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February 23, 2015
Brands Shouldn’t Only Bring Their 'A' Game to the Big Game
With the recent buzz around Super Bowl ads, a few questions came to mind. “Why do these advertisers only put forth their best efforts for this one-time event? What is it that makes these efforts their best? Why aren’t they working this hard to create great marketing all of the time?”

I realize that advertising for brands in the most-watched television broadcast is expensive. Therefore, it's worthy of spending extra time and energy to create an exceptional and seamless consumer experience in and around the Super Bowl. However, I believe that brands should always be this diligent with their marketing efforts. Creating remarkable interactions with customers is what drives business, after all.

As I thought about what makes brands’ Big Game efforts so unique, I realized that the good advertisers are bringing their “A games” by:
  1. Setting a clear and reasonable objective
  2. Coming up with the best possible (most creative and meaningful) idea
  3. Executing the idea at a high level
  4. Selecting an optimal media placement(s)
  5. Integrating supportive marketing tactics (publicity, social media, retail, etc.)
  6. Tracking the results of their concentrated efforts
These six activities are absolutely attainable in any and all marketing situations. There is no reason why any brand (no matter how small or large your budget) shouldn’t be aiming to accomplish these six tasks with their day-to-day marketing efforts. In addition to following these steps, it’s also important to understand the criteria that will determine whether or not a marketing program has a higher likelihood of seeing success.

At Esparza (my marketing agency), we believe that fruitful marketing campaigns possess six key attributes, which also happen to be the same for successful Super Bowl advertising efforts. Marketing that works typically meets all of these standards:
  • Arresting — did it get consumers’ attention?
  • Inviting — do people feel welcome?
  • Engaging — do they feel compelled to stay?
  • Relevant — does it make sense?
  • Newsworthy — do people want to share it?
  • Measurable — is it moving the needle?
So the next time you are embarking on developing or refining your marketing program, keep the previously mentioned six activities and six standards in mind. Brands shouldn’t only be putting forth their best efforts in crunch time; they should be doing this all of the time.

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Emily K. Howarda marketing strategist since 1997, developed her skills at some of the country’s top marketing firms including DDB Worldwide, while working on brands like American Airlines, Pepsi, Bloomberg and Merck. Now as Vice President of Esparza, Emily’s integrated communications approach helps clients find order in marketing chaos. She’d love to hear from you and can be found on LinkedIn or @ekhoward on Twitter.
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