Pin of the Month – USA Today’s Super Bowl Ad Meter

 

Infographic credit: USA Today

Infographic credit: USA Today

February’s ‘Pin of the Month’ takes one last look at this year’s Super Bowl advertising.  While many were busy watching the Seahawks bury the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, a number of others were waiting for the commercial breaks to rate the ads.

This month’s infographic is from USA Today, visual.ly and Keyhole and summarizes the results from the USA Today Ad Meter, an annual look at the best Super Bowl ads since 1989.  The past two years have brought in the public’s opinions into the polling and you see the results above.

It is no surprise to see Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” ad at the top of the list – it has been on just about any write-up you will find out there – excluding our review which had the ad “plummet” all the way down to second best of the evening.

In fact, the only ad in the top five of USA Today’s Ad Meter results that didn’t make it into our review was Doritos’ “Cowboy Kid”.  I found their “Time Machine” ad to be a little bit more enjoyable and it definitely had stronger branding elements.

Here are a few thoughts on the rest of the infographic, as it breaks down the results further – this year’s Ad Meter continued down the path of breaking down the data further and making it more ‘rich’:

  • While you might call in to question if this is a true ROI, the infographic puts a nice spin on how successful several companies were based on their ad spend for the event.
  • We get to see the geographic breakdown of the 6,000+      voters – not too surprising how this map looks.
  • Taking a look at how many votes were placed over time and given the outcome of the game, it isn’t surprising to see that more votes were taking place as the game progressed.
  • For the first time in its history, the Ad Meter was broken out by various demographics and you’ll see that there is a near-even split on gender.
  • Opening up the Ad Meter to the public has created a new platform for exposure for USA Today and the use of the “#AdMeter” hashtag was certainly worthwhile, creating over 78 million impressions on Super Bowl Sunday.  (Wow!)

Are there any surprises in the data from your point of view?  The highest rated ads tend to align with many of the thoughts seen across various write-ups found online.

For those unfamiliar with our Pin of the Month, each month we’ll be posting one of the better infographics, pictures, etc. from our Pinterest page and (over-) analyzing it in a blog write-up.  Hope you enjoyed this month’s Pin!

Super Bowl Ad Review 2014

This past weekend’s Super Bowl was the most watched event in television history, with over 112 million viewers tuning in!  With the growing popularity of the NFL and a match-up of the two #1 seeds, there was a lot of talk about how good of a match-up it would be.  Well, the game itself didn’t pan out (for the Broncos at least), but the viewership numbers certainly eased the minds of the marketing teams that spent a good penny to advertise during the game.

Here are my personal favorites from the game, with a few comments for each, along with a few additional ads towards the end – two that I didn’t like and two that caught my attention well before kickoff of the Super Bowl.

#6 – Turbo Tax, “Love Hurts”

As soon as John C. Reilly’s voiceover hit, I/you knew that the ad was for Turbo Tax, assuming you were familiar with the prior ads that featured the actor’s voice.  I loved this ad from a humor and content standpoint.  It meshed extremely well with the Super Bowl itself.  However, the branding on the ad was terrible, though I’m not even sure where it would have been possible before Turbo Tax was finally mentioned 45 seconds into the 60 second commercial.  Great ad, not so great branding.

#5 – Doritos, “Time Machine”

This was the best 30 second commercial of the game in my opinion.  First, I thought it was pretty funny.  Second, the ad was strong from a branding perspective from beginning to end.  I’m not sure what level of intent there was to feature Doritos’ Spicy Nacho SKU, but any bag really would have worked in this spot.

#4 – Toyota Highlander, “Big Game” starring Terry Crews & The Muppets

This was a build off of the previously launched teaser ad from earlier in the week.  I have to say, had I not seen or known about the teaser ad, this probably would have been rated higher.  Again, just a personal preference on enjoying the surprise element come Super Bowl Sunday vs. seeing the ad for at least a week prior.  There was decent branding in this ad, with the Muppets mentioning the car itself and several close enough images of the Highlander written on the back of the car and several Toyota logo images.

#3 – Chevy Silverado, “Romance”

The ad above was funnier than the Toyota Highlander commercial and again, the element of surprise by not seeing this ad prior to the game, helped this Chevy Silverado spot land at #3 on the list.  The Chevy logo is showed early and relatively often in the ad, but “Chevy Silverado” itself isn’t mentioned until the last 5 seconds of the 60 second spot.  If you aren’t aware or aren’t looking for the Chevy logo, you have no idea who this ad is for until the very end.

#2 – Budweiser, “A Hero’s Welcome” & “Puppy Love”

Admittedly, we’re cheating a little bit here.  Budweiser throws out two great, great ads and I can’t pick between them.  “Puppy Love” gets a slight edge in branding due to the prominence of the Clydesdales, while you needed to wait 30 seconds before the first hint that “Soldier Comes Home” was from Budweiser.  But … that … ad … just, fantastic.

“Puppy Love” seems to be the consensus winner among this year’s ads due to its awesome story, and I would like to think, the terrific branding with the Clydesdales.  As of Wednesday afternoon, the Budweiser YouTube page for this ad has over 43 million views!  Congratulations!

However, I have to put someone else at #1 on this year’s list …

#1 – Radio Shack, “The Phone Call Commercial”

First, terrific branding right from the opening images.  Then, my mind was just completely blown away, with all of the 1980’s characters walking through the front of the store.  Look at this list: Erik Estrada from Chips, “Cliff” from Cheers, Hulk Hogan, Dee Snider, Chucky, Alf, Kid ‘n Play, The California Raisins, Q*bert, Teen Wolf, and Slimer.  Seriously?!  This isn’t just the greatest Super Bowl ad in 2014, this could be one of the greatest Super Bowl ads ever!  I’m so disappointed that this isn’t getting more props in the days after the Super Bowl, though it might be due to the fact that half the audience has no idea who these people and characters are.

Beyond the nostalgia and the strong branding at the very opening, you have a fantastic ending where Radio Shack essentially re-launches / re-brands itself and its stores.  The only thing this ad is missing is a hashtag at the end.  While it does bring in the “Do.It.Together” slogan and points you to the Radio Shack web site, they could have dropped in a hashtag on the same screen there and taken off.

So there it is, the second annual Super Bowl Ad Review!  Budweiser and Radio Shack were phenomenal and everything else fell behind those two.  However, these seven ads really caught my attention for one reason or another.  Now, let’s get to the bonus content …

I didn’t particularly like the following ads: The Diet Mountain Dew ad with Dale Earnhardt Jr was a little weird.  While it had decent branding in it, I somewhat expected a response from PETA and others about the content.  That’s simply because of the way things go in this country these days.  The other ad that I thought was going to cause a bit of stir was the Coca-Cola “America the Beautiful” ad.  I am not offended by the ad and I don’t think they were “wrong” for running it, as some are insinuating over the past few days, I just didn’t like the ad itself.  I thought the branding was weak and nowhere near as strong as ads in the past from the beverage giant.

Given that I am a Seahawks fan, I watched a lot of pregame coverage and found these two ads to be extremely well done:

The Zillow ad is obviously similar to the Budweiser ad above, but thought this was equally impressive and had strong branding throughout.  The Geico gecko is its own branding right from the get-go (see what I did there?) but this “Cheesesteak Shuffle” made me laugh.  Well done … again … Geico!

What were some of your favorite ads from this year’s Super Bowl?

Super Bowl Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 2-2-14

 

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding - The Super Bowl Edition! (Photo credit: MixedNutsAndLove.deviantart.com)

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – The Super Bowl Edition!
(Photo credit: MixedNutsAndLove.deviantart.com)

Welcome to a Super Bowl themed #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding, the top branding and digital marketing stories from the past week, all of which revolve around today’s Super Bowl here in the US.

#1 – NFL Digital Media Offers Fans the Most Comprehensive Coverage of Super Bowl XLVIII – via NFLCommunications.com 

Premise: The NFL announced their digital plans for Super Bowl XLVIII and it includes the use of NFL.com, SuperBowl.com, a lot of mobile content, and a number of other features – many of which are largely seen or portrayed as being ‘fan-friendly’.

Thoughts: The NFL has slowly but surely transitioned to digital elements over the past handful of years and this year seems to be a heavy turning point towards mobile.  The league’s (very different) partnerships with Verizon and Fox are bringing a whole new viewing experience for the game, as well as providing a ton of content for fans to obsess over leading up to today’s game.

I’m not sure if they have done this in the past, largely because I didn’t have a vested interest in the game like I do this year, but I thought it was a great idea to allow fans to download the official game program to your tablets.  ($1.99 on Google Play)

#2 – “Super Bowl Branding Lessons” – via BrandingStrategyInsider.com    

Premise: The author takes an interesting approach on the importance / relevance of advertising during the Super Bowl.  While the ‘reach’ is certainly massive for those advertising during the game, can you really tell how effective / impactful your ad is or was?  Perhaps more than anything else, advertising during the Super Bowl provides you with “bragging rights” – the fact that you made it and can afford to pay for the ad to be aired during the game.

Thoughts: After thinking the ad was going in the direction of bashing brands that pay for their ad time, this article took a very interesting turn into a very different direction.  The perception of a brand that advertises during the Super Bowl is likely to change among those smaller brands that are advertising for the first or second time.  I also agree with the author’s comment that the bigger brands that have been using the Super Bowl for years are essentially expected to continue to do so.  I really liked the author’s analogy of the Super Bowl being the “private jet of advertising, when everyone else is flying coach”.  Well said.

#3 – “Super Bowl Tailgate: See Kia’s Version of ‘The Matrix’, Toyota’s Muppets and Jaguar’s Villains” via AdAge.com 

Premise: Earlier in the week AdAge provided a few early looks at the forthcoming Super Bowl ads and those featured in this write-up include Kia, Toyota, and Jaguar.

Thoughts: I used to really like “The Matrix” movies, so it was good to see Laurence Fishburne revive his Morpheus character.  I also enjoyed “The Muppets” ad with Terry Crews for Toyota … which is apparently a lead into their ad that will air during tonight’s game.

What is your take on airing your Super Bowl commercial before the game?  I asked this on Twitter as well.  I like the element of surprise during the game vs. seeing them a week prior.

#4 – “Meet the Unofficial Super Bowl Advertisers That are Packing a Punch Without Paying Up” via BrandChannel.com  

Premise: Don’t feel like spending the ~$4 million for a 30 second ad during the big game?  Either do these brands, who have jumped into the advertising fray with spots that will air during the pre- and post-game.  While PepsiCo will air ads during the game for its Pepsi and Doritos brands, their pre-game marketing spend will go towards Mountain Dew.

Thoughts: There is always a way around the system, right?  While the buy rates are certainly higher than normal for the respective timeslot, there are millions of reasons (read: viewers) to consider airing during the pre- and post-game.  I liked the new LifeLock ad that was included in the author’s write-up.  However, the winner of the week goes to …

#5 – “Anna Kendrick: Behind the Scenes of the Mega Huge Game Day Ad” 

Thoughts: Newcastle Brown Ale strikes again!  An absolutely hysterical “behind the scenes” ad with one of the more popular actresses around these days, Anna Kendrick.  The beeping over her saying “Super Bowl” (and a few other choice words) was fantastic.

What ad have you enjoyed thus far going into tonight’s game?

Tweet of the Week:

Skittles and Marshawn Lynch (Seahawks Running Back) finally aligned on a sponsorship deal this past week.  For the past couple of seasons, Skittles has gotten a good amount of free PR from the RB, given his propensity to eat the candy during games.  With the Seahawks now in the Super Bowl, it was an easy connection to see coming from a mile away.  Now, if I can only get my hands on one of these blue and green bags of Skittles …

That’s it for this week’s #SundayMusings.  Look for our Super Bowl Ad Review to be put up towards the middle of this coming week.  (Here is a link to last year’s review.)  Now, go enjoy the Super Bowl!  #GoHawks

One last YouTube clip from this past week that I thought was well done by ESPN:

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 1-26-14

 

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Hope you are enjoying another weekend!  Welcome to #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding, the top branding and digital marketing stories from the past seven days.

#1 – The Healthy Brand: Take Your Brand From Good to Great – via ParkerWhite.com 

Premise: The write-up starts out with a good introduction to the importance of branding via 90 second YouTube clip from ParkerWhite Brand Interactive.  How do you make a great brand?  The company provides a thorough checklist of items to consider and answer for your brand/business in order to ensure your branding efforts are doing the most for your business.

Thoughts: ParkerWhite has dubbed brands that are fulfilling items on this branding checklist as “healthy brands”.  I just came across this site this week and will be keeping an eye on it in the coming weeks, given the comments towards the end of the write-up that they will be providing further information in the coming weeks on what makes a “healthy brand”.

As for the checklist itself, “Focused” and “Supported by brand loyalists” are certainly topics that have been discussed quite a bit here in the past within Sunday Musings.  I wouldn’t question any of the items on the checklist at all.

#2 – “20 iconic brands – and why they work” – via CreativeBloq.com    

Premise: While potentially not the biggest, CreativeBloq has created a list of the 20 most iconic brands.

Thoughts: An interesting list to say the least, including several brands I’ve never heard of and a few missing that I thought for sure would be included in a list like this.  I’m a little surprised to see The Red Cross at #1, ahead of Apple and others.  I’m also not sure I see how or why Bass Ale is rated so highly, when there are a number of more popular and iconic beer brands out there.  Where are McDonald’s, Nike, Starbucks, etc.?

What are your thoughts on this list?  

#3 – “Our first birthday: A year on Vine” via blog.twitter.com 

Premise: Saturday, 1/24, marked the one year birthday for Vine and what a year it has been.  People are connecting on Vine and producing a wide range of content from jokes to meaningful events.  The writer says that Twitter introduced Vine with the desire for others to create and share videos from mobile.

Thoughts: In one year, Vine has helped create a new marketing machine for both brands and individuals.  The six second clips are perfect for today’s short attention span and brands that are successful at it should be congratulated.  The one thing that I would have liked to have seen here are a few updated numbers on the success levels that Vine is seeing – number of users, number of uploads per day/month, etc.

#4 – “USA Today Expands Super Bowl Ad Meter” via AdWeek.com  

Premise: In 2013, the USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter was opened up to the public for the first time.  USA Today is taking it one step further this year and will be segmenting the results by various demographics.  Since 1989, USA Today has been gauging reaction to Super Bowl ads and they are now adding new wrinkles to the system.  Results will appear online and in USA Today’s 2/3 print edition.

Thoughts: For those interested in voting on the Super Bowl ads, you can sign up here.  This is certainly an easy way for the paper to build a little engagement with both readers and non-readers of the newspaper itself.  Voters get a chance to voice their opinions on the most popular advertising event of the year here in the US.

What are your thoughts on brands/companies now releasing their Super Bowl commercials before they air during the game?  Personally, I don’t like it.  I think it takes away from the “mystique” (for the lack of a better word) of watching the ads for the first time during the game.

#5 – “The Future of Facebook [Research]” via HeidiCohen.com 

Premise: A research study conducted by Princeton’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering focused on the behaviors of social media users, taking a look at what to expect for Facebook moving forward.  The research says that Facebook has reached its peak and that the downward trend will continue in the years ahead.  Heidi Cohen provides four indicators that support the findings from the report, and three tips on how to adjust/adapt your digital marketing efforts.

Thoughts: You have probably seen the “Facebook is doomed” posts and predictions before.  However, this does seem to paint a ‘not too rosy’ picture for the site moving forward.  We know how quickly Myspace fell and it wouldn’t be a complete shock to see something similar happen to Facebook (or others).   The four indicators that are provided here are certainly items that Facebook must account for and find the means of adjusting.

What are your predictions for Facebook moving forward?

Tweet of the Week:

Old Spice is at it again, bringing back Isaiah Mustafa back in the fold for another humorous campaign.  From the tweet above you will be taken to a landing page and if you wait a few seconds, you will find the true meaning of the site.  The ability to prank your friends and family with these marketing ideas is yet another great use of digital marketing for the brand.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s #SundayMusings!  Have a good week ahead!

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 1-19-14

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome to #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding, the top branding and digital marketing stories that caught my attention from the past week.

#1 – The Best-Perceived Brands of 2013 – via AdWeek.com 

Premise: YouGov’s BrandIndex results are in for 2013 and Amazon has become the strongest perceived brand, followed by Ford and Subway to close out the top three.  Banks/Financial institutions started to rebound in 2013 as well, with four out of the top five most improved brands coming from this arena (with the other being American Airlines).  The article includes an infographic of the results and at the bottom you find the top brands by political affiliation.

Thoughts: It isn’t surprising to see Amazon at the top of the list, given their customer service and experience, along with the growth in Amazon Prime and the Kindle.  What is surprising is to see the Kindle itself come in at number 10.  Also surprising are the number two and three top brands – Ford and Subway, respectively.

What brands would be at the top of your list?  I would put Google and Amazon at the top of mine. [Read more...]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 1-12-14

 

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Happy New Year / 2014 everyone!  I hope you have a great year ahead of you!  This year on ShoreBranding.com we’ll continue with the weekly #SundayMusings, will be putting together several more “Tips” articles, and putting more “Brands in Focus”.  Look for those in the coming days and weeks ahead.

For the first #SundayMusings of 2014, I have broken this up into two parts: reflecting on 2013 and looking forward to 2014.  Here are this week’s top branding and digital marketing stories:

#1 – Signs that you need to rebrand your company – via iMediaConnection.com 

Premise: When is it time, or what are the right signs that point to a need for rebranding your brand or business?  The author puts together a checklist of signs that may help you decide that it is time for a change.  From focus, to staffing, and through the 3 C’s, if your business is failing or in decline, you need to reevaluate your strategies for moving forward.

Thoughts: I would/could easily lump the 3 C’s together with “focus” and make this a two point system.  If you aren’t focusing on the right people with the right message, you need to consider going back to the drawing board.  My wife and I have been binge watching “Bar Rescue” on Spike TV and a recent episode seems to fit this message perfectly.  A family from Long Island opened a bar in North Carolina and their food menu had nothing to do with NC cuisine, trying to ‘force’ NY hot dogs and similar menu items on the local market.  Bad idea.

I also truly believe in the second sign or recommendation in this article revolving around staff buying into your brand/business.  Your team is only as good as your weakest link/player.  An energetic staff can be spotted from miles away. [Read more...]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 1-5-14

Happy New Year / 2014! (Photo credit: Pinterest User: GeekyGoddess626)

Happy New Year / 2014!
(Photo credit: Pinterest User: GeekyGoddess626)

Happy New Year / 2014 everyone!  I hope you have a great year ahead of you!  This year on ShoreBranding.com we’ll continue with the weekly #SundayMusings, will be putting together several more “Tips” articles, and putting more “Brands in Focus”.  Look for those in the coming days and weeks ahead.

For the first #SundayMusings of 2014, I have broken this up into two parts: reflecting on 2013 and looking forward to 2014.  Here are this week’s top branding and digital marketing stories:

#1 – AdWeek.com’s Top 10 Advertising Stories of 2013 – via AdWeek.com 

Premise: AdWeek put together a list of the most read stories from the site in 2013, with links to each in case you may have missed any of them.  The most read story of the year – Crest and Oral-B’s Halloween ad with the kids’ reactions (similar to the AT&T ads).

Thoughts: No surprise to see the Crest ad at or near the top of the list, along with stories from the Super Bowl, and AT&T’s ads from this past year with the children at the roundtable.  There are also several countdown articles within this countdown (most beloved brands, top ads) to take a look through as well.  There are several, fantastic advertising and branding stories in here.

What will you remember most from 2013?  I’m going to say the AT&T ads and the Geico ‘Hump Day’ ad. [Read more...]

New Poll – Where will you be advertising in 2014?

What advertising platform will you be leveraging in 2014? (Photo credit: BusinessNewsDaily.com)

What advertising platform will you be leveraging in 2014?
(Photo credit: BusinessNewsDaily.com)

Over the course of 2013, we covered off on several different trends in the advertising space, including the shift to advertising on various social networks (throughout many of our weekly Sunday Musings) and mobile advertising (most specifically with startup Nearwoo).

With that in mind, our opening poll question for 2014 is relatively simple: which advertising platforms will your brand/business be leveraging in 2014 to increase awareness and/or build stronger loyalty?  The options include:

  1. Mobile
  2. Paid Search
  3. Facebook
  4. Instagram
  5. Twitter
  6. LinkedIn
  7. Foursquare
  8. Other Social Media Networks

After voting, if you would like to endorse a particular avenue, please feel free to do so in the Comments section below.  If you have already leveraged any of these streams, let us know what level of success you may have encountered.

Thanks for taking the time to vote and Happy New Year!

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 12-29-13

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding - Happy Holidays! (Photo credit: RealClubResorts.com)

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – Happy Holidays!
(Photo credit: RealClubResorts.com)

Happy holidays everyone!  Welcome to a festive Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding, the top stories in branding and digital marketing from the past week!  This week’s stories have a Christmas theme to them.

#1 – Why Pepsi Should Get Mean At Christmas And Brand The Grinch – via PrintSome.com 

Premise: Coca-Cola has put a stranglehold around Christmas marketing and the use of Santa Claus and this write-up suggests that Pepsi leverage the Grinch in an effort to create their own branding benefits around the holiday.  Pepsi should take the “bad boy role” and run with it during the holidays.

Thoughts: This is not a bad idea at all for Pepsi to consider.  As the author points out, society tends to love the bad boy role these days.  With the right amount of resources behind it, a tie-in with the Grinch should certainly build some buzz around the holidays and the branding could be a hit.  Who doesn’t love this guy …? [Read more...]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 12-22-13

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome to this week’s Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding, the top stories in branding and digital marketing from the past week!  Again, we have largely been able to focus on one particular subject this week.  As we come to the end of 2013, it is natural to look ahead to 2014 and this week provided a lot of content for predictions and tips going into next year.

Throughout the links below you will also find several write-ups that we put together here on that particular subject over the course of the past nine months.  Take a look if you missed any of it! [Read more...]