SportsSuper Bowl


Ad experts break down the perfect Super Bowl commercial

Posted at 11:16 PM, Feb 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-05 14:13:38-05

The Super Bowl is likely the only time viewers actually want to watch commercials so companies shell out millions of dollars to get it right. 

A local ad expert says with that kind of investment, you have to focus on entertainment first and brand second. 

"No expenses are spared," said Pat Laughlin, a creative director at Laughlin Constable. "Every ad you see, a ton of money went into it, a ton of time went into it." 

Laughlin Constable is a local marketing agency with offices in Milwaukee and Chicago. It's a full service agency and handles everything from TV commercials to social media campaigns for its clients. 

While most fans crowd around the TV on Super Bowl Sunday to see NFL players at their best, Laughlin said he's there to see advertisers at the top of their game. 

"At the end, it can make or break a career if people receive it well," he said. 

His recipe for a great Super Bowl ad: humor and a celebrity. 

One great example he says is M&M's ad featuring Danny DeVito, where the red M&M wishes on a lucky penny to be a human, and turns into Danny DeVito. 

"You can imagine the creative team sitting in a room and somebody's like 'who looks the most like an M&M in the world?'" said Laughlin. "And somebody sat there and went Danny DeVito looks like an M&M. They all got excited, they all started laughing and they immediately got Danny DeVito's reps on the phone." 

He says if companies don't go for comedy, they should go for the emotional appeal. 

His favorite in that arena: Toyota's commercial featuring Canadian Paralympic skier Lauren Woolstencroft. 

"I thought they did a good job with this one Toyota," he said. "Just setting up a nice story and talking through the odds and all that, I thought they nailed it." 

But ultimately what people will remember he says, is something unexpected. 

"This is a $5 million plate of media buy," he said. "I think you gotta go heavier on the comedy and then mix it in with the celebrity." 

While he didn't work on any Super Bowl ads, he says one of his clients is the Wisconsin Department of Tourism and they are wrapping up a new ad campaign for the summer that he thinks will be a big success.