Ad world gears up for its own SuperBowl

14 January / 2013
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The biggest night in advertising is the SuperBowl. What makes this night so special? The ad industry and media have declared that there is no better night for brand and product creative. These advertisements tend to get more attention than the actual game and escape TiVo and DVR removal.

Media coverage starts with the price of the ad time and each year it is at an all time high. 2013’s :30 spots will go for $3.8 million, according to industry sources and CBS.

Then creative begins to leak out on the net – Mercedes-Benz and Go Daddy have all received pre-bowl coverage, as part of the “sex sells” media conversation. Their use of models Kate Upton and Bar Refaeli, respectively, have received attention, not for being scantily clad, but more formally dressed.

How will great creative be measured? Will it be an emotional pitch, a clever hook, a baby or pet that talks? VBA looked at SuperBowl advertising through the years, utilizing USA Today ad meter and archives, CBS specials and YouTube. Animals are the leading storytellers, delivering the hook behind the brand message. Most notable and most widely used animals are: clydesdales, chimpanzees, mythical creatures (unicorns), whales, zebras and other safari wildlife, horses, geese, crabs, a plethora of dog breeds and the adorable mutt. Does Bugs Bunny count? The Michael Jordan/Nike commercial from 1992 evolved into the film Space Jam.

One of our favorite emotional pitches was the relaunch of Chrysler in 2011 with the “Imported from Detroit” tagline, showing the grit of a hardened city, that can still produce sleek, beautifully designed and performing automobiles. Their later use of Clint Eastwood, especially during a harsh and politically charged presidential election season, squashed the use of this tagline and it’s reported that Chrysler is moving on. Being a Detroit native, I was moved by this spot.

As the big day draws nearer, the best of the best are gearing up to take center stage. Let’s see how this year’s ads ignite new ideas, new “Wazzup” sayings and a renewed look at our popular culture.

 

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