You Don’t Need a Super Bowl Budget to Make a Great Commercial

February 2, 2015

In my family we watch the Super Bowl for a variety of reasons, and only in part because of our love of football. We watch for the game, the halftime show, but like many other millions of Americans, for the great commercials.

Working in the ad industry for so long and having filmed many commercials ourselves, we love how creative spots get with their storytelling in 30 seconds or less. Then we wonder why commercials can’t be that way all year long.

Think about how many commercials you see each day. Now think about how many commercials you avoid seeing a day. Recording shows so you can fast forward, taking commercials as the opportunity to refill your drink, etc. But every once in a while, there’s a commercial that sticks out to you, for whatever reason.

Maybe it’s because it was particularly funny. Maybe it had a powerful message. But then you look it up on YouTube, and you show it to your friends, and suddenly that company has drastically extended their reach, all because this particular commercial stood out among the thousands you see a day.

Now, we aren’t suggesting that everyone vie for those exclusive Super Bowl spots of course, with a 30 second slot running $4+ million. We are suggesting that companies budget to use motion effectively.

Of course we know that greater visibility leads to greater revenue. But we want to make your visibility count. Many companies put pennies into their motion budgets, trying to get the most exposure for the least amount of money. Where the real advantage lies, however, is in making your exposure memorable. That’s where the Super Bowl commercials excel, and so do we at Jimmy Williams Productions.

There were many commercials, with a broad range of assets during the Super Bowl. A widespread favorite among consumers and ad agencies alike is Budweiser, who not only has mastered the art of storytelling in 30 seconds, but has made the narrative last through the years, leaving viewers to eagerly anticipate the commercial’s air time. We also loved how Microsoft advertised a different side of their product, leveraging #empowerment, and showing how their software makes a tangible difference in almost everyone’s life.

We’ve picked our top three commercials, and here’s why we loved them.

  1. Like A Girl – We love this because of the powerful message. This Always commercial reminds women, and especially girls, that doing something “Like a Girl” shouldn’t be negative. While the version aired during the Super Bowl was great, we love the full cut even more.
  2. Wisdom – Dodge cleverly paralleled what people around 100 years old have learned in 100 years, to what they’ve learned in the life of their company (also 100 years). We loved that they gave positive messages of life and vigor, and showed both a tender and adventurous side. We also would not have guessed from the beginning that it would be a Dodge commercial, which we talked about through the entire next commercial.
  3. Very Brady – Snickers did well with this comical commercial. They paired nostalgia with comedy to create a truly memorable piece. The message was clear, and to be honest, after it was over we wanted a Snickers.

The common trait of all these commercials is that their most powerful feature is the story they tell. They all had something that viewers could identify with, whether it was nostalgia, empowering women, or changing the world. You don’t need a $2 million production budget and an additional $4 million for airtime to show a great story. With the right team, you can tell your story for a reasonable budget. And that’s what we do best. We are visual storytellers, and we know how to make your story memorable, in 30 seconds or less.

We can tell your story. Just give us a call.

You can see some of our motion work here: .


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