Bringing the A-Game

Growing up as a marketer, my dream was to one day have the privilege to run an ad in the Big Game (the One Who Shall Not Be Named for trademarking reasons). For decades it’s been perceived as the stage for brands to show off their best, most creative work. But it’s also a rich-kid sport. Few companies can strategically justify allocating so much budget on such a short-lived initiative with doubtful return on spend. I’ve heard several of my marketing peers tell the tale of watching traffic flood (and sometimes even break) their websites just to die right back down, leaving no real traces of revenue growth behind. So while the dream was still alive, I also knew that as long as I worked with startups (which I hope is a long time), I was unlikely to ever recommend this tactic in good conscience.

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Good news is, you don’t need a special occasion to bring on A-game creativity. And turns out, you don’t need a Big Game stage for people to notice it, either. When we released our So Good commercial, we were surprised by how many comments we got saying it should have been a big game ad:

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That felt more special to us than buying into the game could ever be. What’s more, we started observing behaviors usually reserved for game-day ads emerge from our So Good campaign: YouTube views kept climbing long after we had shut off all digital spend, suggesting that people who saw the ad on TV then looked for it online. And when we shut off TV spend as well (during the holidays), we continued to see views grow, suggesting word of mouth was at play, too.

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So on Big Game Sunday (doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it?), we asked TikTok: did they think this ad was just as good as any of the Big Game ones? Over 100,000 people said yes. 

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For those people, we have 100,000 thank-you’s and 1 promise: we’ll keep the creativity coming.

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