5 Field Service Business Lessons You Can Learn From The 2018 Super Bowl Ads
The Super Bowl is over, but you can still take home some useful field service business lessons from its ads.
The Super Bowl is over. People all over America have wiped their faces of the red and blue paint and returned to their mundane lives. As red, blue, and green become a sea of brown gloop, people reminisce over the game highlights.
While most take pleasure in the football (or great pain, if you’re a die-hard Patriots fan), many also watch the largest game of the year for the awesome ads.
The ads? You ask. What ads? Those gaps in the game where you and your friends go to the bathroom and crack open a new beer showcase ads by some of the largest brands in the world. Companies like Pepsi and Amazon dish out a good 5 million dollars for 30 seconds of attention from the 103.4 million people that watched the game on Sunday.
These ads, created by some of the biggest names in advertising and marketing, offer excellent business lessons that your field service business can use. So if you’re in plumbing, electric, HVAC, or you just like Super Bowl ads, listen up while we take commercials and turn them into 5 handy field service business tips and tricks. You know what they say, when life gives you lemons… write a compelling piece on Super Bowl ads and how they can, in fact, apply to the field service industry.
1. Be better than the competition.
It is important to stay on top of competition. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses (yes, everybody has weaknesses) allows for your business to develop and implement strategic plans.
Wendy’s vs. McDonald’s
Wendy’s calls out McDonalds for using frozen beef. Wendy’s understands its advantage over the other massive food chain. Though McDonald’s and its vast golden arches have dominated the fast food industry for quite some time now, Wendy’s is marking its place as its direct competitor. Not only does this show that Wendy’s provides a higher quality burger, it also put Wendy’s in a competitive stance at equal footing with McDonald’s. This levels the two chains and establishes Wendy’s as the other, better McDonald’s.
Wendy’s snarky banter with McDonald’s is an extension of the correspondence between the two burger chains on Twitter. This is an excellent display of brand consistency.
Wendy’s has done a remarkable job of establishing brand voice, contributing to its personification. Metaphorically, Wendy’s is slowly but surely becoming “Wendy”. While this change may seem trivial and minute, it promotes a closer relationship between the fast food chain and its customers. When that transactional relationship becomes personal, customers become loyal devotees, akin to friends.
Sprint vs. Verizon
Phone networks have a reputation for battling each other on a level similar to a presidential campaign (we’ve all mistaken those blue/red network maps for electoral maps at some point). This swarm of attacks provides the perfect environment for polarized opinions. Networks like AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile fight for the spot at the top, each promoting themself as the “best” network.
However, in this ad, Sprint does something a little different. Instead of claiming to be the best like Wendy’s did, Sprint takes its seat behind Verizon. Understanding its competition allows Sprint to make a biting argument against it. Is a 1% difference really worth paying double?
Sprint, while playing off the trendy fascination with AI technology, manages to establish itself as the cool, popular guy on the block. The scientist switches phone plans to sprint after Evelyn and his other robot “coworkers” make fun of him. This social pressure is a very powerful player in decision making, and Sprint utilizes this perfectly while maintaining a light, humorous tone.
How to use it:
Sit down with your coworkers and jot down what makes your field service business better than your competition. Play up your advantages when speaking to potential clients. Tell them exactly why they should pick you and not your competitor. In a world full of endless options, customers want to know why you. So tell them.
Then take a step back and jot down where your business falls short. Don’t worry! Even your weaknesses can be played to your advantage. You may not offer round-the-clock service like your competitor does, but your business delivers better bang-for-the-buck. The added service isn’t worth it. You know that, and your customer should be aware as well.
2. Partner up.
Partnering up with another business is an excellent way to gain new clients, get prolonged publicity, and reduce marketing costs.
Jeep + Jurassic Park
The ad features Ian Malcolm, a character in the movie Jurassic Park, first released in 1993. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom will arrive this summer, so the ad serves as a double promoter, both for the vehicle and the movie.
Jeep’s advantage is in what the car can do. It is an offroad vehicle—and it shows that in its ads. Even if you won’t use it to run away from a T-Rex, the point is that you could. It is this feeling that Jeep wants to instill in drivers. That feeling of possibility, wonder, and adventure is displayed perfectly within the context of Jurassic Park.
Partnering up with competition also allows for continued publicity on both ends. When you watch Jurassic Park in the theaters this summer, or when you hear about it, you’ll think of Jeep. The reverse is also true. Whenever you see a Jeep, you will consider the link with Jurassic Park.
How to use it:
Finding a complementary business to “partner” with can reduce costs, strengthen your field service business’ reputation, and be a source for strong leads. When you work in the field service business, it is unlikely that you cover all areas of the field. If you’re an electrician, it is very unlikely that you are a plumber as well. So find somebody who is, and recommend them to your customers. They, in turn, will do the same, and suddenly your client pool has gotten a lot larger. You can also run special joint packages that your competitors won’t be able to match.
Partner up with a business that you’re not in competition with. If you are a contractor, partner up with a plumber. You don’t want to be promoting your own competition, so make sure there is no overlap in the services provided.
Make sure your new business relationship is symbiotic and that both companies complement each other without taking away market share from either side. Pick a business of merit because their reputation will become tied to yours. You don’t want to recommend an HVAC technician that doesn’t follow through.
3. Stay top of mind.
The goal of any company should be to remain present on the mind of its consumers. This ensures brand loyalty and continued business.
This Tide ad is an exemplary display of what it means for an idea—or brand—to linger. These Tide ads were shown every quarter of the game, each one building off of the last. The expectation and anticipation of each tide ad led viewers to search for signs of Tide in every new ad.
This functions phenomenally well because every ad effectively does become a Tide ad. Though Tide jokes about this in its slogan “It’s a Tide Ad”, the effect is clear and unassuming.
The ad effortlessly links itself to the idea of clean clothes. If it’s clean, it’s gotta be Tide. The majority of the “mock” ads featured by Tide also hold clear connections to being clean. Mr. Clean, tennis, shaving cream, and Old Spice all exude obvious connotations to the idea of remaining pristine and fresh. This furthers Tide’s goal in what it wants to be associated with and its line “If it’s clean, it’s got to be Tide.”
Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten to mention David Harbour, the likeable actor from the hit Netflix show “Stranger Things” who is featured in the commercial. Good choice, Tide. Well done.
I’m not quite sure why the NFL needs to advertise for itself during its own program, but, hey, why not? Viewers got to see Eli Manning during each quarter, goofing off with his teammates by dancing and talking about a thumb war. Though this ad didn’t shine creatively, it does serve as another example of always being present in the minds of your consumers. (And its mere existence is proof that you don’t have to be creative to reap the benefits of this tactic, either!)
How to use it:
Sending your customers regular emails or texts works as a great reminder that they need your field service business. Put stickers featuring your field service business name and phone number inside their units. That way, when your customer’s AC breaks, they’re going to open it up and contact you.
4. Call for action.
The end of any marketing campaign, whether it be a page on your website, your business card, or a full length commercial, should contain a message inviting action. Continued interaction with a brand is the goal of any marketing campaign.
Mucinex acknowledges the post-game depression (and often hangover) state half of America suffers from the Monday following the Super Bowl. It is playful and pokes fun while maintaining character consistency through its snotty character. Mucinex ends the advertisement with a hashtag, #SuperSickMonday. This hashtag is brilliant because it establishes a line generic enough for widespread use as a Mucinex line. Mucinex invites viewers to poke fun at themselves and their day off by using the hashtag.
The official trailer for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom aired during the Super Bowl. The movie looks thrilling and suspenseful, as all Jurassic Park movies are known to be. At the end of the trailer, it requests viewers to try an effect on Facebook. Without citing what the effect is, the trailer inspires curiosity among the viewers, encouraging them to go on Facebook, try the effect on Facebook’s camera feature, and continue brand interaction on other platforms.
Keanu Reeves surfing on a motorcycle in the middle of a desert has to be one of the coolest, most inspiring images. Ever. He repeats affirmations alongside a recording, ending with a continuous, rolling “Make it happen.”
Squarespace, a website builder, invites viewers to watch the rest of the cool clip and see what Keanu Reeves built using Squarespace. Many of those intrigued by the ad (or intrigued by Keanu) did go to the website to see the rest, continuing interaction with the company.
How to use it:
On your field service website, make sure each page invites viewers to message you, request an estimate, or subscribe to an email chain. Whatever the action is, it is important to make the request visible and available, encouraging people to follow through and turn visitors into leads.
5. Do good too.
These days, giving back to the community is expected of companies with the resources to do so. Because these donations can often be accounted for in tax returns, they typically make little to no difference to a company’s bottom line. In a society with growing consumer consciousness, giving back can also be a source of inspiration for continued business.
After the hurricanes that struck America and left many in need of shelter and water, Budweiser transformed some of its breweries into good-samaritan canned water manufacturers. It displayed itself as a builder of America and a helper of those in need. This encourages consumers to continue business with Budweiser because though they are a major corporation, they are not one of the greedy ones. This ad emphasizes that Budweiser is American, and therefore, to be American is to drink Budweiser.
Groupon takes a slightly different “Do good” angle than Budweiser did. Groupon positions itself as a resource for you to do good. It encourages viewers to use Groupon, and in turn, support local businesses. After all, “What kind of person wouldn’t want to support local business?” Groupon asks. Groupon is beneficial for both you, the money saver, and local businesses, the money receivers. Nothing like a “win-win” situation to promote business and promote doing good.
This Groupon ad uses Tiffany Haddish, America’s current sweetheart, football players, and a really hateable, opulent man to establish a sense of togetherness and social duty surrounding the use of Groupon. It’s the cool thing to do, and everybody you know and like is doing it. There are people who hate local business, and there are people who use Groupon.
How to use it:
Even though your field service business is not as large as Groupon or Budweiser, doing good as a business can still be beneficial both for your field service business and for the community.
Show your customers that your business gives back by sponsoring a scholarship, volunteering with your technicians, or providing the occasional pro-bono service for a family in need. Showcase this on your marketing platforms to set yourself apart from competition. (Hey, you could even mention how many trees you saved from hitting the chop house by using Smart Service, the handy-dandy field service scheduling software for QuickBooks.) Doing good for others is an act that can prove beneficial both for the community and your field service business!
The Super Bowl may be over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take the commercials and apply their techniques to your own field service business marketing strategies. This year, the Super Bowl ads were funny, tactical, and effective. Using the lessons learned from the ads will result in a touchdown for your field service business, get your customers running back for more, and get a quarterback in your wallet. (Ha, ha.)