February 17, 2016

Aspiring Mind Series: Best Super Bowl 50 Ad from a PR Standpoint

By: Christina Lucchesi

As an only child that was raised by a single father I had a unique household situation growing up; let’s just say I wore more ponytails than braids and liked kickball more than ballet. I’m lucky though, because my dad and I have become BFFS over the last 24 years. When I was an 8-year-old, we even had our own “Stepbrothers” moment and shared a bunk bed. (Weird, yet slightly awesome, right?)

Though I may be biased to the particular sweetness and uniqueness of a great father/daughter relationship, one of the standout Super Bowl 50 commercials for me was Pantene’s “Dad-Do” ad (Heinz’s stampede of wiener dogs took a close second place). There are many things Pantene did right in their quest for making a memorable, kickass commercial. They integrated both heart and humor, brought in big-name celebrities, and of course capitalized on the Super Bowl.

So what about from a PR perspective? Well, I think they nailed that, too. The most successful PR campaigns, including this one, do the following:

  1. Tell a story. Pantene’s “Dad-Do” commercial was more than just a funny line or compilation of cute animals – it told a story. People remember stories more than random facts and since our job in PR revolves around building brand awareness, storytelling is an integral part of our approach.
  2. Target a specific audience. Unless you’re giving away a large sum of money or happen to be a cute, cuddly puppy, then you won’t be able to please everyone. Pantene’s Super Bowl 50 commercial resonated most strongly with its target audience, fathers with daughters (with a strong family tie in), because it was exclusive in its messaging. Before we introduce a new story idea in PR, we first identify the client’s target audience, those most likely to respond positively, and then develop messaging tailored specifically to each one.
  3. Tie in the brand’s overall message. “Strong is the new beautiful” was the message behind Pantene’s campaign this year, which can easily be tied back to their products. In PR, we integrate our client’s overall messaging into each new campaign, for both consistency and advancing brand identity.

What was your favorite commercial this year? As long as it doesn’t include the word “puppymonkeybaby,” we can still be friends.