2018 Big Game Ad: One Team (Extended Cut)
In a press release regarding Toyota’s Super Bowl ads, their Marketing group vice president, Ed Laukes, said, “This is an unprecedented opportunity for our team at Toyota to share messages of unity, friendship, diversity, and perseverance.” The ad showed this message in a heartwarming way by bringing together people of all faiths – Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist – together to cheer for the same team. The premise was that we are all one team fostered the idea of unity and inclusion and spoke to audiences that are touting this message.
T-Mobile | #LittleOnes | 2018 Big Game Ad
How do you not get the warm fuzzies after seeing the cute babies in this ad? One of the biggest trends in this year’s Super Bowl ads was the promotion of diversity and inclusion, and this ad nailed that topic in a non-partisan way. “We are equal,” the ad read. “Change starts now. Are you with us?”. This message, as many of the messages we’ve included in this list, strayed away from peddling a product and instead focused on brand values and promoting inclusion, diversity, and unity.
Coca-Cola | The Wonder of Us
Coke’s ad is just the kickoff to a bigger marketing campaign that will promote diversity and inclusiveness. The ad aims for a message of unity with the voiceover emphasizing: “To act the same would be mundane — what a boring thing to do! That’s why there is just one me, and a billion unique yous. We all have different looks and loves, likes and dislikes, too”. As with the other ads, Coke spoke to the audience that they hope to gain through a message of diversity.
These were only a few of many meaningful ads during this year’s Super Bowl showed the shift towards relationship and trust building between companies and their consumers.
Of course, some brands took the more typical “funny” route to show off features and benefits – we definitely enjoyed those ads too. As a bonus (and just for fun), we’ve included some of our favorite funny ads:
Alexa Loses Her Voice – Amazon Super Bowl LII Commercial
Febreze | The Only Man Whose Bleep Don’t Stink | Super Bowl 52 2018 Ad
Touchdown Celebrations to Come | NFL | Super Bowl LII Commercial
At Convey, we believe that the shift towards relationship building and connection between brands and consumers is here to stay. We believe our personal and professional relationships are our most important assets. Read more about the importance of connections here: It’s About Connections, Not Contacts.