Super Bowl LI – Brands playing like Champions


I grew up in a football family, know the rules and enjoy watching the game. The NFL has really created a spectacular event even if you don't like football. They attract top half-time entertainment that appeals to most or at the very least will be controversial and generate publicity. As a marketer, I always look forward to seeing the new commercials.
So, this past weekend I was ready to watch the Super Bowl commercials during the game. Sometimes the games aren’t always as exciting as the hype (although this one was to the end) but the commercials never disappoint. We can always find one that sparks conversation and/or debate. Plus, commentators are always ready to give their best and worst picks. We pay attention and have our own opinions.
Companies invest a significant amount of their advertising budget (estimated 30 second spot is reported to cost $5 million). These brands are banking that their message is clear, concise and achieves their objectives.  (Whatever that might be).
Given the current political climate in the United States, this year’s commercials were especially anticipated among marketers and advertising professionals.  And, we weren’t dissatisfied.  Many brands stretched themselves and put their beliefs out there for all to see. They were exposed by choice and now have become vulnerable to all who disagree. Even a conservative brand like the NFL drew a line on the field promoting diversity; Audi took a stand on equal pay for equal work; and 84 Lumber a conservative retailer depicted a big door (that can open) on a border wall.
I have to say that I was surprised that so many global brands took a stand with their beliefs and exposed their brand to rejection.  I always say that challenging times pushes all of us out of our comfort zone to do better and be better. 
Big brands stood up for what they believe.  They showed that they are willing to take the applause and the criticism; and, perhaps even at the cost of losing customers.  The brands that won embraced the world-wide conversation and weren’t afraid to show who they are and their vision for now and the future.  Those brands brought their “A” game and played like champions.  Kudos to them.

Sonya Ruff Jarvis, is the Managing Member of Jarvis Consultants and Founder of the eRetailer Summit. Sonya has extensive experience in creating original innovative solutions to overcome major business challenges.  Sonya has spent most of her career visiting headquarters across global industries and has built strong business relationships across diverse brands. 

Sonya has a M.B.A. in Marketing. She is married and has a daughter and they live in Fairfield County Connecticut.