August 29, 2014

What Marketers Can Learn From Peyton Manning's Commercials

Next Sunday, when the NFL regular season gets under way in earnest—the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks will play the official opener on Thursday—Denver Broncos quarterback, future hall-of-famer and all-time legend Peyton Manning will take the field for his 17th season as a professional. Manning holds an almost unbelievable slew of records, ranging from most passing yards (5,477) and touchdowns (55) in a single season to most NFL MVP awards (5).

While football fans know Manning for his accomplishments on the field, those who don’t follow the sport have almost certainly seen some of his classic commercials. For years the quarterback has been appearing in television and online advertisements as well as marketing campaigns for some of the companies he endorses such as Oreo, Sprint and DirecTV. Now, his recent run of new Gatorade commercials is making waves and garnering more than a few chuckles. Here are some of the main reasons Manning’s commercials have been so successful, and what marketers can learn from that success:

You Can’t Be Serious All the Time

Manning’s commercials are memorable because they are funny and present him in a much different light than the super-serious attitude he typically displays on the field. This MasterCard commercial where the superstar acts as a fan to regular, every day workers is a perfect example of injecting some humor into a marketing campaign. Of course there is always time for serious thought-leadership pieces on your blog, but getting a few chuckles from your content creation is a great way to liven your marketing up as well.

Tie It All Together

When Manning participated in Oreo’s fictional Double Stuf Racing League with other star athletes, the cookie manufacturer made a huge push in social media, even giving away 150,000 coupons to customers for free snacks to followers of the Oreo Facebook page. When Manning and his brother Eli, himself a Super Bowl-winning quarterback with the New York Giants, took on Donald Trump in an Oreo eating contest, the company even created a micro site before the campaign launched where fans could follow the “competition.”

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

If you’ve been repeatedly presenting the same topics through the same channels, eventually even loyal customers are going to lose interest. It’s easy to get so focused on growing your blog that you might forget about white papers, infographics, case studies and videos. But you need to come at customers from different angles to be successful, even if that means trying something different from what you’ve done before. For instance, it couldn’t have been completely comfortable for Manning to appear in this mock rap video—or to watch it when it aired either. 

So if any part of your marketing feels a little stale, pull YouTube up on your computer and take a walk down memory lane with Peyton and his commercials through the years. You might just find the inspiration to kickoff a new strategy—and score a marketing touchdown in the process. 

Edited by Gerald Baldino

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