Super Bowl XLIX: From Sadvertising To Dadvertising?

The game was close – the advertising battle really wasn’t. At least that’s if you take USA Today’s Ad Meter rankings seriously – and as an overnight measure, we do. While they aren’t perfect, their simple measurement of how likeable an ad was stands as a reasonable instant proxy for a more in-depth emotional assessment. According to USA Today’s scores, Budweiser is – yet again – the Super Bowl champion, romping to a win with a direct sequel to last year’s “Puppy Love” in the form of “Lost Dog”.

“Lost Dog” tweaks the formula a little: a slowed-down cover version rather than a famous original song, a new antagonist in the form of a wolf, and last year’s hint of a love story is shunted aside so the ad can go big on its dog-horse bromance. Will the changes help “Lost Dog” maintain the five-star status of previous ads in the sequence, once we test it more rigorously? You’ll have to pop into our results Webinar on the 17th to find out. But we wouldn’t bet against it. Continue reading

Puppies And Postmodernists: Are The Super Bowl Trailers Too Clever By Half?

This year’s crop of Super Bowl teasers were the most self-referential yet. It’s clever – but is it smart?

Something had to give. Super Bowl ads are now so minutely analysed, measured, anticipated and discussed that this year one way to stand out is to get postmodern and make your strategy a comment on the nature of Super Bowl ads (as well as, you know, just getting on and making one).

It started with VW’s knowing teaser, with German engineers analysing what makes a great Super Bowl ad – and VW packing all those elements into a 60-second spot. Cute, of course, but perhaps too incident-packed to work emotionally. Continue reading

Advertising Idol?

The idea that people care more about the ads than the game at the Super Bowl has gone beyond a quip and into a kind of truism. And certainly looking at the “post-game” reports today there’s no question that Monday morning quarterbacking applies as much to Jeep, M&Ms and GoDaddy as it does to the Ravens and 49ers.

We’re not immune – we’ve been testing ads before and after the game and you can expect a full report on the emotional play-by-play soon (it’ll be a key part of this webinar, for a start). But in this post I just want to think about what a unique phenomenon the Super Bowl ad fest is. It’s like something out of a marketer’s fever dream – an event, one of the most-watched in the world, in which people’s expectations are explicitly focusing on the ads as well as the action.

Budweiser’s Clydesdale won the USA Today poll last night in 60 ultra-emotional seconds.

Other sporting events – and brands – are trying to get a slice of this. There’s a definite curiosity about what Nike or Coke will get up to when the FIFA World Cup rolls around, for instance. But that’s every four years, and the Super Bowl is every year. Could it get any better? Continue reading