Deconstructing Super Bowl Ad Strategies to Understand How You Are SOLD

Deconstructing Super Bowl Ad Strategies to Understand How You Are SOLD

Another year, another Super Bowl. And another expensive ad telling people how easy it is to have an online business.

Is it?

Is it easy to establish, grow and maintain a successful business of any kind? Can it be done in a day, or in an hour?

Five Super Bowl Ads Lead the Way to Solopreneur Mastery

Let’s take a look at what these five Super Bowl ads have told you and millions of others over the past few years about what it takes to build an online business.

Wix Super Bowl Commercial (2015)

Brett Favre, retired superstar football player, is pondering what to do now that cheering crowds are a thing of the past. Listen to what his “agent” suggests in the video snippet…

“Do what everybody else does. Start a business. Build yourself a website.”

“Do what everybody else does?”

That approach gets you where “everybody else” gets. Where is that? As Einstein said…

“The one who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd.”

Gandhi said it well, too…

“It’s better to walk alone than with a crowd going in the wrong direction.”

Or, to be blunt about it, consider programmer/author Andy Hunt…

“Only dead fish go with the flow.”

The rest of the message (from Favre’s agent) was just as telling…

“Start a BUSINESS. Build yourself a WEBSITE.”

The implication is that website = business. It’s not. There’s so much more to building a profitable, long-term online business.

Wix ran ads featuring five different football legends, all under the #ItsThatEasy hashtag. Catch “it’s that easy” at the end of the full version.

They were slammed by some for being misleading, but Wix was right — sort of…

It actually is easy to build a “stunning website” (and not just with Wix).  Sadly, it’s not so easy to find people to send to that stunning website.

Design, by the way, doesn’t have to be “stunning.” Design must reflect your brand and make a good first impression. After that, it’s all about content.

High-value, original content grows traffic and wins people over, building your “Brand of One.” Creating poor-to-average content is one of the most important reasons that solopreneurs fail.

Why is a high volume of targeted traffic so important?

If no one visits, no one monetizes. The greater your traffic, the greater your income.

In our comparison studies (more about those at the end of this article), Wix did the worst in terms of traffic. Focusing on design is not the road to success.

GoDaddy TV Commercial (2017)

Super Bowl ads force the company to cone its messaging down to the single most important message that will sell. Either that, or it’s about branding. But unless your name is Apple, that’s mighty expensive branding.  

The formula for this commercial was humor (in the form of countless memes worked into the ad). And then….

What’s GoDaddy’s sales pitch here? Listen for the “Build a site in under an hour” claim in this excerpt…

Note how the commercial links site and business in the viewer’s mind. “Under an hour,” therefore, implies how quickly you can be in business.

That’s not possible.

It’s even an exaggeration to claim that you can have a single, good page published on the Web in under an hour. Anything other than quality content (which takes time) won’t be getting any traffic.

Bottom line?

Speed is as irrelevant as design if you want to build an online business. But who’s thinking that critically during the most exciting football game of the year?

Their real story, business results, tell a totally different tale, as we’ve seen in our comparison studies.

WordPress TV Commercial (2017)

WordPress made a commercial that was an ode to the small-business person. No features or benefits were offered. This 9-second excerpt summarizes its top message…

The “Ode to the Little Things” and “Ode to the Big Game” commercials were all about building a warm and fuzzy connection with the target market viewer. Both finish, though, with a “hard sell” whammy…

“More sites run on WordPress than on any other platform.”

That statement is aimed directly at the “herd instinct.” The herd bias is even stronger when you are in an unfamiliar environment, out of your depth. It’s all too easy to “go with the herd.”

Why dig deeper when so many have already decided, right? Going with WordPress must be the best move, right? Right?

Not really. Results speak louder than words, so we’ll let the studies speak for themselves in just another second (or three).

Seeing a pattern? Wix focuses on “stunning design.” GoDaddy emphasizes speed. And WordPress plays its trump card — “the most used.”

But where are the claims of enabling actual success better than any other product? If you were them, wouldn’t you promote that if you could?

Sidebar: By the way, don’t get us wrong. We’re not blaming any company for trying to make a sale.

There’s no law that your advertising must be “the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” Welcome to capitalism! Be on your guard…

Spot selective information that has no influence on what you want to achieve – a success. Judging by the dismal results (studies below), solopreneurs are using various platforms for all the wrong reasons.

Given the absence of the real data you need, there’s not much choice. But given the pain of failure (time, money and morale), it may be time to insist on “Nutrition Facts.”

Until that happens, we hope that the data below provides you with the ability to protect yourself and find the platform that’s most likely to deliver the success you deserve.

Squarespace Super Bowl (2018)

Squarespace, a direct competitor of Wix, which emphasizes an “all you need” approach, switched from the weirdly funny John Malkovich ads to an approach that is much more akin to our own philosophy.

It’s the commercial that we’d make — if we had millions to blow on that sort of thing! Enjoy this inspirational excerpt, with Keanu riding his passion into the desert…

Impressively inspiring, the full Squarespace commercial makes a statement that resonates strongly with our own fervent belief in the ability of the “everyday solopreneur” to use the Internet to combine passion and business to live life on his or her own terms.

This commercial is miles ahead of those by Wix, WordPress and GoDaddy. Everything fits nicely into a solopreneur manifesto (as long as you suspend disbelief of Keanu Reeves creating his own site, which we were happy to do).

Solopreneurs want to take back some control over their lives while doing what they love to do. Without specifically saying that, the message here is loud and clear.

There is something both inspiring and calming as Keanu recites part of Will Powers’ “Adventures in Success” (1983), as relevant today as then. He does so while standing on his Arch motorcycle speeding across the desert.

“The power to do anything you can imagine is within you when you discover your real self. Make it happen, make it happen. Make it.

In the follow-up video, Keanu sits alone in front of a bonfire in the desert, serenely creating his site. At two-and-a-half minutes long, it could have become a tad overdone if it wasn’t also gently poking fun at itself.

One hilarious moment starts when Keanu turns to tell us…

“First, you must pick the right domain name.”

No, that’s not the joke. He gazes into the fire, gets up to adjust a log. In so doing, he sets his hand on fire, so transfixed that he doesn’t notice. Funny, but not the punch line.

He returns to his laptop, picking up the thought where he left off. He types  his domain name into the template as he intones “”

And then he adds another invaluable piece of advice for us. In a very zen-Matrix-John-Wick tone of voice…

“But you should pick a name that is not my company.”

Along the way, there are a few close-up shots of Keanu using the sitebuilder, worked into the flow quite naturally. Nicely done, it’s doesn’t remind you that this is a commercial.

They then quickly move back into the offbeat and humorous..

“Choosing photos is all about a feeling,” he says.

“Revving” up his bike, complete with vocal sound effects while on his back, shows the feeling he wants for his site…

Super Bowl Marketing Ad

“They should feel like that.”

There’s something mystically free about motorcycles. Capturing and showing it to others wins over a passionately like-minded audience.

What more can we say? We love how a brief, high-level demo of using Squarespace merges seamlessly with a unique “Keanu-bike-lone-wolf vibe” that reins itself in as needed (don’t miss “the Keanu tear” or his howling with wolves).

Watch it to appreciate a story well told, a feeling well shown and a connection with targeted solopreneurs well made.  

This Squarespace portrayal matches our own solopreneur-enabling obsession. But this is where we change gears…

Mere passion about solopreneur success doesn’t make it happen.

We push way past “talking the talk.” We live for the joy of thousands of SBIers (“real” people, not celebrities) who rejoice over their inspiring stories. See dozens of their stories here.

Since 2003, we’ve published tons of verifiable proof of success — long-term case studies, 500 Top 1% SBI! businesses, and so forth. Compare that to Squarespace or any other product. Nothing comes close.  

So here’s where we part ways with a kindred spirit…                                       
As much as we loved the message, the sad fact is that it merely boils down to a fourth approach that sells, while avoiding the cold, hard truth of high failure rates.

Wix Super Bowl Commercial (2019)

Wix returned this year with another “stunning” ad. And if you’re going to talk about making stunning websites with Wix, you might as well use a supermodel as your spokeswoman.

It’s amazing how many people still think stunning looks in a website equals stunning income. When, oh when, will Wix ever learn?

Of course, if you’re a supermodel, you can use anything. But otherwise… Good luck grabbing those SEO results! It’s the same old website = business success implication. Without any proof to back it up.

And changing the background for an “instant” new look, or constantly adding new photos? Neither will bring you a single visitor. Well, maybe if you’re Karlie Kloss.

Where’s the Beef?

All 5 ads, gloriously produced and distracting, raise a classic question from this famous Wendy’s ad, way back in 1984…

“The beef” (of success) is what matters, not the big fluffy bun (of claims that are irrelevant to success). Love the soft, warm vibes of passion, but insist on the hard, cold data of a track record…

“The beef” is knowing the success rates and levels of these products. That would empower you to pick the right product with certainty.

If only that data were available!

Well, I have good news! That data is available.

We compared the success rates and the levels of success of Wix, GoDaddy, WordPress and Squarespace versus Solo Build It!.

The reports on these studies explain exactly how the studies were done, and where we got the data, so that anyone can reproduce them.

You’ll be surprised about the differences in success and failure rates. Find a summary of the studies here.

We long for the day when the Super Bowl (or any!) ad for Wix, GoDaddy or Squarespace will talk about what matters to you… results!

If they did, you wouldn’t have to risk your money and, more importantly, your precious time using a site-building platform with a terrible track record.

They would all be competing for your business on the basis of success and failure rates. And that means that they’d focus on your success to fuel their success.

The End Game

Of course, building your online business is not a game. For you, it’s much more important than that — life-changing, even.End Game

A potential income earner. A way of spending quality time with your children during those precious early years. A means of adding to your pension. A path out of that soul-stealing 9 – 5 job to a place where your creativity can not just live, but thrive.

That success can’t be built in an hour. It doesn’t come from a pretty web design or from spending time in the desert, howling with wolves.

It comes from combining your knowledge of and passion for your niche with our expertise in providing the only platform which has been proven successful, over and over and over again.

The Super Bowl can have only one winner. For Solo Build It!, our winners are our customers. The solopreneurs who tell us every day of their success — however each of them chooses to define it.

Not football stars. Not supermodels. Not blockbusting actors. Just everyday  people like you, achieving extraordinary results. Every day.

Deconstructing Super Bowl Ad Strategies to Understand How You Are SOLD
Ken Evoy (CEO, SiteSell)
Ken Evoy is the Founder, CEO, and Chairman of the Board of SiteSell Inc. He is the creator of Solo Build It!, SiteSell's comprehensive online business-building system. Ken is also a successful inventor, author, and emergency physician. He feels strongly that solopreneurs can be empowered by leveraging their income-building potential online.