When you think of what makes a good commercial, you might think of some of the greats – Betty White eating a Snickers bar, Volkswagen’s “The Force,” the Old Spice guy in virtually any setting or Budweiser’s “Puppy Love.”
Maybe I’m not the only one to notice, but it seems that within the past few years, the Super Bowl commercials especially have been lacking. With the Super Bowl coming up Sunday, I thought it would only be right if I gave my opinion on what makes a good commercial.
In my opinion, the best commercials are the ones that actually get your attention and make you feel something. In other words, I go by the two H’s (Heart and Humor). There’s nothing quite like getting your endorphins pumping with some laughter and love. Some of the funniest advertisements have come from big names like Doritos, Old Spice and Geico.
What makes humor so successful is the same reason “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” “Impractical Jokers” or SNL skits are so popular. People want to be entertained, not pitched at. There’s a thin line between what’s funny and what becomes overdone and obnoxious. Trying to be too funny may have the opposite effect and the target audience starts to associate feelings of irritation with the product.
On the other hand, there are the commercials that tug at your heartstrings. Everyone knows the “Best Buds” that have forever engraved the image of a puppy and a horse into our heads. There are also those messages that not only resonate with the viewer but win over their loyalty.
With campaigns like Always’ “Like a Girl” that empowered women using their platform, or Nike’s partnership with Colin Kaepernick, businesses use their popularity to take a stance. People who believe in the messages seem to connect to those brands on a more personal level. Even if it’s not a politically driven message, commercial’s like Extra’s gum wrapper love story to the tune of “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” make you want to reach for Extra gum.
Another tactic that is used a lot is celebrities. Sometimes they make everything that much more memorable or funny, but it’s all about grabbing your attention. The commercial may not make you want to crack a beer right then or buy a pair of sneakers, but they’re getting your loyalty sometimes without even having to try the product first.
To me, that’s what makes the best commercials. There could always be a staged picture of a burger that never looks the same in person, but what makes a good commercial is the humor and heart that make it so impactful.
So, this year, as the Old Spice guy returns, P&G brings out its best hits, stars dominate the Pepsi commercial and the NFL takes on the issue of police shootings, pay attention. See which commercials you deem the best.