364 days out of the year, people are more excited to skip through commercials rather than watch them – and then there’s the Super Bowl. In fact, the ads that play during the Super Bowl have become as much of a cultural phenomenon as the game itself! With so many people throughout the country tuned in to the event, advertisers know that they need to bring their A-game to capture everyone’s attention, even at a heavy cost. Of course with a $7 million price tag attached, not everyone can afford a Super Bowl commercial spot, but that doesn’t mean you can’t produce Super Bowl-worthy commercials of your own. With the big game coming up, now is a great chance to examine the recipe for a winning commercial so you can learn how to apply those ingredients to your own business’s marketing plan!

Make it Memorable

 When you’re competing with dozens of other brands for millions of people’s attention, you want to make your commercial as memorable as possible. Most Super Bowl advertisers accomplish this by telling a story packed with humor, nostalgia, emotion, or any combination of the three! By doing so, you provide a hook that reels audiences in while also forming a connection with the demographics you’re specifically targeting. For example, one of the most talked-about commercials from last year’s Super Bowl was “Forever” by The Farmer’s Dog, a pet food company. It tugged at America’s heartstrings by following the journey of young girl growing up and starting her own family all with her trusty childhood dog by her side. Not only did the loving bond between the girl and her aging dog inspire a tear or two, but the relationship was also relatable for any pet-owner who might be watching.

The other thing that Super Bowl advertisers love to do is feature celebrities. It’s always fun to see our favorite star make a surprise appearance in a commercial, but the real benefit is the built-in audience that this star brings with them. Depending on who you feature, that celebrity’s star-power can connect your business with a demographic you’ve been trying to reach or introduce your brand to a whole new audience! Of course, if you’re a small business owner you may not have the means to feature an A-list celebrity in your commercial. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t feature a different center of influence such as a popular local figure or a partnership with another strong business!

Make it Brand Oriented

 In the competition to see who can make their commercial stand out the most, it can be easy for your brand identity to get lost under all the theatrics. While it’s great to make a compelling, star-studded ad, you also want to be sure that it says something about who your brand is and what you bring to the table. One great example from last year’s ads is Dunkin’ Donuts’ “Dunkin’ Drive-Thru” commercial. Yes, it had humor, and it enlisted the star-power of Oscar-winner Ben Affleck, but it was also much more than that. The choice to use Ben Affleck, a Boston-native and known Dunkin’ Donuts fanatic, emphasized the brand’s origin in Massachusetts and the All-American, beloved-by-all image that it identifies with. Not to mention, the commercial’s drive-thru setting showed off the quick service that Dunkin’ prides itself on. With your own commercials, it’s important to feature spokespeople and settings that align with your company’s values to drive home the voice that you want to project. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have people promoting your product who are genuinely excited about it!

Set a Clear, Relevant Message

In the same vein, you want an intriguing commercial that also makes it clear what you want to promote and what message you want audiences to take away from the ad. Let’s go back to last year’s commercials. Pop Corners, a chip company, made their Super Bowl debut by reuniting characters from the critically acclaimed TV show Breaking Bad. Nostalgia? Check. Celebrities? Check. Yet, Pop Corners made sure that once they captured audience’s attention, the script was entirely centered around the benefits of their chips – with a few fun lines from the show mixed in! As a result, Pop Corners shows that a business can successfully make an ad captivating while also remembering to highlight the product’s competitive advantage.

Not only should your message be clear, it should also be socially relevant. Think about current trends and what your audience is looking for. How does your product or service solve an issue that customers are facing? Remember, marketing is not just about selling your brand, it’s also focused on how your brand can benefit customers. Think about last year’s Amazon commercial “Saving Sawyer.” This commercial was able to touch on the end of quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic as it followed a dog who goes on a destructive rampage when his family returns to the office. In a funny twist, the family purchases a dog kennel off Amazon and brings it home to reveal that they adopted a puppy to keep their dog company. This commercial perfectly showed how to mix a socially relevant issue, in this case how many Americans were readjusting to their pre-pandemic routines, with a company’s ability to provide a unique solution through its goods and services.

Keep Up the Momentum

 The final ingredient for a great Super Bowl commercial? Treating it as if this is a full campaign. In more recent years, especially with the take-off of social media, brands have been able to expand on the popularity of their Super Bowl ads. You can now find commercial teasers weeks in advance on businesses’ social media accounts or see follow-ups to successful commercials played out in the months after the Super Bowl has ended. For some companies who featured spokespeople or characters in their ad, they may even begin to incorporate these faces into more commercials throughout the year. Going back to Dunkin’ Donuts, they’re still making commercials with Ben Affleck a year later!

Having someone or something associated with your brand long-term can help with brand recognizability by giving your company a face. In the same way, if you develop a winning concept that gives your business a unique way of advertising your product, then take advantage of it! The same way that big brands create follow-ups and teasers to their Super Bowl commercials, you can take a successful commercial idea and develop more storylines around it to further promote your products or services.


 There are lots of elements that make a Super Bowl commercial stand out in customers’ minds, but the biggest thing to remember is that at the core of everything should be your company and what you hope to represent. After all, what’s the point of running an ad if the audience can’t even remember who the ad is for? The other thing to note is that you don’t need to be a multi-billion-dollar business with a Super Bowl ad spot to create a memorable commercial campaign. By examining how these commercials were able to get people talking, you can apply the same concepts to your business’s marketing tactics in your own unique way. With all of this in mind, it’s time to hit the drawing board and started creating your greatest ad campaign yet! For us here at FFB Bank, we’re already gearing up to release our own Super Bowl-worthy campaign, so be sure to keep an eye out for it!


Check out our Commercial: Fit For Business