Why The 2015 Super Bowl Ads Were A Major Fail

Case Study Why The 2015 Super Bowl Ads Were A Major Fail JO Social Branding
For the past few years I have written a follow-up blog post on the Super Bowl Advertisements.  You can view my past posts:

SUPER Bowl XLVII – Ad SUPERlatives 
Why You Don’t Need $4 Mil. to Make a Splash at the Super Bowl 

The past few years I have become increasingly underwhelmed with the advertisements.  Remember the Bud Frogs?!  The advertisements have become so uninspiring, that I was contemplating on even writing a post this year.  My recap:

  • Budweiser always delivers with the Clydesdale/Puppy Best Buddy connection.
  • Overabundance of car commercials.
  • There were repetitive ad themes (disabled child/Father love).
  • Mostly every commercial had a #Hashtag ‘tagged’ onto it but not much engagement to draw people online.

My recap is pretty underwhelming, wouldn’t you agree?

What doesn’t make sense to me is why weren’t brands making a bigger effort with their digital marketing?  This was the most viewed Super Bowl of all time.  CBS Sports reports, “over 114 million viewers tuned into Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday night on NBC, making it the most watched television show in U.S. history.”  TV advertising space went for $4.5 million dollars for 30 seconds of air time. (Wall Street Journal)

If you are going to spend that amount of money to buy the space, not to mention to create the commercial and hire the talent, why wouldn’t you make it memorable?

Digital media may be changing the advertising playing field, but brands need to keep up and be smart about it.  A brand can put their marketing professionals on call, to manage social media during the Super Bowl to post updates in real-time.  This is a minimal cost compared the millions it takes to make a Super Bowl advertisement.  Mashable has reported that Super Bowl XLIX generated 28.4 million tweets while the game was on air.

What I am struggling with is, why are brands not integrating their traditional and digital marketing for the Super Bowl?

If they are spending that amount of money, why not invest a little more to make it worth it?  Spend the money to create a fabulous commercial and use it to lure viewers online to converse with your there; It doesn’t have to be one and done.

All brands need to look to T-Mobile’s Kim Kardashian Data Stash commercial as an ideal case study.  Mashable wrote a great recap article on this interactive commercial.  In short, the end of the commercial, encouraged viewers to follow a website link.  Once viewers went to the website, they were asked to connect their Twitter account to receive a personal tweet from Kim K. herself.  Obviously Kim isn’t on standby tweeting everyone, this was an automated process.  However, the video message you receive from Kim, right after your connection has been established, shows her sending YOU the tweet.  Your Twitter data is on her mobile screen.

This is brilliant marketing. 

Why?  It is about using the traditional advertising space, to lure viewers from the television, to their mobile devices for a personal interaction and engagement.  The message alignment with data stash, Kim K and her selfies was spot on too.

Brands –  you have audience attention during the Super Bowl.  We aren’t ‘Tivo-ing’, or flipping through commercials.

We want the ‘Wow Factor’.  Wow us!

Even more, people are online listening.  Did you read that fact above?  28.4 million tweets DURING the game.

Go “balls to the wall”, make a memorable advertisement and bring it online for an interactive experience.

Summary:
With live events, brands need to do a better job of making the traditional marketing part more interesting, grabbing audience attention and pulling them online to make it a more personal experience.  Otherwise people will start tuning out and filling up their food bowls or taking bathroom breaks during that coveted TV time.  Make the most of your 30 seconds and get viewers to interact with you online.