Hey, remember the Super Bowl and all those cool ads? Yeah, me neither. I could have bookmarked the URLs of company's whose ads I enjoyed or told my friends about cool microsites I experienced, but I didn't because the web was largely forgotten in this year's ads. URLs were printed small and almost always at the end of the ad, there was only one example of user generated content, few (if any) microsites to continue the experience after the game, and generally poor use of search. What a waste of $2.7M.
Michael Estrin of iMedia Connection has a good wrap-up and several interviews of note. The question he pursues: where was the web? From Estrin's article: "It was like we went backwards this year," says Sean Cheyney, VP of marketing and business development at AccuQuote. "It's like we're moving back into silos. I was surprised that companies didn't do more integration. The web was an afterthought for most of the ads."
Beyond the 30-second Spot
AOL's Annual Super Bowl Sunday Ad Poll ranked the Bud Light Dalmation-Clydesdale-Rocky ad was America's favorite, yet it did not even have the requisite web address at the end. Here are a few quick ideas of ways you could have capitalized on this success (call me for more - my freelance rates are very reasonable):
- Contest to name the Dalmatian and Clydesdale
- Start a rivalry between Bud and Bud Light (represented by the dog and horse) similar to the Bud Bowls of the 90s
- MySpace page wraps in spots (Dalmatian) and tough-guy horse stuff (Clydesdale)
- Facebook app that allows you to send a Bud Light to a friend
- Advertising tie-in with the new Rambo movie (I imagine there's audience cross-over with Rocky)
- Jab back at the new Miller Lite spot featuring...Dalmatians and Clydesdales
- Create a site where you integrate this ad with other Bud Light Super Bowl ads (have the dog breathing fire, the horse flying, etc)
Budweiser, what do you pay these marketing guys? Hire me or any 15 year old and you'll get more web marketing bang-for-your-buck.
Failure to Launch
Any marketer worth their snuff - nay, conscious in the last year or two - knows that search is an integral part of any campaign. So, why this MediaWeek report:
"70 percent of Super Bowl advertisers bought some paid search ads on either Google, Yahoo, MSN – up close to 20 percent versus last year. But just 6 percent of advertisers used their 30-second spots to direct viewers to the Web, and the vast majority (93 percent) failed to buy search ads for alternative terms that were related to their ads, such as their spokesperson’s names, slogans or taglines."
MediaWeek is reporting on a Reprise Media scorecard that goes into more detail. I find it amazing that roughly 93 percent (of the 70 percent who bought ads) failed to think of these ads from the user's perspective. Your uncle Jimmy had knocked back a six-pack and was in the grip of a food coma when he saw Naomi Campbell dancing with a bunch of lizards. When he stumbles to the computer, he is not going to search for SoBe Lifewater. He's going to search for "hot model and dancing lizards." Little surprise that SoBe also ranked as a "fumble" on Reprise Media's scorecard.
I Get By With a Little Help From My...Oh, Forget It
Only Doritos had the cojones to use user generated content. Despite it being ranked near the bottom, I thought the ad was okay. Doritos had a nice intro to the commercial, but I would have loved to see it end with the singer crunching into a Dorito. Cheesy, perhaps, but so is the product. My message to Frito-Lay/PepsiCo (who own Doritos): Don't be rash in firing your advertising company. It is better to work with someone willing to take the big risks and use the medium that appeals to your audience. These are the folks with the potential to blow people out of the water.
Also, not a single advertiser drove viewers to their MySpace or Facebook page - there was zero social networking involved. Believe me, this isn't because people aren't using Facebook anymore.
Fox did drive people to www.myspace.com/superbowlads though, which is a nice way of increasing the ads value with a measurable online component. Of course, for $2.7M, I'd be wanting a little something extra too.
No one is complaining about a game of two huge franchises in the largest media markets where one of the teams has the chance to have a perfect season (and finally shut up the '72 Dolphins). But if you're an advertiser and next year pits the Titans versus the Buccaneers (no offense guys, but come on), you might want to start thinking about your other options. Joe over at Junta42 has some great ideas for how to spend all that cash.