Top 3 Super Bowl ads for content marketing (and 3 that dropped the ball)

The annual parade of flashy ads has arrived – but without a solid backbone of content they represent a missed opportunity

Despite increasing press coverage over this side of the Atlantic, it’s still reasonably easy for the Super Bowl to pass by without making much of an impact.

By contrast, it’s nigh on impossible to avoid the commercials.

They receive almost as much coverage as the main event. Particularly thanks to the advertising and marketing publications that have been running stories on the teasers, the teasers of teasers and now top 5 lists of the best ads from the night.

Here on Content Desk, we thought: why should they have all the fun?

If evaluating TV ads on their content marketing credentials seems like comparing chalk and cheese, it shouldn’t. At more than $5 million for a 30-second slot, companies should be trying to squeeze as much as possible from their time in the spotlight.

I’ll be looking for those that have done just that and the adverts that followed up a solid Super Bowl spot with a compelling content offering. Essential in the age of multi-screening.

So, here are three content marketing touchdowns from the Super Bowl LII, plus a few who dropped the ball.

The creative follow-through award


Following a frankly perplexing video where Keanu Reeves surfs on top of a motorbike, viewers are told to follow a unique link. Eager audience members find themselves on a Keanu-themed landing page giving them a step-by-step guide to setting up their website from the man himself.

It’s a great example of carrying a creative idea through. It gets people excited and interested in the product and then keeps this excitement going as they learn more about its features.

It would have been nice if there was a bit more content here, but this small offering already places it head and shoulders above the competition.

Dropped ball: Visit Australia

I love this advert and it nailed the premise while generating a ton of buzz. But where’s the content?

Why no series of videos from the ‘cast’ on their favourite spots in Oz? Why no list of locations for people eager to visit the set? There isn’t even a custom landing page that brings all the existing content together.

The interactive experience award

Avocados From Mexico

Avocados are a big deal in the US right now. A really big deal. So it’s no wonder that big avo went all in. What was less expected was the brilliant interactive experience for eager avocado fans.

Their Guac World advert is brought to life online with an interactive town. This creative experience is replicated in app form as well, ensuring that everything stays mobile-friendly.

Users can access recipes, find out more about avocados and even sign up to their newsletter through this playful and compelling interface. Great work.

Dropped Ball: Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines’ commercial is all about experience and discovering new things. So where’s the experience? Why isn’t there some sort of interactive hub where I can explore the tastes, sights and sounds of the different locations you fly to? This could have been a content marketing dream.

The ‘we’re part of something bigger’ award


Many went with attempts to tie themselves to bigger causes and bask in the reflected glory. None did it better than Verizon’s ‘All Our Thanks’ campaign.

A minimalist advert leads viewers to a landing page that gives them exactly what they want – the full stories. Not only that but it ties together stories from hundreds of Twitter users to deliver even more of that feel-good atmosphere.

Finally it brings it all back to how Verizon connects people to emergency service teams, working the brand into the story in a natural way.

Dropped Ball: Hyundai

This transparent attempt at tear-jerking inserts the brand in a somewhat artificial way.

But far more egregious is the fact that their microsite URL only briefly flashes in borderline-invisible text halfway through the ad.

Worse still, the closing shot is a hashtag that doesn’t even tie directly back to said website. Why make it so hard to get to that sweet, sweet content?

For content marketers, the lessons are clear. To capitalise on great ad campaigns:

– Follow through on your creative idea

– Make the package as compelling as the content itself

– Make it easy for users to find that bigger story

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