Monday, February 11, 2008

Super Ads? Or Just Super Hype?

Ok, am admittedly an ad freak. In my [now and previous] workplaces, co-workers zealously followed Super Bowl ads to discuss over water-coolers the next day. On my part, I discovered Super Bowl was not really about Baseball or Worldwide teams about 5 years back, but ads i can watch forever, so have been stuck forever to viewing ads [Thanks Youtube!]

SuperBowl has progressed, in what is popularly the notion of 'ad integration'--which, last I checked, is in layman's term, a way of making sure all avenues are covered and measured. Lets take an example, last year the Burger King Whoperette ad [Whoperette was a type of burger. of course]. The ad was shown on tv, a website link prominently displayed. Then measurement freaks maniacally tracked the traffic to the website right after the ad showed [huge surge] to the day of Super Bowl [still strong] to a few days later [quickly petered down]. Additionally, they put in coupons for visitors to use while they visit a Burger King outlet [coupons, as we all know, are Trackable with a capital T]. Some ads flopped miserably in its 'integration' effort [where is the website? And if they did show a website, how did they customize it for the Super Bowl ad enthused visitor versus a general visitor?]. But overall, a lotta marketers learnt their lesson. Add the 'consumer created content' angle to Super Bowl ads [yeah, those home videos you stored on tape a few years back? you can probably use them now!!] and its a whole lotta hype!

Forbes rounds up Super Bowls ads here. Who are the players in Super Bowl ads? Publishers, for one. MySpace had a section dedicated to superbowl ads, complete with comments and commentary and 'making of' videos. Youtube had a 'Super Bowl ad' competition. Which pretty clearly means there are a whole lotta folks out there like me who would rather play a game of Scrabble during Super Bowl and catch up on the ads late at nite online [No no, we do have a life too].

Agencies---offline, traditional, online, interactive--name it, they are in it. A Super Bowl campaign is made up of a whole lotta smaller pieces that seperate agencies likely run with.

Marketers---The moneybags. GoDaddy, Dove, Bud guys--all jostling for a spot in the prime time. With writer's strike et al looming big, getting those precious eyeballs focused on TV has never been so important as this year.

The quality of the ads? Thankfully, that is still a discussion point. Coca-cola rocked I thought. see Below

Bottomline, Super Bowl is great for generating enthusiasm for a Brand. Ads, however, are a means to an end. The product is still key, and clearly the established brands are much more in control of Super Bowl than newer ones. But Super Bowl ads were never made to salvage any product--Dove ads of last year generated some great hype, but their marketshare sunk pretty low last year even though they had social themes to their soaps and shampoos. People still want the 'show me what you got and why its better' line of thought--take advantage of it!

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