In the marketing world, many of us refer to the Super Bowl as the “Ad Bowl” because it’s traditionally when most brands spend a significant portion of their budgets for the year on broadcast advertising, understanding a large number of consumers tune in. Meaning a lot of eyes will be watching, giving them an opportunity to influence purchase decisions. And that those purchasing decisions will lead to an increase in brand awareness and ultimately sales. Recently, during the American Century Championship, the Draper DNA team noticed an “American Century Investments” ad, titled, “Let’s Future Together” that we would call, “smart” (or “smarketing” if you really want to get into marketing nerd lingo). And here is why.
Ideas that make you think.
A smart ad is one that is memorable because it offers thinking viewers have likely not seen before. The ad shows a man walking to his car, with a cup of coffee that he then pours into the gas tank suggesting coffee-fueled cars could assuage the level of gas emission from vehicles. It follows with the question, “why not?”
We see another example with a woman wearing a hat walking down the street, suggesting she has lost her hair because she’s sick. She pulls the hat from her head revealing long, curly, healthy hair and begs the question, “a cancer-free future? Why not?”
The ad continues with a few more examples of things that could happen to make the world a more sustainable and safer place to live. Because… well, why not?
With the presentation of these futuristic and smart ideas, the audience is left with thoughts to consider, to discuss and to talk about – again, a goal of a successful broadcast ad.
“What are your ‘Why Not’s?”
The second conversation starter after this thought-provoking ad is, “What are your ‘why not’s’?” The ad offers a thought-provoking question that inspires viewers to think differently about how to invest money, how to make the world a healthier place to live and to challenge big thinking and ideation.
It leaves consumers talking about how the ad makes them feel. It leaves viewers bringing up a unique question to their friends, family, colleagues, prospects and clients. And thinking about their own “why not’s”.
Meaningful to an appropriate audience.
Understanding where to place your ads is powerful. Knowing that the demographic likely watching a golf tournament are wealthy, philanthropic and savvy makes the placement of an investment company smart. They also appreciate meaningful and honest numbers, so the brand sharing that 40% of its profits are used for philanthropic endeavors makes fans of golf, and this key demographic, trust that their money will be used for what’s already important to them.
But also, appealing to those outside of that demographic.
We would say half of the DNA office enjoys sports, the other half? Well, they’re the type that calls the Super Bowl the “Ad Bowl”. However, it spoke to the entire team after watching. Some saw during the tournament, others saw on social media through thoughtful targeting of users that post about sustainability, philanthropy, healthcare issues and energy. Making a difference is important to so many. Giving back is important to so many.
Let’s Future Together
Ending the ad with a powerful statement leaves consumers inspired to take action. Be it researching the brand further, re-watching the ad online, talking to their network about it or becoming a brand client. It hits home the goal the ad was intended for in the first place – get people talking.
And that is what American Century Investments did. Smart.
What are other commercials you’ve recently seen that we shouldn’t miss? Share them with Abby at firstname.lastname@example.org