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:

Super Bowl Ad Review

 

You may have already heard that the Super Bowl was this past weekend, which brings on the annual tradition of dissecting the advertisements and putting together our own rankings from “tremendous” down to “hideous”. Well, I’m no better. Here are a handful that I thought were well done for our first Super Bowl Ad Review. This list will not include this year’s one colossal failure – which, likely to no one’s surprise, is GoDaddy’s mess. Here are my personal favorites:

#5 – Doritos, “Goat for Sale”

This Doritos ad had strong branding right from the very beginning all the way through to the end. The bags are highly visible throughout much of the ad. At the same time, I thought it was pretty comical. I giggled when the goat screeches at the empty kitchen the next day and again when he closes the door behind him at the very end. Well played!

#4 – Oreo, “Whisper Fight”

Again, the ad quickly tells you who the ad is for if you are paying any attention to the words. The “Creme” vs. “Cookie” has the potential to go a long way. It immediately brings back memories of the Miller Lite “Tastes great, Less filling” ads that ran … well, almost forever. I thought there was a decent amount of humor in this one as well, but the end really stuck with me. The link/directive to go to Oreo’s Instagram page caught my attention right away; I don’t recall another brand pointing consumers to Instagram, so that was certainly unique to me.

(One other ‘win’ for Oreo was from their Twitter feed during the blackout at the Super Bowl. This is fantastic, on the spot / in the moment engagement with consumers – see the tweet below. Wired had a very nice write-up about this as well.)

#3 – Budweiser, “Coronation”

Budweiser is releasing a new variant into the family (Black Crown) and I thought the first ad that they aired, ‘Coronation’, had slightly stronger branding in it vs. the second ad, ‘Celebration’. To me, ‘Coronation’ built a stronger “prestigious” image to it in both the ad content and with the music selected for the background. Showing the people around the table and having the guy make a proclamation made me think that this was more of an up-scale product vs. the ‘Celebration’ ad which was a bunch of people dancing around like you see in two-thirds of the ads for beer.

#2 – M&M’s, “Love Ballad”

M&M’s has made it easy for themselves. The M&M characters are an obvious way to break through the clutter of advertising, build recognition and have people correctly associate the appropriate brand to the ad. Not bad at all, huh? The ad uses a very memorable song (good ole Meatloaf is back!) and while I wasn’t aware of this at the time, also stars actress Naya Rivera from the TV show Glee. Sorry, I don’t watch Glee. Excellent use of sponsorship and an actress that will resonate with a younger audience, plus the added bonus of Meatloaf’s “I will do anything for love (but I won’t do that)” song for the background that might appeal to a slightly older audience. (I may or may not have slid in the word “slightly” there after realizing I was falling into this category…)

#1 – Taco Bell, “Viva Young”

Admittedly, there is some bias here. Fun’s “We are young” has become one of my favorite songs released and is perfect for advertising to a younger audience (or those that want to believe they are still young). Taco Bell’s slight twist to sing the words in Spanish was brilliant. For those that want to complain that the translations don’t match up, I can only say … that was the point! My first thought was that this was a good way to appeal to the growing Hispanic market, but I could be wrong there as some people are apparently offended at the translated version. Again, that was the point, it was tongue-in-cheek.

Nevertheless, this was my favorite commercial from Super Bowl Sunday. I thought it was hysterical and included my favorite song from the past handful of years. Could it use a little more branding? Sure. Was it still the funniest commercial released? Absolutely. You have a man doing the robot, another man flashing his “upper body” to customers in a restaurant, and the silence when the cops drive past them. Phenomenal.

What did you think of this year’s ads? What were some of your favorites?