Sunday, February 06, 2005

Fun with Superbowl Ads

The Superbowl is, well, the superbowl of advertising. The extended media coverage from a Superbowl ad - which cost $2.4M per 30 seconds, not including production costs - more than makes up for the cost.

But, just having a commercial on the Superbowl does not guarantee an increase in sales or name/brand recognition - despite the 2 week build-up and week later buzz. Try to remember all the dot-coms that used to advertise, or, quick, try to think of the commercial that had Da Bears in it tonight?

So, it comes down to good ads and bad ads. I consider an ad to be bad because I wonder if I will remember it the next day. Yes, tonight during the Superbowl the name might stick in memory, but what about tomorrow? What about next week?

I didn't review each advertisement, just the ones that I thought belonged in one category or another. The ones that did not make the list are ones that were neither bad nor good, but something that I didn't think needed to be ranked. Or, I just had no feelings either way about them - like Pepsi.

Here's my list of what I view as the good and the bad.

The Good:
  • Visa. This commercial makes me want to run out and fill out a bunch of Visa applications. Not because of the security message, but because of Underdog. Nice tactic to pull in some cartoon nostalgia, and, well I love Underdog so much that I used to go as him for Halloween.
  • Budweiser. No matter the Superbowl - except last year - Budweiser comes with its best and brightest ads. And, they should as they pull together more ads than they need, then pick the cream of the crop.
  • Honda. While the commercial aired, it made me think it was just another boring pickup truck commercial. Then, it ended and Honda unveils the Ridgeline. For being a little bit the same, then a little different, it made me sit up and notice. I'm not going to forget the truck tomorrow (well, maybe the name), but I will remember that Honda now has a pickup truck.
  • Ameriquest. With a couple of clever commercials - Don't Judge Too Quickly - and the sponsorship of the family-friendly halftime show (where I was expecting a concert flasher or two), Ameriquest got its name out there. This is a borderline good ad, because I can't tell you if people are going to remember them tomorrow morning, or go to them for their mortgage.
  • Ford. The 2005 Mustang commercials were clever, well placed, and pushed the look into my mind. Plus, it was fun to watch a Midwesterner frozen and I will remember that the car will be out this Spring.
And now, the Bad:
  • Careerbuilder. Looking like any dot-com advertisement from a few years ago, the job Website pulled out the monkeys to highlight ... that we all work with monkeys. Tomorrow morning, let's see if people can differentiate between Careerbuilder, Hotjobs and Monster.
  • American Idol. Well, the show bugs me so the ad bugs me.
  • Silestone. While I like watching Da Bears, and it was an interesting strategy to advertise on the Superbowl, I wonder what the brand recognition is going to be like tomorrow morning.
  • Go Daddy. Yes, I have written about the Superbowl ad, but after watching the "final" commercial, I still don't get the ad. What did this have to do with Website registration and hosting? And, the commercial seemed a lot shorter than 30 seconds. Will anyone remember the company's name tomorrow morning, or just that they had an ad with a buxom brunette's strap breaking?
As for local ad campaigns, Fulton Homes had an ad that was just as creative, if not more. Produced and shot locally. There is talent in Phoenix, you just need to give it a shot.

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