Every good Super Bowl ad features a koala drinking coffee while getting punched.

This Sunday night during NBC’s broadcast of the Super Bowl you’ll see beastly savages, women wearing little clothing, smiling celebrities who may also be wearing little clothing, and dogs that talk. And then the commercials will start, and you’ll see dudes riding on dolphins.

For the football fan, the Super Bowl is a massively important and highly-anticipated game, but it’s still a football game. For everyone else–and “everyone else” is a large percentage of Sunday’s audience–the spectacle and theater of the game are the draw. That and perhaps the irresistible opportunity to see Madonna in fishnet stockings.

Central to the pageantry and excitement surrounding the game are the commercials, which are each miniature moments of theater distributed in handy 30-second segments. The 2012 ads that you’ll see in a few days were completed months ago, and NBC sold out all 70 of the network’s advertising spots in late November.

But for the aspiring Don Drapers who are able to sell something just by giving it a cool new name, we at GLS feel it’s our duty to use our marketing knowledge that doesn’t exist to educate those who will make the next generation of Super Bowl ads featuring talking hamsters, and attractive women telling men to do things…anything at all.

Yes, you can also trot out dancing monkeys and absurd nonsense if you have $3.5 million in disposable income, so here are the main ingredients for Super Bowl ad success.

1. Animals

Getting the ideal end product: Selection is vital here, so use extra care. Dogs feel rugged, cats are sophisticated, and anything that’s not a dog or a cat is exotic, especially in major metropolitan markets where you’re dealing with city folk whose closest contact with swine has come through either their breakfast, or a movie about a heroic piglet.

Ask yourself, what do I want my animal to say? And then just make your animal say anything.

Remember that people enjoy watching animals either serve the humans, or watching animals do human things, even though Hollywood has warned us numerous times that bad things happen when animals behave like people.

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2. Monkeys

Getting the ideal end product: Yes, monkeys are animals, and thus they could fit into the category above. But they deserve their own heading because no one forgets a monkey, ever. Unlike the other animals, monkeys are basically tiny humans, and you can make them do anything. Whereas cats and dogs will merely pretend to do activities that the dominant race on Earth does on a daily basis, it’s conceivable to have a servant monkey.

But beyond creating the image of a monkey slave, seeing monkeys do nothing is entertaining. Think of the last time you went to the zoo. Those primates are always the rock stars, and the crowd cheers with delight any time they eat a damn apple.

The instant a monkey is on screen, your ad is memorable. Even if his only activity is doing something very monkey-like, like clapping and dancing erratically.

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3. Utter nonsense

Getting the ideal end product: This category is vague, but when you’ve stumbled on an idea that centers around sheer utter nonsense, you’ll know it immediately.

To come to that conclusion, there is a serendipitous process involved, and the best method is to use one of those brainstorming bubbles that are a staple of the grade seven curriculum. Obviously start with the product, but don’t stop expanding the bubbles until you have some combination of people riding lions with wings, clowns, and a koala bear wearing glasses who’s punched between the eyes.

It’s a rare moment of euphoria when those bubbles are connected, and a quality Super Bowl commercial filled with utter nonsense is created. But when they are, it’s beautiful.

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4. Create a character

Getting the ideal end product: The product-buying public likes to identify with a character who serves the greater good. But it also needs to be at least remotely conceivable that this character would be useful to solve real problems.

We’ve seen Superman save kittens, and watched as Batman and Spiderman foil robberies. But they’re such unbelievable figments of our imagination that they’re quickly forgotten.

What we really need is an office hero, and as we see below, Terry Tate made his violent debut during the Super Bowl.

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5. Male fantasies

Getting the ideal end product: Now, let’s be clear here. The days when you can just trot out some scantily-clad model or celebrity and parade her around as eye candy are long gone. The Internet can provide that same eye candy in just a matter of seconds, so lowering yourself to the old adage that sex sells is no longer sufficient.

You have to promise something, and hint at a reward that’s subtle, but really not subtle at all.

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6. Musical melodies

Getting the ideal product: Finding an enduring act is a clear and obvious goal, because given the fickle nature of pop culture and the public’s short attention span, there’s always the risk that your chosen performer could become stale between shooting and airing.

Also, you must ensure that your commercial is highly choreographed, and if your singer is female then the guy-to-girl ratio has to be at least 87/1. Make sure your original song is as unoriginal and clichéd as possible too. People love it when clichéd performers sell interchangeable products through clichéd lyrics.

Failing that, people like to see other people imitating singers who are clichés, and then seeing the clichéd singer in turn mock his own cliché.

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