The Super Bowl

The Super Bowl, Irritable Bowl Syndrome, Bill Maher.

Whether you agree with the politics or not, one thing about this animated piece you have to agree with is, the animation and motion graphics are brilliant. Personally I like Bill Maher. I think he’s funny as hell, and pretty spot on about what he says, but like him or not, this is worth watching because it is an outstanding piece of animation, design, and motion graphics work.

My Top 5 I mean 6, Super Bowl TV Spots for 2011.

Last night I DVR’d the Super Bowl, not so I could re-watch the game, but so I could re-watch the TV ads that ran during it. While there is no actual science to this, these are my top picks. The way I came to these results was pretty simple.

  • Was the ad memorable?
  • Did I remember the actual product being sold or promoted?
  • Did the ad reinforce or establish the brand message?

Based on these three factors, here are what I considered to be the 5 best TV spots that ran during the game, (and yes VW’s “The Force” didn’t make the cut because they butchered the 60 second version in the 30 second cut down.)

These Ads are in no particular order, for the most part I think they were all pretty effective. A couple of points though. The Doritos ad featuring the pug was produced for 500 dollars by a website designer, so it scores extra points on the budget and consumer buzz front. The Chrysler ad featuring Eminem  scored extra points for me because it conveyed the same visual and editorial brand voice that Wieden & Kennedy has established for Chrysler’s sub-brand Jeep.

I forgot to add this to my list this morning. I was pairing things down to five so it didn’t make the top cut but I was going to include with an honorable mention, because I am a MINI owner, and I thought it was a pretty damn funny ad. Thanks to my buddy Paul for reminding me to include it.

Super Bowl XLV, Advertising on TV Integrating With the Web.

At three million dollars for a 30 second spot, the TV commercials shown during the Super Bowl, have over the last twenty years become as important to watch and talk about the next day as the game itself. I actually know people who DVR the game and then fast forward to each commercial block in order to watch them instead of the football action. The advertisers know this and have caught on, and over the last few years have begun airing video teasers on sites like YouTube hoping to get you to look specifically for their spot and helping to extend the reach of their extra expensive ads. These teasers function like movie trailers at the theater, and in many cases they are showing high levels of success.

Most of those advertising on the year’s most expensive media buy are no surprise, given they are the same brands that have been dominating the broadcast air time during time-outs and commercial breaks for the past few years. But there are a few companies advertising during the game for the first time ever and some new faces selling it for old brands.

VW has dropped two teasers on YouTube just a few days out. One for the 2012 Passat, and another for the redesigned 2012 Beetle being introduced during the game.

Mercedes Benz USA is advertising in the Super Bowl for the first time this year. To celebrate the 125th anniversary of Karl Benz’s automobile patent, Mercedes will introduce two of their five new models in a 60 second commercial.

Amongst the new companies to the playing field, the mobile phone game Angry Birds, Sketchers shoes featuring Kim Kardashian, Suzuki’s 30 second spot titled “Wicked Weather”, and Faith Hill for Teleflora.

The old guard will be there, you will see spots for Budweiser, Coke, and Pepsi, As well as more Danika Patrick in Go Daddy ads. Career Builder will be bringing back the executive chimps, and eTrade will be using the taking babies for a fourth year straight.

What is interesting is, all of these brands have a web presence as teaser, and in many cases a destination post commercial for additional content. The ad agencies have done there home work and are hoping that they will have successful conversions from web to TV to web again over the next days leading up to the Super Bowl.

Yes Justin Beiber and Ozzy will be selling for Best Buy this year

Social Media Advertising, Super Bowl XLIV, and The Pepsi Refresh Project.

Tonight during the Super Bowl, one of the consistent advertisers will not be present. Pepsi, is forgoing paying millions of dollars to run traditional 30 second spots, in favor of the social media “Refresh campaign” they launched almost two weeks ago.Personally I think it is a brilliant move on Pepsi’s part, and I hope that it proves to be a huge success for them. If it does, this marks a turning point in the way Social Media advertising will develop over the next few years.

Last Wednesday night at “Reinvention from the Ground Up”, sponsored by Razorfish, Bonin Bough, Global Director of Digital and Social Media at PepsiCo – provided valuable insights based on the brand’s significant accomplishments – and arguable leadership position in the space.  From the decision to launch the Pepsi Refresh campaign to the Dewmocracy initiative that crowdsourced the Mountain Dew line’s new flavors, PepsiCo’s assertive moves in the social media space provided an insightful case study from a Global CPG consumer brand and icon.

Given the evolving nature of the social media space, few conclusions were reached during the panel.  But PepsiCo offered some key insights based on their experience, and on their philosophy on integrating the medium holistically within their Global marketing organization.  Some of these thought-starters included:

  • Use the same success metrics for social media as for your overall marketing campaign.  Pepsi focuses on capturing consumer perception of key brand attributes (i.e., are people talking about Gatorade as a performance beverage), engagement, and cultural relevance (are they in the cultural conversation)
  • Crowdsourcing product development via Dewmocracy resulted in the most successful limited time offers (LTOs) ever – PepsiCo will launch a second round of this campaign
  • The real-time conversations taking place in the social media and digital space offer the richest resource for consumer insights and innovation – but require a process by which to monitor
  • How do you get your company and brand to evolve from a focus on impressions as a measure of media efficacy, to connections and engagement with consumers?
  • Rather than trying to shift more dollars into social media, refocus the discussion to reevaluating and optimizing how you use – and measure – each vehicle within your existing plan and budget.  For instance, capture how your TV spot drives emotional engagement with your audience, vs. purely how many impressions it garnered.  Use the reach offered by your TV spot to invite your consumers into the brand, and extend this emotional engagement across channels based on how your consumer interacts across each.
  • As a Global brand, Pepsi structures marketing teams differently to address fragmentation:
  • International markets will require different approaches: for instance, Pepsi’s participation in the World Cup will be much more important for its performance in Europe than in the States
  • Within the social media space, one group at Pepsi focuses on the 90% of consumers that act as participants in the social media space, while another might focus on the 10%that act as creators – and thus have different needs, preferences in how they interact in the space