Multifamily Marketing Lessons from Super Bowl Ads

Super Bowl Ads

Super Bowl® ads can be at least as, if not more than, as exciting as the game itself.  Well, at least for marketers. They are a reflection of the current culture, trends and emotions that drive purchase decisions.

This year’s ads probably weren’t the most entertaining in history, but, as always, they offered a textbook’s worth of lessons for marketers regardless of industry. USA Today’s top five ads provide important lessons for multifamily marketers.  

Invest in the advertising channels that fit your industry
The top five ads this year were from large consumer brands that stand to substantially increase revenue from Super Bowl impressions. Kia, Honda, Audi, Budweiser, and Tide took the top five honors based on USA Today’s Ad Meter.

The similarity of these brands from a marketing perspective is clear – they all have physical products that can be mass-produced quickly enough to meet additional demand. Consumers are always on the market for their products. Even those who own or lease a car are easily able to get out of existing loans and lease agreements to get a new vehicle.

Apartment residents have binding lease agreements and have very few, if any, inexpensive options to escape their leases. And apartment communities take an average of 18 months to build, which is about 18 months too long to meet additional demand generated from a Super Bowl ad.

Find new ways to present your message
The Super Bowl is the most-watched television event of the year. Americans of all demographics are glued to their television screens to catch the next play or the next ad. The varied audience is both a challenge and an opportunity.

The challenge is crafting the message in a way that doesn’t alienate potential new audiences. But the opportunity is there to connect with the audience you want to reach with a new and different message. For example, Kia, which has always been known as an inexpensive, practical car, had the opportunity to sell its new hybrid as an environmentalist’s dream.

Apartment marketers should note that they can find new ways to reach their audience with precise messaging and the right tools. A Super Bowl ad might not be the right channel to reach prospective renters, but a product like RentPath’s LeadMail might be just the medium to increase reach to a new audience base.

Without the right message, your ad is just noise
In every Super Bowl, there are winners and losers, even during commercial interruptions. The ads that conveyed desired messages and were well put together made the top 25 of USA Today’s Ad Meter rankings. The others fell short.

T-Mobile, for example, had some really strong ads that emphasized the pain of data overages from its competitors, but one ad missed the mark. Despite its star-studded cast including NFL icon, Rob Gronkowski; former NFL great, Terrell Owens; and pop sensation Justin Bieber, the ad ranked 50 on the Ad Meter list. Despite all of these superstars, the message was hard to follow.

Do your homework … on your prospective renters
Audi clearly did its homework to create its “Daughter” spot, recognizing that the high-income dads that drive their cars want their daughters to have the same opportunities they’ve had. The spot also connected with the strengthening feminist movement regarding equal pay for equal work. Knowing its customers well resulted in a powerful, emotionally-appealing message.

The most successful multifamily owner/operators know their resident base, have created brands around them, and connect with them on an emotional level. If you watched the ads in the Super Bowl, you know these brands were focused on the emotions of their buyers.

Don’t rely on leasing teams to advertise for you
This is a lesson you can take away from every Super Bowl advertiser. They know they can’t leave their marketing to local sales people, who have a very important job to do themselves – sell. Instead, they make a careful investment in a medium that will connect with their buyers’ emotions.

Marketing and sales are not interchangeable roles. The marketing departments of brands like Honda, Budweiser, and Tide take this to a new level. They spend ample amounts of time and money to carefully craft promotional campaigns. This may include hiring experts to ensure they hit the mark.

Multifamily marketers should follow this same path. Make the investment to ensure you are portraying the right messaging to renters. Spend time on the strategy, and enlist experts where needed. RentPath knows the multifamily industry and can help owner/operators achieve their strategic revenue and occupancy goals through their suite of products and services.

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