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Three content marketing lessons from the 2014 Super Bowl

Ben Dickens, February 4, 2014

It says a lot about the power of content marketing that the TV spots that run during the Super Bowl are just as popular, and sometimes more popular (especially in the UK) than the game itself. The stakes are high. Brands only get a small amount of time to convey a message about their product. Quality content is paramount.

Hulu, an American-based subscription service, not only hosted the Super Bowl ads but provided a platform for Americans to vote on their favourites. What can the three most popular ads teach us about quality content?

Budweiser Puppy Love

Budweiser – puppy love and the power of cute

They tell actors to never work with children or animals for a reason. But is it possible for businesses to harness the power of cute? On the outside, if someone told you they were going to make a Budweiser advert with a puppy in it, you might roll your eyes and think that it’s a hokey, maybe even cringe-worthy connection. Puppies and beer put together could spell a potential lawsuit. But what this ad proves is that, if done well, even beer companies can work with the cute factor to create something that appeals to wider audiences.

CocaCola Beautiful

Coca-Colait’s beautiful to know your audience

We’ve already talked about how well Coca-Cola markets itself, but we think the strength of this ad lies in knowing your audience. Our resident American DVO attests that Americans in particular are very receptive to patriotism and arguments that encourage Americans to band together. These undertones top-off some of President Obama’s greatest speeches. Even though the advert is simple, it conveys a strong message that works well with the target audience. Knowing what tune to play when you’re plucking at your audience’s heartstrings can ensure your message gets across.

Audi Doberouaoua

Audioberhuahua and the slapstick angle

Technically another Budweiser advert called A Hero’s Welcome made the top three of the Hulu’s Ad Zone voting list, but since we think that it works on the same patriotism premise as Coca-Cola’s advert, we’re going to skip to number four: the good old fashioned slapstick angle. We’ve said before that useful content is good, but so is funny content. But, brands have been known to shoot themselves in the foot when trying to be funny. Audi plays it safe here by slightly playing on the concept of cute and turning it on its head. It’s the simplicity of the slapstick humour that creates something that motivates your audience to spread your message.


So, what did we learn from the Super Bowl Ads? First and foremost, that the right content can help any brand so long as it’s tailored towards it, even if it’s puppies and beer. Second, nothing beats the power of knowing your audience and what messages will ring true for them. And finally, don’t turn your nose (but do tread lightly) at the power of slapstick.

What sort of brilliant messages lie behind your brand? We can help you figure it out. Talk to DVO on 020 7353 7570 or email us at iminterested@dvoagency.co.uk.

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