What the Superbowl Ads Teach Us About Ambassador Marketing

Last updated on
February 24, 2022
Grace Murray

Two weeks ago, I wrote about what you could get with a $7M budget towards influencer marketing instead of a 30-second time slot. 

We're post-Superbowl, the dust has settled, and so too have my “DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH THAT COST?!” rants. The Twitter threads have found the next bone to gnaw on (like not giving agencies due credit.) Instead, let’s switch gears away from eye rolls and move into what we can learn and apply to ambassador marketing. We have two points to share.

Lean-Back vs. Lean-In Ads

The Coinbase QR code got a 3.8 average rating from USA Today Ad Meter and was the #1 worst ad by sentiment, but was also most talked about with 21,256 total mentions on Twitter, according to Talkwalker.

Coinbase this year feels like Reddit last year: a little gimmicky, effective yet irritatingly simple, and a reminder that people want an excuse to stop watching TV and get back onto their phones. According to Block Research, Coinbase jumped from No. 186 in Apple’s App Store before the Super Bowl to No. 2 after the ad aired. Coinbase said the ad drove 20 million views on the site within the first minute of airing.

It may feel unfathomable that traditional ads and commercials will one day go away, but the most talked-about Superbowl ad was a floating QR code on a screen. This should serve as a reminder that traditional TV advertising and lean-back ads simply aren’t working the way they used to. 

Casting to Personify Your Brand

There’s a lot that our industry can take away and apply outside of analyzing ad worth. Let’s address the nuance behind celebrity casting. Not a name for a name’s sake, but a name to bring a new association. 

Lindsay Lohan for Planet Fitness felt brilliant to me. Why? They didn’t go for someone who represented wellness and fitness - they went with Lindsay. It immediately positioned Planet Fitness not for fanatics or health nuts but for well-meaning folks trying to turn a new leaf and get back onto the horse after a challenging ride (a very relatable consumer sentiment in 2022).

The takeaway? Too often in influencer marketing, the mentality is too broad: “wellness influencers from LA” or “beauty influencers from NYC.” Effective ambassador marketing means not only promoting your product but personifying your brand

If your brand were a person, who would it be? Can you picture them? What do they care about? Where do they hang out? What is their go-to retailer? What music do they listen to? What do they value, what are they feeling? 

Working with the right ambassadors

Working with the right ambassadors can bring new associations (or reinforce existing ones) to your target consumer. It’s a nuanced and powerful thing, and we need to think of it in that way. 

Sending love to every creative team who has their clients asking, “We want to see a concept that is like the 2022 Coinbase QR code, but make it...”

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