This year’s Super Bowl was awesome (except for the questionable play at the end). And the ads? Well, like every other Super Bowl, there are always mixed feelings about Super Bowl ads. Companies spend millions of dollars for 30 to 90 second slots. It’s not as crazy as it sounds because some companies actually do see results (link). What’s interesting about these annual commercials is the storytelling, creative direction, and execution. One can only wonder how these commercials can translate into mobile ads…

Wonder no more.

Here are five Super Bowl commercials turned into mobile ads, some insights on why these commercials were effective, and whether or not they would work on mobile (in terms of conversions). Leave a comment about your favorite one.

For the purposes of this experiment, we’re going to stick with one of the most popular mobile banner ad sizes (320×50). Of course, there are many more ad formats brands can (and usually do) leverage.

#RealStrength – Dove Men+Care

What It Looks Like On Mobile

Why It Was Effective

The commercial did a great job at storytelling and getting the point across. The commercial triggered an emotional nerve that resonates with men. Even as a non-dad, this commercial made me think about the value of being a father. The most effective ads know how to trigger emotion. The big question is whether or not it will actually increase sales or brand loyalty. I think the latter is way more realistic.

Can It Work On Mobile?

Probably not. The storytelling is too difficult to execute in a small ad. What makes the commercial so effective is the way it’s chopped up into different clips featuring different families. A mobile ad won’t have the same effect, unless we’re talking about mobile video ads. Additionally, what would be the call to action? The commercial’s call to action directed viewers to use the hashtag #RealStrength. It would be hard to measure that social activity through mobile ads. Plus, a brand wouldn’t want to spend money on mobile ads promoting just a hashtag.

Pay With Lovin’ – McDonald’s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iq2Sm2XGv_s

What It Looks Like On Mobile

McDonalds Pay With Loving Ad 3

Why It Was Effective

“I can’t believe they’re actually doing this!” was the thought that ran through my head when seeing this commercial. It makes you think about way back when money wasn’t around. It makes you yearn for a world where money doesn’t exist and goods and services are purchased with actions. I don’t know if it makes McDonald’s seem desperate, but they did a great job at using trendy terms (“selfie”) and triggering emotion among viewers. The commercial makes you want to go to a McDonald’s just to see if they would choose you for the promotion. It’s daring and somewhat makes you want to call your mother for the hell of it.

Can It Work On Mobile?

This is probably the most practical of them all. Can you imagine a targeted ad popping up on your smartphone while you’re nearby a McDonald’s telling you to buy a Slurrpy with a hug? Me too. It’s almost certain that McDonald’s will increase brand loyalty with this promotion (then again, not if Shake Shack has a say). Of course, they would need to have a safeguard in place to make sure every person their ad is shown to isn’t rewarded with a promotion. That wouldn’t look nice on the bottom line.

Make Safe Happen – Nationwide

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKUy-tfrIHY

What It Looks Like On Mobile

Why It Was Effective

Despite all the controversy surrounding the commercial, it was extremely effective at getting its message across, albeit during a joyful time. What Nationwide wanted to do is make people aware of the things they should be doing to protect their family. THAT’S IT! And since they’re the ones gutsy enough to create such a commercial, guess who you’re going to be thinking about once you do decide to look for insurance.

Can It Work On Mobile?

This would probably be the most effective ad out of all of them. It has a powerful message that people can’t ignore. If this mobile ad makes people stop and think just for a second, it’ll increase the likelihood of that person moving through the funnel and signing up. I can imagine the copy being something along the lines of “I couldn’t grow up…because I died from an accident.” That sentence would surely see a booming click-through rate.

#LikeAGirl – Always

What It Looks Like On Mobile

Always LikeAGirl Ad 3

Why It Was Effective

A lot of us are guilty of using this term to let someone know that they’re not good enough. This commercial is purely for brand recognition and loyalty and to get the pressing message across that “like a girl” shouldn’t be used to demean people’s skills and abilities. The interesting twist is that the adults and young boy used the term as it’s always been used, yet the young girls saw right through it.

Can It Work On Mobile?

Although it would do a good job at spreading the hashtag, I can’t see this ad working on mobile (in terms of conversions) simply because the call to action doesn’t direct a user to a product or service. It’s just a social message (a powerful one) that wouldn’t see any real ROI.

Newfangled Idea – BMW

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1jwWwJ-Mxc

What It Looks Like On Mobile

Why It Was Effective

Although the storyline and characters took away from the actual product, the product itself being shown at the end is enough to make it effective. If you’re someone who likes cars and cares about the environment, you’ll want to learn more about the new i3. The commercial made me search for the car on Google just to get another look. I would say that’s effective.

Can It Work On Mobile?

This commercial would work…sort of. The problem is people take a longer time to purchase big ticket items, such as cars, TVs, boats, etc, which means a conversion wouldn’t come any time soon after a user clicked on the ad. BMW would have to define what a conversion is and what success in mobile looks like.

What was your favorite ad and why? Leave a comment below.