Touchdown or Fumble? Brand Consistency at the Big Game.

Once again, the ads run during America’s biggest sporting event are sparking a whirlwind of discussion. Some are calling them the best of the last five years. Others are disappointed, saying they lacked relevance or leaned too far into nostalgia skewed toward an older demographic.

Wherever you land on the field, you likely have a favourite or two. As brand integration consultants, we tend to reflect on the game-day commercials not in terms of favouritism but which brands were most faithful to their fundamental messaging.

After all, when the chatter dwindles, you’ve got to wonder which ads will be most effective in the long-run. Which will reinforce a brand’s core purpose and value proposition?

On that note, here are three that worked for us.

Dove’s Hard Knocks

Dove’s advertising is a masterclass in brand consistency, starting with its “Real Women” campaign in 2004, which drove sales by 700% in its first six months and earned the brand $150 million in free media time by 2007

Since, whether it’s redefining beauty or shining a light on mental health issues, Dove has been consistent with its message of superior care for all. This year’s spot is no different. 
The ad balances playfulness with an eye-opening resolution about girls’ self-esteem and confidence in sports. It’s clear Dove knows its brand, audience, and, most importantly, the values it wants to impart on viewers. 

Microsoft’s Copilot

Microsoft is on a mission to empower everyone to accomplish more. The brand says so itself, putting people at the heart of its purpose and focusing on a “mindset as opposed to a demographic.”

So, regardless of where you stand on AI, it’s hard to argue the link between the company’s mission and its new ad for Copilot, “your everyday AI companion.” The spot is a gritty underdog story grounded in defying the odds. It focuses on average people feeling galvanized to achieve their dreams with Copilot as their sidekick. And it lines up with the company’s promise.

Pfizer’s Here’s to Science

Firstly, isn’t it nice to talk about Pfizer outside the context of a global pandemic? In terms of its mission, the health-sciences company, founded in 1849, is in relentless pursuit of breakthroughs that change patients’ lives. In 2022, the company brought on its first CMO, Andreas Panayiotou, in an effort to focus on the storytelling behind the brand while still putting science first. 

Its ad, accompanied by Freddie Mercury belting “don’t stop me now,” celebrates 175 years of these breakthroughs. Better yet, it looks to the future, the next fight, and leaves viewers with an emotionally charged call to action. It’s safe to say the brand’s goal of entering into “a new era” is strongly represented, and it achieves Panayiotou’s goal of being modern, innovative, and patient-first. 

Here’s to the long game.

Big budgets, big celebs, big effects – the big game’s commercials are a tour de force, but what’s more important, a moment or a movement?

Yes, we all loved Arnold poking fun at his inimitable accent (talk about a good sport), and Michael CeraVe was downright hilarious. But is comedy always on brand? Is CeraVe funny any other time of the year?

Like football, brand building comes down to making incremental headway, and that comes down to building relationships and being consistent in conveying your value, beliefs, and purpose over time.

Ready to play the long game? Let’s uncover the truth of your brand and tell that story at every touchpoint. Contact us today to learn how.