Super Bowl XLVII: Not A Complete Blackout

I planned on writing about marketing lessons to be had from some of the better Super Bowl commercials until I read 5 Marketing Lessons From the Super Bowl’s Most Popular Commercials from the fine folks at Entrepreneur this morning via Pulse. So that’s been done.

Speaking of the Super Bowl commercials, I felt like they grew more interesting along with the game in the second half, and more specifically, after the blackout. Or I should say during the blackout.

How about Oreo? It almost seemed as if the company knew the blackout was coming. (Hmm, cue up the conspiracy theorists.) More likely, this fun brand was just prepared for the big game instead of sitting back and watching its ad run. Talk about great social media management. And better yet, it’s impromptu ad reminding us all that “You Can Still Dunk In The Dark.” actually made me crave an Oreo. Go figure, an ad that sells!

Oreo Super Bowl blackout ad

As of the writing of this post, Oreo’s clever tweet had earned nearly 16,000 retweets and almost 6,000 favorites on Twitter alone not too mention its success on other social media platforms. There’s something to say about being ready to take advantage of an opportunity!

Of course, Budweiser weighed in with another winner. I almost expect this giant in the beer industry to top USA Today’s Ad Meter and satisfy fans annually. The company used its famous Clydesdales for instant brand recognition and included a direct call to action, which many ads did not. People watching the commercial were asked to help name the baby Clydesdale pictured in it by suggesting names with the hashtag #clydesdales on Twitter.

Budweiser just launched its first-ever Twitter account on January 27th (after Twitter introduced age verification), so the commercial was a great way to attract attention to its new handle. As of February 5th, the new account already has nearly 10,500 followers despite being restricted to fans at least 21 years old.

Last, but certainly not least, let’s not forget about JELL-O! The legendary snack company came on right after the dramatic ending to congratulate San Francisco on being #2. How many companies have thought of that strategy?! JELL-O promised fans in San Fran free product today (Feb 5th), because winners shouldn’t have all the fun.

In addition to free pudding, distraught 49ers fans can install the Baltimore Blocker Google Chrome extension, which replaces the words Baltimore and Ravens anywhere they appear on the Internet with blah blah blah and swaps out pictures of celebrating Ravens fans with cute animals. This strategy has people talking on Twitter, Facebook and watching the pudding drop on the company’s website. “Who’s the big winner now, Baltimore?”

Well, that’s my wrap on Super Bowl XLVII, which despite a dramatic second half and some intriguing commercials, will be remembered for a blackout. While I had no loyalties on either side, I am happy for Dean Pees, current Baltimore defensive coordinator and former Kent State head football coach. Way to represent, Coach Pees!

What’s your take? Did you enjoy the game? The commercials? Or did you switch over and watch Downtown Abbey? (I DVR’d it.)

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or hit me up on social media. I”m always up for a discussion, especially on football or commercials.

Waiting for pitchers and catchers to report-
Jaime

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The Harbowl: A Marketer’s Dream (Oh, And Those $3.7 Million Ads!)

As marketers, we’re always looking for the story beyond the story. The one that will draw you in, grab your emotions and make you care. Yes, even for mammoth events like the Super Bowl.

In 2013, the game is full of story lines, but the one grabbing everyone’s attention is the sibling rivalry. For the first time, two brothers, John and Jim Harbaugh, will lead their teams in the biggest game of the year. Imagine what their parents, Jack and Jackie, are thinking.

Harbowl

Of course, there are other story lines as well. Ray Lewis’ final game in a remarkable career. The overnight sensation Colin Kaepernick has become. With the game on the line, how confident is anyone in David Akers? Including David Akers?

While the game actually looks exciting this year (not always the case), people around the world will tune in for the ads. As I used to ask my training session attendees, what’s the one day of the year that people watch advertising? Yep, the Super Bowl. In fact, an estimated 44% of women and 31% of men admitted to tuning into the game ‘primarily for the commercials,’ according to a 2012 survey by CouponCabin.com.

And at $3.7 million per 30-second spot (according to the Ad Age Data Center), this year’s advertisers will once again be shelling out. Obviously these companies and brands feel like the ROI (return on investment) they generate makes the high price tag worthwhile. It’s hard to believe that when you actually watch some of the spots though.

It has been interesting to see the increase in social media marketing leading up to, during and after the game. Pepsi made quite a splash in 2010 by only utilizing social media for the big game. I’m not saying that’s the right choice for everyone, but it definitely raised some eyebrows around the industry and helped fuel the discussion about social media marketing as a legitimate option, even for larger companies.

Speaking of Super Bowl advertising, what’s your favorite? Immediately, two ads/advertisers come to mind for me. The first is Budweiser, who does a fantastic job every year delivering attention-grabbing ads that tie into their brand. (No, I’m not a customer; I’m more of a liquor fan.) It’s not just that people are still talking about their ads the days following the big game, but they’re also talking about Budweiser. (That’s not always the case with popular commercials.)

One of my favorite Budweiser spots (of many) is Respect, aired during the ’02 game. It was Budweiser’s tribute to New York City after the terrorist attacks the previous fall.

My other favorite is the iconic Mean Joe Greene commercial for Coca-Cola which aired during the 1980 game. Yes, I’m a Steelers fan, but the spot still resonates with viewers today and instantly brings Coca-Cola to mind. (In a tribute to the ad’s popularity and effectiveness, Downy has actually remade the spot for this year’s game.)

Now I’m passing the ball to you. What’s your favorite Super Bowl commercial or advertiser?

Oh, and one more question… John or Jim?

Advertising enthusiast & football fanatic,
Jaime

Image credit: marsmet481 on Flickr

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