If you were paying $166,667 per second for an ad, what would you say?

It may have escaped you amidst the overtime victory, but did you notice the trend in this year’s Super Bowl ads?

Love. Peace. Acceptance. And the BRAND STORY!

According to The New York Times, the average cost of a 30-second ad during Super Bowl LI was $5 million, up from $4.8 million a year ago.

That is $166,667 per second!!! (not including production)

Each year, the USA Today Ad-Meter measures those ads that connected with the Super Bowl audience. This year, like so many others, car companies dominated. The difference this year? The ads that spoke to people the loudest, hardly showed the product at all.

Honda (#2 in Ad-Meter) and Audi (#3) didn’t show a car until 51-seconds into their respective 60-second spots. (That’s $8,500,017 into the ad) Their messages weren’t about gas mileage, price or a smooth ride. They were about how the companes wants you to feel about purchasing from them:

Anheuser-Busch doesn’t show its product until 49-seconds ($8,166,683) into the story about the immigration of its founders.

Kia AdEven Kia, who’s Melissa McCarthy performance “won” the Ad-Meter competition, didn’t focus on the car. While they showed glimpses of the car throughout, the message of, “It’s hard to be an eco-warrior, but it’s easy to drive like one,” wrapped up the 60-second comedy spot.

If the Super Boal ads can be seen as a microcosm or snapshot of the social climate, this year concentrated on a message of peace and acceptance with blatant political undertones.

Airbnb (#16 on the Ad-Meter): A travel tech company says, “We believe no matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love, or who you worship, we all belong. The world is more beautiful the more you accept.”

84 Lumber (#28 on the Ad-Meter): Had their site crash from the attention generated from a 90-second story of a mother and daughter’s journey to become legal American citizens. Fox banned the full version, but you can see it here. The message was, “The will to succeed is always welcome here.”

Coca-Cola: “America the Beautiful” is beautiful because of its diversity! Can you believe this garnered an immediate backlash by people who think “America the Beautiful” should only be sung in the US with the hashtag #BoycottCoke. Try #GetaClue!!!

So, what does this mean to your bank or credit union?

You may not be spending $166,667 per second, but with your limited marketing resources, it certainly feels like it. And for that investment, it’s darn hard to show checking and loans, isn’t it?

That’s cool, because you’re not selling checking and loans!!!  You are selling trust.

Why do people come to you? Why do they come back to you? What do they tell their friends about you? THAT is your $8 million story. Now, go tell it.

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