If you are like me, just as important as watching the Super Bowl game are the Super Bowl ads! Ridiculous amounts of money are spent (and often wasted) in a matter of seconds, so I love to see ads being smart and making great use of websites or landing pages.
And this year (and what a great game it was!) the trend of ads using #hashtags in them stays high at 50%. But only 25% of ads mentioned URLs to visit – this seems like a huge waste of opportunity to further engage and convert 114 million viewers (highest audience ever!) into website sales.
I decided to check out and review 5 of the ads smart enough to use website URLs, and see how well they engaged and converted their visitors into sales or leads. And many of them could have much better!
In particular, I focused the website reviews on the message continuation from the ad, their headlines and call-to-actions, and their usage of social proof and unique value proposition.
Here’s the short video of me reviewing 5 Super Bowl ad websites, with my ratings and comments below.
1: WeighWatchers.com (Rating: 5/10)
This ad was one of my favorites, trying to empathize with people getting bombarded with ads for food and huge portion sizes. However, when you arrive on their website to take action (and join up) they certainly could have used some help to convert many ore of their of visitors into sales! Very poor indeed.
Highlights from my WatchWatchers.com review:
- Message continuation from ad: Underachieved, which was unfortunate because it was such a strong engaging ad message. No imagery from the ad is used, and they hid the video of ad at the bottom of the site, like an afterthought.
- Headlines and call-to-actions: A pretty vague headline – just repeating the slogan from the ad – “Take control back”. At least they use a subheadline to try and emphasize benefits. The call-to-action button could have been improved too – instead of ‘start today’ it could have implied more value, like ‘Lose 10 pounds for free’.
- Social proof: Very lacking – the homepage really needs to show reviews or testimonials from people who have lost weight. An expert review from a doctor would have worked well too. To optimize this and convert more visitors, I would have also mentioned how many people have lost weight, and how much combined weight they have lost.
- Unique value proposition: They do a very poor job with this considering there are 1000’s of different diets that declare they are the best. They don’t mention why their solution is better, and seem to just rely on the brand. They should mention if it gets the best results, and what they do different (they implied this with their 24/7 coaching).
- What else should be improved: The navigation is really bland, with uninspiring choices. ‘Products & Services’ – really? Could that be anymore non-visitor enticing and business-centric? Better to mention items like ‘Why Choose WeightWatchers’ to help explain unique value proposition and benefits, and add a ‘Happy Members’ link so people can quickly see results from real people. There are also no images of people dieting on this website – a real simple powerful fix.
2: Wix.com (Rating: 8/10)
This was the best website that I noticed from a Super Bowl ad this year, with great message continuation and many best practices being used. Great job Wix! They probably had a good percentage of your visitors converting into sales, hopefully meaning a bigger return on investment from the ad.
Highlights from my Wix.com review:
- Message continuation from ad: Very good, with matching imagery and messaging clearly above the page fold, in addition to a video thumbnail to watch the ad again.
- Headlines and call-to-actions: Strong headline with positive wording like ‘stunning’ and ‘free’. The call-to-action button at the top is pretty generic though (start now) and they are lacking a more prominent strong call-to-action at the end of the homepage.
- Social proof: This aspect could definitely be improved – while they added a good usage numbers to imply popularity (59 million users is really strong) adding testimonials from happy users or third party ratings would increase signups even further.
- Unique value proposition: While they do a great job of explaining the benefits of their service, they don’t mention how they are better than their many competitors like SquareSpace.com. For example, they should mention if they have more templates, better support or exclusive features. Adding a ‘why us’ competitor comparison page would help to justify reasons to choose them in this crowded marketplace and increase signups.
- What else should be improved: An explainer/intro video could be added that highlights the benefits and how easy it is to use their tool. They also could show clearer options for visitors to browse by template type, like photographer, restaurant owner, etc – add a drop down filter to sort templates shown, and add template category links in drop down navigation menu.
3: WeatherTech.com (Rating: 4/10)
A pretty generic ad, but was smart enough to add a prominent mention of their website URL. The website looks cool, but unfortunately it’s just too different than a conventional ecommerce website, with few best practices that no doubt confused and frustrated many visitors, likely resulting in many 1000’s of lost sales. Like no site search, really?
Highlights from my WeatherTech.com review:
- Message continuation from ad: Very poor, with barely any mention of the ad, imagery or its messaging – just a tiny squashed promo box towards the bottom.
- Headlines and call-to-actions: Not great either – no headlines – just standard product names shown, and the most obvious call-to-action button saying ‘more products’. Really? That’s a sure fire way to bore visitors into bouncing.
- Social proof: None at all! No ratings, testimonials, or strong business usage numbers. Nothing. Looks like more like a brochure than a website. Among other things, they really need to mention how many customers they’ve had, how many parts they’ve sold and their ratings from third parties.
- Unique value proposition: This is also very lacking – it doesn’t mention unique value proposition things like free shipping or returns, lowest prices, biggest selection, or best service – essential for trying to compete with sites like Amazon.com.
- What else should be improved: Instead of their ‘cool’ design, test using a more traditional ecommerce design, with conversion best practices built-in. Test changing background from black to a more standard white might help too, as would having a live web chat option. AutoAnything.com is a much better, higher converting auto accessories site for inspiration.
4: NoMore.Org (Rating: 6/10)
What a shame. A really compelling ad that strikes at the heart and reality of domestic abuse, but their website could have done a much better job of converting visitors into pledging. While their sign-up form was prominent and short and sweet, they didn’t add anything else to help convince visitors to act, like stats on domestic abuse or compelling stories, and empathizing more with visitors.
NOTE: Since I wrote this, the URL now takes you to the homepage, and not the pledge signup page anymore (see the video review for what they were using).
Highlights from my NoMore.org review:
- Message continuation from ad: Similar wording from the ad, but unfortunately no matching imagery or option to watch the ad again – a big missed opportunity to help drive home the compelling message in the ad (which might not have been obvious at first watch).
- Headlines and call-to-actions: Pretty good headlines, but they could better, for example using headlines that ask a question, are controversial/shocking, or emphasize empathy better. The call-to-action button is large and simple, but could also be improved to mention urgency or helping make a difference.
- Social proof: This is definitely lacking – they should mention how many people have pledged already, and messages from supporters (particularly from famous people). This would significantly increase pledges. They should also state how common this issue is (12.7 million cases a year is a really compelling number, like they mention on their full site).
- Unique value proposition: Not really applicable – they aren’t really selling anything, so it’s not as important to emphasize unique value proposition.
- What else should be improved: Add imagery of women suffering from domestic violence (the shock/empathy angle) would help make women relate, mention that visitor’s wont be spammed if they pledge, and mention what will happen next after pledging.
5: DreamingWithJeff.com (Rating: 7/10)
Hats off to SquareSpace for coming up with an ingenious mini-site featuring Jeff Bridges, highly relating to their intriguing ad. But they could have done more to sell the album, and to explain benefits of using SquareSpace’s website creation tool.
Highlights from my DreamingWithJeff.com review:
- Message continuation from ad: Very good, with similar style used from the ad – few words were used in the ad, so not as applicable as the other websites.
- Headlines and call-to-actions: Stylish headline but a bit too ‘functional’, only stating what the product is called. A better more playful headlines like ‘sleep better with Jeff’ would be more benefits orientated, and eye-catching. Good usage of ‘dual’ call-to-actions above the page fold, but average wording, with no mention of building websites (many visitors won’t know what SquareSpace actually is).
- Social proof: Apart from the ‘coolness’ factor that Jeff Bridges brings, there is little other social proof mentioned for either the album or SquareSpace. Some kind of third-party rating for the album is essential (from Amazon.com in particular), as would be a few ‘cool’ reviews from happy listeners of the album. They also need to mention awards, ratings and number of users for SquareSpace (like Wix.com showed).
- Unique value proposition: They don’t really explain why this sleep music works better than other methods – like sleeping pills, and don’t mention why SquareSpace is better than the other web creation tools. Adding this would certainly increase sales/signups.
- What else should be improved: Simplify the options for getting the album – there are too many confusing options. At least explain the benefits of each type, and who its best for (music collector etc). Also make it more obvious that charity gets all the revenue (its strangely hidden away in fine print) – this would definitely encourage sales.
What was your favorite? Maybe your site needs help too?
Hopefully you learned something from my review of those 5 Super Bowl ad websites. Which was your favorite website from the Super Bowl ads?
And if you are looking for some expert sales-boosting help for your website, give me a shout – I’d love to help review and improve your website. Thanks!