I really enjoy these Marketoonist cartoons because they can succinctly capture great marketing concepts and students never object to discussing a cartoon.
Another Super Bowl has come and gone and it’s actually impressive how many people mention the advertisements as a major draw for watching the game. If you want to make a splash, you need to come up with a creative, funny, or heartwarming ad to have a shot at making the list of “top Super Bowl ads”. At $5M for a 30 second commercial, companies are making a big bet on the value of these novel ads but are they actually worth it? I didn’t watch this year’s Super Bowl so I asked my students which ads were worth taking a look at and it was interesting to hear how they referenced the ads and what they took away from them. Some companies did a great job of entertaining and associating their brand or value proposition. In particular, the Tide series of commercials seemed to do a great job. The design was creative and funny but they also reinforced the brand name and value proposition numerous times. Amazon also created an amusing ad that entertained but also informed viewers about the capabilities of their Alexa-powered devices. In contrast, several students said they thought the commercial “where Eli Manning dances” was also pretty good but when I asked what the ad was about, who was the ad for, and what message should we take away they all scratched their heads. The commercial was clearly amusing and entertaining but the message and even the brand being advertised (NFL) was obscure and not memorable.
Are Super Bowl ads worth the price tag? If so, which objectives can they best satisfy (pioneering, competitive, or reminding)?