8 marketing lessons from SuperBowl XLVII.

By Luke Sklar and Amber Hudson

The SuperBowl served up a veritable Vegas-style buffet of marketing lessons.  From the mouthy Ray Lewis to the lighting SNAFU to the Oreo, lessons abounded:

Set up Mission Control at the next big event:  When the power went out the nimble Oreo folks tweeted “Power out?  No problem…You can still dunk in the dark.”  Brilliant!  Agency president Sarah Hofstetter said “We had a mission control set up at our office with the brand and 360i, and when the blackout happened, the team looked at it as an opportunity.”  Make sure you’re ready to act at the next major event. 

Watch your talk-to-do ratio:  Someone please tell Randy Moss it’s time to shut up.  Despite the stats he’s declared himself the greatest wide receiver ever.  Yet show me something he did right in Sunday’s game.  Ray Lewis also never shuts up and thanks Jesus more often than a small town preacher, but at least he racked up a pile of tackles.  Joe Flacco, the shy, quiet kid?   Um, he won and got MVP.

You can’t just show up:  If you’re going to spend a fortune to air a single 30 second ad you better deliver.  Budweiser did with their pass-the-Kleenex Clydesdales adDoritos was hilarious if confusing.  And Amy Poehler killed it with Best Buy (“does it make you uncomfortable when I use the word dongle”).  But the much-hyped Seth Rogan / Paul Rudd Samsung ad toward the end of the game was a lunch-bag let down.  Talented people, but it proved yet again that when advertising talks about advertising it talks to itself not consumers. 

Emotion trumps all:  Looking at the facts, everyone expected the 49’ers to win; they are a younger, better, faster team.  But the Ravens had the emotion:  bumpy season, the underdogs, Ray Lewis’ last game, Joe Flacco never got any respect.   They had heart and they won.

Have a contingency plan:  CBS and the Superdome looked like a bunch of amateurs when the power went out. It’s the biggest day of the year and they didn’t have a back-up plan.  Come on, it’s not like they haven’t had a power outage there before.

Work your ass off: Beyoncé pump-walked onto that stage and brought her fierce, if at times nasty, A-game.    You may not like her, but she owned her megawatt moment in the sun.

But don’t take it too seriously:  Hey Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, where was the energy?  The controversy?  The heated discussion on bad calls?  The viewing audience wanted to be entertained, not lulled to sleep.

Lastly, when you have momentum, hit the gas!  If you’re winning don’t over think it and don’t get cocky.  Keep finding new ways to keep the pedal to the metal.  And speaking of momentum, did you see Leon Sandcastle?  Now here’s a man who took the power of the event and kept the momentum going.

There were too many moments to list.  What was your favourite?  And was there a marketing lesson in there?