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.

  1. I agree on the good, but I did not like the Mustang Meets Fargo ad.

    People are already calling Careerbuilder's spots the Monster commercials. I'm serious.

    And I thought the godaddy ad sucked at every level. As a parent with kids in the room, it was atrocious. The ED ad for cialis was less offensive.

    And I know what godaddy does and they did not explain it well at all. Not to mention, they screwed the pooch when the bought the ad space. No brand can be built through a super bowl ad. It can be shaped, enhanced and all, but not built.

    But that's just me!

  2. i didn't like the new version of go daddy any more than the original.... no one knows anything about the company after the ad - except, perhaps, that they are sleazy.... really, what postive outcome results from from that ad ... it was foolish.

    the mustang - i liked. i like mustangs. mustang is already a brand.

    ameriquest ... the store robbery (dont' judge too quickly) was hilarious ... still, i won't remember ameriquest and don't know anything new about the company ... so, great theater ... sorry ad

    budweiser is almost always great, but i already know them and expect their staple horseys :o) in fact, with that company, i would probably be sad if they did not advertise on the superbowl. so, there is one company that has reaped rewards.

    i'm not a fan of super bowl ad buys ... unless it is something like the bud frogs that enhances a known brand ...

    mac's 1984 ad may be the only one that helped solidify a brand ... but i'm even wary of that
    statement ....

    i don't know, they just seem to be more vanity than value ... yes, the publicity and attention probably does (for many/most) add up to more than the $$$ expenditure ... but, how valuable is it really? are we talking about totaling things up like how much time they got from the ad in free exposure? but what if the exposure was in a negative light? like go daddy's ad.

  3. Hi this is Megan Rector (one of the Auburn bloggers). I definately agree about the Ameriquest commercials. I thought they were hilarious. The one with the guy cooking dinner for his girlfriend had me laughing out loud. But about five minutes later when I was describing the commercial for someone who missed it, I could not for the life of me remember what the commercial was for. It probably would have been more effective if Ameriquest was more of a household name.

    I also have to agree about the commercials with the monkeys. Those were annoying, and didn't really make much sense.

    I also thought the one with P. Diddy and the Pepsi trucks was amusing as well as the ones with the bottle songs, but they didn't really spark any desire for me to run out and buy a Pepsi.


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