Gong Wins DRMG's Super Bowl B2B Ad Meter

This year, more B2B companies advertised during the Super Bowl than ever. That’s a more than $52 million marketing/media spend retort to those who claim B2B businesses don’t benefit from brand level marketing. Which ones work, which didn't, and why...? Here's our panelist's Top 5 (and why). Get the full commentary in the latest episode of The SaaS Brand Strategy Show.

April 6, 2022

Gong's Humorous Super Bowl Spot Keeps it Simple; Wins the B2B Day

Yes, we realize the Super Bowl was more than a month ago. But between then/February 13th and now/March 13th, we honestly weren't really paying attention. Kind of like our interest in the Beijing Olympics (except for Jessie Diggins. She is Bad Ass...)

But when we recovered from our various desert retreats and client engagements, we came to a surprising realization: Of the 64 paid advertising spots in this year’s Super Bowl broadcast, eight of them were for B2B brands, a new record for B2B companies.

The advertisers were:
* Salesforce
* Monday.com
* Squarespace.com
* Gong
* Bolt
* Criteo
* Intuit (Quickbooks/MailChimp)
* ClickUp

Given that the average price for a :30 second commercial in the 2022 Super Bowl was $6.5 million (not including production costs), that’s a more than $52 million marketing spend retort to those who claim B2B businesses don’t benefit from brand level marketing.

While each spot may have been built around a different strategy, all of them were aimed to break through the noise, increase brand name awareness, and drive an action. In that regard, which ads scored and which didn’t? We asked our network of brand and advertising executives for their top and bottom picks for the B2B ads.

You can hear the director's cut of our conversation about what each brand’s strategy may have been around their Super Bowl spot on the latest episode of The SaaS Brand Strategy Show.

And here, for the first time, are the Top 5 B2B ads of the 2022 Super Bowl broadcast:

#5 - Monday.com - Work Without Limits
Designed to tap into the current disruption to traditional work arrangements (like, say, offices), this special-effects heavy spot introduces Monday.com’s “Work OS” category strategy. The idea is that technological and cultural disruption has exploded our traditional understanding of work, and Monday.com is the tool to keep everyone on the same page, etc…

Panelists appreciated the cultural timeliness of the spot, the clarity of the concept, and the effectiveness of the visuals and production. The concept is a bit distant and the copy doesn’t pay it off/bring it home as concretely as it needs to.

#4 - Squarespace - Sally’s Seashells
Squarespace is a Super Bowl advertising veteran, using the big game to anchor its campaigns since 2014, so they have the Super Bowl formula down: Celebrity + Gimmicks. This year, Euphoria and Spider-Man star Zendaya plays Sally, a seashell selling start-up in need of a business boost. Riffing off of the ‘She sells seashells…’ nursery school rhyme (and narrated by Andre 3000), the spot/campaign shows how Sally’s seashell business grows with her Squarespace website

How, exactly, her Squarespace website and the success of her beach-side seashell-themed truck are related is anyone’s guess, but panelists rewarded the top-of-funnel strategy, timely use of celebrity, clarity in position, and consistent brand marketing strategy across the years. Not a lot to not like in this spot, which is also its shortcoming.

#3 - ClickUp - Declaration
A spoof on the Founding Fathers’ workshopping of The U.S. Constitution is the set-up to demonstrate the pains and peril of creation by committee, specifically version tracking and document security.

Panelists liked how the spot demonstrated product benefits in a way that made the customer the super hero, the clean, relatable creative concept, and the humorous historical digs. Solid execution of a simple value proposition.

#2 - Salesforce - The New Frontier
Salesforce went full Purpose Marketing with their spot to promote their #TeamEarth vision or values or Why or something... Starring Mathew McConaughey (Salesforce’s “new brand partner and advisor”) as a space traveler turned earth advocate ruminating via (another) rhyme on the imperative for people to focus less on space and the metaverse, and more on the opportunity to create real change on Earth.

This spot checked all the Super Bowl Ad boxes: Celebrity. Gimmick. Purpose. Production. Soundtrack, and a super tight execution. Panelists appreciated that the spot as an entertaining, timely, and slightly powerful reminder to keep it real, with the signature Benioff spice through the thinly-veiled shots at Musk and Zuckerberg to further fuel virality of the spot.

#1 - Gong - Sell More with Gong
Not a lot to say about the success of this spot, and that’s the point. Ultimately, brand level campaigns need to break through the noise with a clear, compelling, and entertaining single-minded value proposition. Gong’s spot does exactly this. “Sell More with Gong” shows how a fun, focused idea can be more powerful than feature/benefit descriptions.

No celebrities, no rhymes, no gimmicky line extensions, just a fun and effective visual and auditory execution of an idea tied directly to why people use Gong. Winner.

If you want to hear our commentary on the brand strategies behind the spots, tune-in to The SaaS Brand Strategy Show. (https://anchor.fm/saas-brand-strategy)

Thanks to our panelists and congratulations to all the winners.

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