SuperBowl Commercial Recap

Bottom Shape

Krista Neher

Feb 11 2010

For those of us who aren’t into football, the superbowl is all about the ads #brandbowl #adbowl #sbads.

Millions of dollars are spent (this year it was 2.6 million for a single spot) by large and small brands, with creative execution highly scrutinized by superbowl fans.

This year, myself and Monika Roberts had the pleasure of posting our superbowl ad recaps and opinions in videos of the Museum of Advertising.

Monika has a creative background, and I have a marketing background, so our opinions on the ads were very different.  Here are my topline thoughts on the superbowl ads:

  • Questionable Brand Value. Most of the ads that the creatives and ad agencies liked were hysterical (I the snickers spot) but I question if/how they achieved any marketing efforts.  The snickers ad was largely declared the winner (and it was hysterical), BUT are you going to buy snickers because they tackled old people? The best executions are those that can combine both the creative and the marketing objectives in a clear way.
  • Not Enough Branding. Some of the ads had very little branding in them (ie. product shots or brand mentions).  The Flower Spot barely mentioned the brand name (I would bet most people thought it was for 1-800 flowers).  The Hotel spot with Chevy Chase also barely mentioned the brand name.  Even the squirrel car commercial didn’t have much branding – we had to look up what car the ad was for.  I liked the Doritos commercials a lot because they showcased the product as the hero – the brand was part of the humor.
  • Boring Stuff – Yawn. Most of the advertisers were just plain boring.  The spot from GoDaddy was exciting and scandalous the first time.  Now it is just boring.
  • No Calls to Action – There were only a few ads that provided clear calls to action.  While this may not have been a marketing objective for some brands, those that included calls to action will likely get better results.  I thought that the Dockers Free Pants promotion was great, and the Denny’s Breakfast spots hit the nail on the head with humor and relevance.  Even GoDaddy encouraged viewers to go to their site to see the rest of their spot.
  • Where was mobile? I bet that over 75% of superbowl viewers had a cell phone within arms reach.  A mobile call to action could have been very successful for the superbowl.  Using the Godaddy approach (take action to learn more) brands could have had you text to win or to get the answer to a question or mystery.  Other than KGB (which is a mobile service) there were no mobile calls to action – big miss.

What do you think?  Who were the winners and losers and who actually achieved marketing success from their 2.6 million dollar spend?

You can see all of our videos here.

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