Plays From The Commercial Break: Applying Lessons From Super Bowl Ads To Your Small Business

Written by Carolina Vieira

Whether you loved the Super Bowl for the action-packed game, watched for Usher’s career-defining halftime performance, or (like us) tuned in for the ads, Super Bowl LVIII was an epic event generating 123.7 million viewers. Though your small business may not have the ad budget to gain hundreds of millions of views, here are some takeaways from this year’s Super Bowl ads that you can incorporate into your business! 


Poppi is a probiotic soda company founded by husband and wife Allison and Stephen Ellsworth in 2016 with the mission to create a better-for-you alternative to the crowded soda field. What makes Poppi different from Coca-Cola, Sprite, Doctor Pepper, and other household brands is that they use apple cider vinegar and fruit juices to make a delicious-tasting soda with benefits. 

So, what do you need to do if you’re creating a new type of product within an already established product category? Educate! 

Poppi used their 1 minute spot to redefine the word soda, repositioning soda from a word associated with highly sugary bad-for-you drinks to their category disruption: healthy, crisp, delicious soda.* So, if you’re offering a new product or service that takes some education for customers, how do you go about that in a catchy, effective way? 

  1. Elevator pitch: Know exactly how to describe your product in 1-2 sentences. This should be quick, concise, and memorable. The longer you take to describe your product/service, the less interested customers will be and the less confident you’ll seem in your innovation. 
  1. Signage: If your product or service has an in-person presence, make sure to have ample signage that is on-brand, easy to understand, and bold to educate your customers about the product. You may not have time to personally pitch or educate every customer who comes through the store, and you don’t want to lose sales due to this. Thus, make sure your in-person set-up—whether that’s a brick and mortar store or a booth at a market—showcases and educates your customers on why your product is different.

*Disclaimer: MFM is not saying that we agree that Poppi is good for you or that it will boost your health. Experts are skeptical.


Temu is an online marketplace known for incredibly low prices. The app marketplace started picking up speed this past summer and hit viewers with its 15-second spot 4 times throughout the Super Bowl, leading to much online discourse surrounding the brand. Temu has been criticized for ethics concerns and for encouraging over-consumption. With the tagline, “Shop Like A Billionaire,” Temu’s Super Bowl spot came off as wildly out of touch with current times and its own brand. The ad promised a fantasy world, conveying that by purchasing their products, your life can be turned into a gold and glittery fantasy world. 

The lesson with Temu is always to be sensitive to the realities of the world. Especially in a world where we are in the midst of a recession, it comes off as tone-deaf to promote rampant product purchasing and the promise of shopping like a billionaire. Always take the temperature of the current socio and economic culture of the world before putting out promotions, naming products, or publishing social media posts. 


Dunkin’s star-studded commercial featuring Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Tom Brady, and Jenifer Lopez was a crowd favorite during this year’s Super Bowl due to its cheeky comedy and the geographical loyalty of the state of Massachusetts to Dunkin. 

While you may not have celebrities to call upon for endorsement, what you can do is capitalize on being a business uplifted by the DMV community. Lean into DC’s culture and humor, whether that’s Go-go or hill culture, in product names, promotions, and copywriting. 

This goes beyond Cherry Blossom season. We’re talking a “Stand to the right” Latte, “What do you do for work?” happy hour promotion, or even a “Chop Shop Brunch.” Honor the customers who have lifted your business up and the DMV community we are proud to be a part of. 

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