Why innovation won the #SuperBowlAds

Discussion started by Sophie Morris , on Monday, 08 February 2016 17:16

There was huge hype around the Super Bowl 50 adverts again this year. Teasers were put out in advance and the marketing press have been covering it for weeks, so who had the stand out advert?

Well, it was a pretty difficult call for us. Given the budgets and the hype, not many lived up to the expectation. There were lots of movie launches, car adverts, weird animals (see #puppymonkeybaby) and, of course, lots of celebrities.

But most adverts were gimmicky rather than emotive, this is a significant change in trend from last year. With so many adverts, you need to employ strategic tactics to not only achieve stand out but also recognition, recall and brand preference.


You can usually rely on a car manufacturer to perform well and the best advert for creating that emotional appeal was Jeep with their 'Portraits' advert - "We don't make Jeep. You do."


There was another car manufacturer that stood out for us, Toyota ran a series of adverts telling the story of a botched robbery where the improvised getaway car ends up being a Prius. Over several spots the story develops and focuses on changing the perception of the Prius car. It was one of the few brands to carry a narrative. It was exciting and had a purpose of changing perceptions.


But it's innovation that appeals to us and the brand that delivered the most innovation was Intuit with Death Wish Coffee. Intuit took their own ad space in which they used Anthony Hopkins to promote their Turbo Tax product, but then gave a second spot away in a competition to a small business client. Death Wish Coffee won and got to have a $5m Super Bowl advert. They also took over the Intuit Quick Books twitter page.


Another example of giving ad space away for a better cause, was Colgate asking people to turn off the tap when brushing teeth. Their brand appeared in the ad, of course, but the social responsibility message was strong.


Social media monitoring showed us how the quirkier adverts caused a frenzy of mentions. Postano monitored Twitter and Instagram to deliver live results. Here's the chart of mentions at the end of the game. After #PepsiHalfTime the winner was #AvosinSpace after the advert for Avocados from Mexico launched an interactive campaign on Twitter too.

So for all the build up, there were a few shining examples in an otherwise mediocre group of adverts. At least the game itself lived up to the hype with Denver Broncos winning 24 - 10 against the Carolina Panthers.


To see videos of all the adverts mentioned above, please visit http://bit.ly/1SaeIl5

Latest Discussion
Sophie Morris
Hi Rupert, good to hear from you!

It's definitely a destination advertising event and I think the only thing like it we see in the UK is the big retailer Christmas ads.

The use of social media to launch trailers and teasers, and to interact live whilst the game is out is really very good. I interacted with a couple of advertisers during the Super Bowl who replied within minutes with a (seemingly) personal reply. That's very impressive and I'm interested to see how they translate that away from the buzz of the moment, to brand awareness, brand preference and sales in the longer term.

However, given the levels of spend and resource poured into social engagement I still feel that the majority of ads lacked the tools to create a longer term connection, rather than just a moment of social media buzz, compared to previous years.

I'd love to see some stats around it. If I find anything, I'll share it on here.
467 days ago
Sophie Morris
Hi Misha, thanks for commenting on my discussion post.

I agree with you that it transcends the sport. You only have to look at the UK marketing press in the weeks running up to it to see what a stand out and unique event it is from that point of view.

And from that we know that the industry certainly anticipate the adverts, but I'd be really interested to see if the fans do too. Perhaps you have some data insight you could share on that point.

The adverts definitely become part of the general discussion at that moment but what I want to see, and didn't from a lot of this years ads, is how they rise above that one moment and create a longer term interest. What are they doing to turn social media buzz in to brand preference and purchase?

467 days ago
Rupert Pratt
It’s a destination event from an advertising perspective so there’s very few moments in the year when you own the nation so to speak, from an interest perspective, so the premium for these is so much higher because of the fact that the whole country is engaged in that moment.

There are very few occasions when you can have the whole of the country focused in on one moment and you’ve got the opportunity to create a huge amount of buzz and ownership and that’s why brands pay so much money.

The really interesting thing now is that the brands themselves use these ads as platforms for social media and digital buzz and much broader and wider engagement and almost the PR and social value nowadays you get out of the slot, is higher than the value of the actual advertising itself, which again is just because of this anticipation and the hype that’s created around it.

It’s relatively unique in the sense that it’s become a destination moment in its own right above and beyond the actual event itself.
467 days ago
Misha Sher
Super Bowl is an ideal platform for brands because it transcends sport and is a cultural phenomenon. It’s by the far the single biggest viewership event in the world’s biggest consumer market, not to mention other parts of the world where Super Bowl is watched.

What’s unique about commercials is that they have become as famous as the actual game so people actually look forward to seeing them. I can’t imagine another scenario where people actually anticipate the commercials.

Furthermore, given the way fans engage around the game and the content of commercials, brands are guaranteed to be at the heart of the conversation, with their commercials commented on and shared all across social and digital channels.
467 days ago
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