I love the Super Bowl. All the hype ... fantastic athletes ... it's the one time of year I allow myself to eat Ruffles and French Onion dip guilt-free ... and just about as much excitement regarding the ads as around the game. As an integrated marketer, closet junk food junkie, and die-hard football fan, it's a day that hits on all cylinders.
In the "post-game analysis" of the ads, there has been some interesting research released from Reprise Media. Only 6% of Super Bowl advertisers offered an online call to action during their 30 or 60 seconds of fame. That's a pretty odd decision for 94% of those smart marketers. If you were hoping to drive some consumer action – or even (gasp) revenue for crying out loud – why wouldn't you make it clear what you wanted the millions of watchers to do.
Some brands definitely seemed to make their ads work harder and get my respect as a direct marketer. My "touchdown" marketer this year had to be Tide. They engineered a masterful scoring drive:
DM strategy - included a call to action in their spot driving them to a campaign specific microsite (www.mytalkingstain.com)
Creative – offering bizarre but intriguing creative that broke through and was memorable
Integration – they supported their campaign with Search Engine Marketing
Follow-through – they built a great microsite that involves the consumer and gets you to identify yourself. Heck, they even got me to build my own customized talking stain – and now they have my mailing and email address.
Brands that also scored apparent touchdowns – but the score should be called back on a penalty for bad creative – include GoDaddy.com and SalesGenie. They offered strong integration, but they need to fire their agencies for negatively impacting the brand with horrible concepts. Talking cartoon Pandas with horrible voice over talent ... Teenage boy humor ... Gimme a break!
I'm also surprised to learn from reprisemedia.com that 30% of these big advertisers failed to buy any paid search advertising on their own brand names in case somebody decided to seek them out online. Wake up people!
Many of these advertisers teased their ads to the trade press. They love talking to themselves ... they just seem a little frightened about starting a dialog with consumers. Isn't that where they should be focusing their energies first ... and then getting into the Super Bowl "hype" only after they hit the mark for the brands they represent?
I can't wait to see if marketers roll out anything interesting for March Madness ... you can bet I'll be watching ... and snacking on some chips and salsa – Tide Stain remover at the ready.