Sunday, February 1, 2015

Are Super Bowl Winning Ads Also Marketing Winners?

(St. Louis, MO – February 1, 2015). The 2015 Super Bowl continued its dominance in television viewership and the program’s advertisements gain as much attention as the game itself. We all have our favorites and national polls, including USA Today’s Admeter, track the popularity of our favorite commercials each year.

But do the most popular commercials make the most marketing sense?

For 2015, the Avant Marketing Group analyzed this year’s contenders from a marketing perspective to determine which commercials are most likely to succeed in reach marketing objectives. Each commercial was rated in four categories including impact, brand reinforcement, messaging and market relevance.

Based on this analysis, the following advertisers were rated as “Biggest Winners” and “Biggest Losers” for the 2015 Super Bowl.

Biggest Winners – Commercial focused on the website’s key selling proposition – assistance in developing a website for even retired football players. Good use of celebrities and relevant to a football audience.

Dove Care for Men – Expressive and emotional with support of Dove’s brand position. Dads are different than fathers – they care; caring, as well as Dove products, can be a masculine attribute.
Nationwide Insurance – Two spots humanized insurance but ratings were mixed between two commercials. “Pretty woman” spot promoted Nationwide as a company that “sees you” as an individual to meet your personal insurance needs. The remaining spot was viewed as a bit morbid for a football audience.

Snickers – Based on a running theme, Snickers is a solution when you are hungry and “not yourself”. Great use of celebrities including Danny Trejo and Steve Buscemi.

Always – Received some of the highest scoring. The spot reflected Always commitment to women with an “in your face” comparison of self-images of girls.

Fiat – Borrowing product benefits from the “Little Blue Pill”, provided a bit of Italian humor promoting the higher performance auto model.

BMW – A commercial featuring Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel with a 21 year-old Today Show clip demonstrating that game-changing technology can be difficult to understand at first – transferred to present day in introducing the I3 BMW technology.

Biggest Losers
Carnival Cruise Lines – Suggesting that a Carnival Cruise will satisfy your emotional need to return to the sea (as narrated by JFK) is a totally absurd proposition. Possibly more suited for Windjammer or another back-to-nature cruise line.

Toyota – Great story lines, but they had nothing to do with Toyota or automobiles. Spots could have been used to promote a variety of products – touching, but does nothing to move the marketing needle.

Budweiser – The “Lost Dog” commercial was the most popular spot in USA Today’s Admeter Poll. But from a marketing perspective, the spot does nothing to position the brand or promote the product. The spot did more to promote Budweiser as a legacy brand (a well-liked brand, but with little or no market share.) Legacy brands in this category include Schlitz and Falstaff. (Note: a second Budweiser commercial did position the brand as a “beer for beer drinkers.” It’s unfortunate that the advertiser did not put as much creative investment in this commercial as Lost Dog – since it defended the Budweiser position against the share gaining craft beer industry.

Weathertech – Poor market relevance ratings for this commercial since floor mats are not a frequent or top-of-mind purchase. In terms messaging, stating that Weathertech floor mats are made in the U.S. is probably making foreign manufacturers tremble in their car seats. Just what America needs – U.S.-made floor mats in their foreign-made cars.

Loctite – Spending nearly all of its entire marketing budget on one 30-second commercial, the only winner here is the Fallon Agency in Minneapolis that talked its client in making this poor investment. If there was some exposure to a more continued promotion (in-store, etc. versus only social media), there might be some payoff to this gigantic investment.
Dodge – The “Wisdom” spot, which was designed to promote the 100th anniversary and experience of the car brand, simply told us that Dodge truly is “Your father’s Oldsmobile.”

Jeep – The “Beautiful Lands” commercial did expand the Guthrie song and lyrics internationally, but attempting to link it to a light SUV was a huge stretch – unless you are planning on driving your SUV to China to visit the Great Wall.

Honorable Mentions
No More – High impact spot featuring a 911 call from an abused woman. Touching, attention-getting, but a true downer commercial at Super Bowl parties. We hope they continue this campaign in more relevant broadcast and media environments.

Other Comments
Go Daddy obviously did not have a backup for its “Lost Dog” spot that was pulled from the game. This was a too serious of a spot to support this brand which has always been positioned as fun and somewhat creative.

Microsoft – Though no one commercial in this series gained “high impact” scores, the series will continue to build brand equity over time as people begin paying attention to the messaging. Simple put – Microsoft technology is a true enabler for all people.

McDonald’s – Good support of the brand positioning and success will be determined by the engagement of customers and frequency of free food offers through February 14th.

Coca-Cola – Great brand positioning, high production values with a contemporary story. Unfortunately, Pepsi owned the Super Bowl by sponsoring the amazing halftime show.

All commercials were rated on the following attributes:

Impact – This rating focuses on the stopping power of the spot which includes creativity and production values.

Brand Reinforcement – Overall reinforcement of the advertiser’s brand positioning, voice and personality.

Messaging – This rating is focused on the selling proposition and what viewers would “take away” from the spot.

Marketing Relevance – This rating is focused on the entire commercial and its relevance to the Super Bowl market audience. In other words, it may be a great commercial, but not best suited for the wide variety of audiences watching a football game.