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What You Could Learn From Budweiser's Heart-Melting Ad

What You Could Learn From Budweiser's Heart-Melting Ad
Image credit: Youtube/Dressurhaflinger

Budweiser has done it again. Following up on its 2013 mega-hit Super Bowl ad about the bond between horse and owner, the media-savvy beer company delivered one of this year's most memorable Super Bowl commercials.

This time, the ad was a tear-jerking montage of an adorable friendship between a Golden Retriever puppy and a Clydesdale. Talk about a marketing touchdown. The commercial aims straight for the heart of the audience and hits the sweet spot. Not only is it a fantastic ad, but it's also highly instructive for the rest of us looking to market our organizations. Here are four key lessons that we can learn from Budweiser's "Puppy Love" Super Bowl commercial:

Be distinct. Super Bowl commercials have historically used pretty girls, keg parties and slapstick comedy to get through to the football-watching audience. The funniest Super Bowl commercial was considered the most memorable and effective. However, the marketing masterminds at Anheuser-Busch have recently begun to carve out their own slice of the commercial arena. Instead of making us laugh, they're actually trying to make us cry -- happy tears, of course. When marketing your organization, think about all of the other marketing messages that are bombarding your target customers. Then ask yourself what you can do to make your approach distinct, so your message will be the most memorable.

Related: The Budweiser Clydesdales Have Some Ad Competition From a Girl Inventor Named Goldie

It’s not about you. Organizations often talk about themselves and their products when marketing to customers. The reality is that prospective customers do not care about you or your product -- they care about themselves. How much time does Budweiser's commercial spend focusing on beer? Absolutely none. Instead, the ad focuses on portraying a heart-warming relationship that every single viewer can connect with. Budweiser makes itself relevant to those watching the commercial simply by creating that experience. So stop focusing your marketing strategy on your company, product, service or yourself. Instead, develop a message that highlights what you are offering means to the targeted customer’s life.

Get emotional. Humans are emotional buyers. They buy something because they feel a certain way, and then later justify the decision with logic. Budweiser's commercial is all about eliciting an emotional response. The psychology behind this marketing strategy is simple: A potential customer will view the "Puppy Love" commercial and have a positive emotional reaction to it, which will inform his or her beer-buying decisions in the future -- either subconsciously or consciously. In your own marketing initiatives, rather than trying to appeal to your target customers' logic, think about how you can appeal to their emotions.

Related: Super Bowl Ads: Pick Up Sales by Letting the Big Boys Battle It Out

Clarify your target audience. Over the past few years, the gender gap in the Super Bowl audience has shrunk. Women now make up nearly half of all Super Bowl viewers. Therefore, the classic Super Bowl commercials appealing only to men are missing a massive opportunity. Budweiser’s marketing approach masterfully appeals to both men and women. At first glance, one might think that the puppy ad is targeting only women, but there are actually intense masculine undertones in the commercial. It is, after all, about a massive Clydesdale on a ranch run by a rugged cowboy. This ad straddles a line that makes the commercial appealing to both genders, thereby broadening its effectiveness. In your next marketing initiative, think about who you want to reach. Craft your message around those people.

What other marketing ideas did you get from watching this brilliant 60-second spot? Share below in the comments.

Related: What I Learned Gambling $3 Million on the Worst Super Bowl Ads

Marc Wayshak is president of Game Plan Selling. As a sales strategist, he created a system aimed at revolutionizing the way companies approach selling, based upon his experiences as an entrepreneur, All-American athlete and years of research and training. A graduate of the University of Oxford's MBA program and Harvard University, he is the author of Game Plan Selling and Breaking All Barriers

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