One thing that unites Canadians and Americans is a mutual love for American Super Bowl ads. Thanks to the CRTC we won’t have to stomach those God-awful Canadian car commercials during the big football game for much longer. But in the meantime, you might have missed this year’s top American commercials and with them, the professional lessons baked into them. With this in mind, we’ve teased out three lessons from some of our favourite ads:

Esurance – “Say My Name”


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In this ad, Walter White is back and he’s got a hilarious “sorta” prescription for you. There are plenty of career lessons one can learn from the great Heisenberg, but that’s for another blog post. The one thing that jumps out in this short ad is Walter White’s certainty, confidence and persistence. “Sorta Greg” somehow manages to sell a vial of “Sorta Medicine” to a very suspicious customer. Sure he’s channelling some creepy Heisenberg, but he’s also channelling a little thing called confidence and that’s something that’s a good idea for all professionals to emulate.

Doritos – When Pigs Fly


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This ad is amazing for all sorts of reasons. For one thing it involves flying pigs. Secondly, the pigs fly thanks to a nifty rocket designed by a kid with Einstein-ish qualities. Finally, the ad was created by twin brothers Graham and Nelson Talbot who are both 25 years old, live in Maple Ridge and according to media reports are absolutely blown away that they won $50,000 from Doritos. In addition to being entertaining, the ad also is a good reminder that creativity, ingenuity and vision are key to accomplishing your goals, which, for the kid in this video, involves the lofty dream of one day eating the farmer’s Doritos. While developing a remote controlled rocket ship may not be realistic for all of us, this ad is a good reminder that when confronted with roadblocks, it’s worth thinking creatively and big.

Dove Men+Care’s “#RealStrength” 


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I’m not a Dad, but this ad still sort of tugged at my heartstrings with its clever focus on fatherhood. Throughout the entire minute long segment you only hear youngsters (and a few adults) say variations of “dad” or “daddy.” Part of the power of the ad is the way it knits together the narrative of life and children growing older under the care of their father. It’s also powerful because it shows how attentive and caring men are with their children. So what’s the career lesson from all this? Compassion, support and empathy aren’t weaknesses at home and they certainly shouldn’t be at work. Not that you need to treat your team members like children who need help on the potty –a measure of thoughtfulness and patience if you’re getting frustrated at work can go a long way. So the next time you’re feeling frustrated with work, (buy Dove soap) think of this commercial.

 

 

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