Top 10 Superbowl Ads And Why They Work (Or Not)

Here’s a press release I recently sent out:

Author and lead generation marketing specialist Craig Garber, from, has released his “Top 10 Superbowl Ads” list.  Garber is the author of “How To Make Maximum Money With Minimum Customers: 21 Proven Direct-Marketing Strategies Anyone Can Use” and has these compelling comments for marketers:

1.  Hyundai – The big message here was that you can own one for under $20,000.  The problem is, virtually no one buys a car outright.  People finance cars and make monthly payments on them, and they think in terms of these monthly payments.  Which means this message would have been far more effective, had Hyundai spoke in terms of minimum monthly payments.  There’s an old saying marketers should keep in mind: “When you can see John Smith through John Smith’s eyes, you will sell John Smith what John Smith buys.”

2.  Doritos – Let’s face it, those Doritos commercials are funny.  But will they have shoppers running down the aisles filling their carts up with chips?

Doubtful.  The truth is, the only way you’re going to get someone to buy something, is by making them an offer and giving them a call to action (letting them know what they need to do), not by making them laugh.  Something as simple as “Get $1 off your next purchase of Doritos by going to ___ ( a url),” would not only generate tens of thousands of dollars in sales, it would also rapidly build up a qualified list of customers to market to.  And these are the kinds of strategies that give you a HUGE return on your investment of advertising dollars.

3. – Yes, everyone loves casual Fridays.  But will this prompt someone to go out and start using your service to find a job?

Not at all.  If you want to sell something, you’ve got to let your buyers know how they benefit from your service.  They must know what makes you different from the rest.  Cute commercial, but cute is only important when you’re prospecting for dates and looking at babies.  When it comes to selling, you need to deliver compelling benefits that make qualified prospects want to drop whatever they’re doing and start working with you.  You must let them know “what’s in it for them.”

4.  Budweiser, Bud Light – They definitely listened when their ad rep told them the more times people see your message, the more they’ll remember you.  But the truth is, good advertising put in front of the right marketplace, works the first time out.  If your ad isn’t working, chances are good you’re either running it in the wrong media (meaning, your buyers don’t read, watch, or listen to that particular media), or your ad copy isn’t compelling.  Running a good ad in the wrong media, or running an ineffective ad over and over again in the right media, won’t work any more than wearing bad cologne over and over again will make it smell nice.  Repetition isn’t important – this is the oldest myth in advertising, typically perpetuated by well-meaning but misinformed ad reps who sell ad space but who’ve never written a winning ad in their lives.

5.  Dove For Men – This commercial took you through the timeline of a man’s life through his early years up through the point where he now has his own family to look after.  You then see this fellow soaping up in the shower.  Look, even though all purchases are made for emotional reasons, they have to be the right emotional reasons.  Linking the soap you use to raising a family is like linking the ice cream you buy to the tires you put on your car.  And while soap is a fairly mundane product, you still need to give your buyers some reason to buy it.  Perhaps something uncomplicated like, “Guaranteed to be the freshest smelling men’s soap or your money back.”

The point is, if you’re going to push your prospect’s emotional buy-buttons, make sure you’re pushing the right ones.

6.  Intel – Yes, Jeffrey the underappreciated robot was cute, but we already discussed how cute doesn’t sell.  And for most of the world “New processors that are faster” doesn’t mean squat.  It’s like saying “Stronger protection against cavities.”  We have an inkling this is good for us, but when it comes down to it, no one has a clue what this actually means or how it works.

The way to show end benefits, especially of things that are technologically advanced, is by being specific and by speaking in plain and simple English.  “New Intel processors reduce your average wait time to download files from the Internet, send e-mails, and upload your photographs, by more than 25%.  Over 93% of all computer users will save an average of 4 ½ hours of time during the next 6 months alone.”  Remember, “faster processors,” isn’t a benefit, it’s a feature.  The benefit is saving time.  And this is a benefit people will happily pay you for, once they understand what they’re getting.

7.  McDonalds – These guys got it right.  They showed you all the different meals you can buy for $1, offering you a great value proposition.  Which is exactly what their core customers are looking for.

8.  CarMax –       Offering a “Free vehicle history report,” and letting your customers know “Even if you don’t buy a car from us, we’ll still buy your car,” is as exciting as a small soap dish.  In situations like this, the only way you’re going to make a sale is by letting your buyers know what makes you different from the thousands of other used car dealers and car lots across America.  “At CarMax we guarantee you’ll never feel pressured to buy a car.  If you do, let us know and we’ll write you out a check right there on the spot for $25, for wasting your time.”  Or something like, “Take home any of our cars and test-drive them for three full days.  If it turns out the car isn’t for you, then bring it back for a 100% refund, no questions asked.”  Benefits like this overcome some of the biggest objections people have about the used car business.

9.  Prilosec OTC – “Heartburn On… Problem Gone.”  Again, cute slogans don’t sell medicine or anything else for that matter.  Oddly enough, Prilosec happens to offer an incredible guarantee, and they should have used it.  Amidst all the disclosure and various hues of purple flashing by, the company would have actually made some sales if they just came straight out and said something like, “If you have heartburn, try Prilosec.  If it doesn’t completely eliminate your heartburn in less than 24 hours, then return the rest of your tablets for a 100% refund.”  And if they had their spokesman John Madden uttering these words, they would have been even more effective.

10. – Go Daddy doesn’t spend time trying to convince people why they need a website or a domain name.  They know the “convincing business” is extremely unrewarding, and that it is much more productive to go after those folks who already want to buy what you’re selling.  Then, you simply let them know why they should buy from you, as opposed to your competition.  GoDaddy did this effectively, offering low prices and loads of options.  They also know how to leverage the number one emotional buy-button out there: curiosity.  They used sexually provocative story-telling ads that make you curios, and then they promise to resolve this curiosity and give you closure, if you head on over to their website to see “the rest of the story.”  Well done.

Garber says, “It’s amazing how many of these commercials are more concerned with ‘getting attention,’ as opposed to selling.  At $2 Million Dollars for a 30-second spot, that’s expensive attention.”

Garber’s Free 23-page Special Report which reveals “What Every Entrepreneur MUST Know About Advertising And Making Money: The 3 Most Critical And Costly Marketing Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make” is now available at

P.S.  Uncover the secret to creating sales copy that works, inside  “How To Make Maximum Money With Minimum Customers.”  Ships out today via US First Class Priority Mail, and… this 360-page manual actually comes with a LIFETIME guarantee!

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About the Author

Craig GarberAuthor of "How To Make Maximum Money With Minimum Customers, " and publisher of Seductive Selling - an offline marketing newsletter currently read in 15 countries, world-wide. In a nutshell, I do two things: 1. I show you how to attract a reliable, steady stream of pre-qualified leads who are ready to do business with you NOW... 2. And I increase your net profits and cash-flow, by increasing your customer, client, or patient value -- often, dramatically. How do I do this? By developing, and helping you implement, unique, personalized lead generation and marketing strategies... using compelling sales messages that push your customers emotional buy-buttons. I've worked with over 300 clients in more than 104 different industries, since March of 2000, and I really enjoy what I do. I'm a stable, reliable, happily married family guy with three kids who loves life and always follows through on my commitments and promises. I love to listen to music, workout, read, travel with my family, take pictures, and go bass fishing. I always say "Yes," when it comes to good cigars, good books, and good coffee :-)