With Super Bowl 51 tucked neatly into the playbooks, it is compelling to consider whether the commercials, many of which were focused on the advertiser’s social impact initiatives, are also gathering dust. Let’s face it; there is no better way to get a message out to the masses than a multi-million dollar ad campaign during one of the most-watched sporting events of the year. But what is the shelf life of this message?
Is Branding a One and Done Exercise?
Anyone in marketing or advertising will tell you that potential customers need to see an ad seven times before they will remember it. Considering the price tag of a Super Bowl commercial, this becomes challenging. However, backing up the big splash of a pricey ad with supporting communications makes this possible.
The question on my mind however is were these advertisers looking to sell more goods or were they hoping for a bigger impact? With messages of inclusion, equality, and doing good, it is clear these corporations wanted to take a stand with their brand. But did they accomplish this goal?
Re-purposing Your Products for Good
For over thirty years, Budweiser has been taking the water from its beer production operations and re-purposing it to help those impacted by natural disasters. Its Stand By You commercial gets the gold star for authenticity while also for giving consumers an “Ah-ha” moment as many likely did not know about these activities.
The commercial brought to life a business practice that is slightly altered when our country and its people are in need. Budweiser breweries continually step up to the plate when natural disaster strikes. For example, the Cartersville, GA brewery delivered nearly three million cans of water in 2017 because of the multitude of natural disasters. When necessary, breweries across the country partner up when demand is high.
What’s even more striking is that this is not a one and done exercise for Budweiser. Since they have made this reinvention part of their daily business operations, their customers can rest assured that their message of helping those in need goes beyond three minutes during the Super Bowl. They have a resounding social impact and sustainability commitment as they strive to create a “Better World.” From wildfires to hurricanes, Anheuser-Busch has been and will continue to be there.
I believe that we will begin to see a surge in companies thinking outside the box on how their products or services can help others. While many may have been doing this without a lot of fanfare, they may begin to toot their horns a bit more especially as Millennials look to these organizations to do more than produce goods, but rather to give back.
When companies move beyond profit and focus on purpose, they are creating a brand promise that their customers will support beyond their wallets, and long after the last touchdown.
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