The Super Bowl ad hype is now settling down in the news media and Go Daddy actor Jesse Heiman is experiencing his 15 minutes of fame.
USA Today’s Ad Meter – http://admeter.usatoday.com – in its 25th year, allowed consumers to join their panel and rank the ads for the first time. While we don’t believe this impacted the result of the top rated spots, (from a branding perspective, they were “spot-on”), we do think the overall clutter, noise and pop candy of the other ads ultimately eclipsed some commercials with great production value. Right ad, wrong venue for the launch.
First example is the Anheuser-Busch commercials for Black Crown. The smoothest and new premium “lager” from Budweiser. The commercial shows shots of a sophisticated bar scene, classic music and band, very well dressed people enjoying the taste. Lots of style, class and clearly an aspirational scene for the night life/fashion set, with a hint of NOLA and Mardi Gras. With all this style, a simple and direct message, how did these two launch ads get lost? Well, in a media venue where you’re competing with the King of NFL games and ads forcing entertainment over brand promise, these were overlooked. How do you compete with an over-exposed PSY and a bunch of dancing nuts? Willem Dafoe as a devil? Stevie Wonder and Zoe Saldana working some voodoo magic? Celebrity and the game – lots of “shiny objects” to compete with for the viewers attention. This is a great example of good brand imagery and message, with the wrong media buy. A-B’s Beck’s Sapphire had the same issue. Cool spot. Rated low by USA Today. Perhaps these would have been better competing with the Champagne and Liquor ads of New Year’s Eve or save for Mardi Gras celebrations, perhaps even March Madness. Heck, launch them over the Oscars telecast.
Another concept that didn’t receive the accolades it was expecting was Lincoln’s “Wacky Road Trip,” the story developed from Tweets submitted to Jimmy Fallon. Great concept, excellent use of social media, innovative, just like the new automobile. When we reviewed this ad separately, outside of the Super Bowl hype, it was really well done. But again, a concept lost to the media buy. Couldn’t compete with all the other commercials with concepts (some completely off the brand mark) airing that night. USA Today rated 54 commercials by some 39 advertisers. With so many commercials, the Ravens weren’t the only big winner of the night. Kudos CBS.
When it comes to championing a brand – meaning, message and media buy all work together to make brand engagement and sales magic. A good lesson for all of us marketers to remember.
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