I hate to admit it, but I was more interested in the ads during the recent Super Bowl than in the game itself. I have soft spots for both the Packers and the Steelers, but somehow, I just wasn’t that into the game. Tuning in to see if advertisers bring their A games, however, has become a bit of a tradition for me. And, having followed the usual flurry of pre-game speculation about which ones where promising and which would fall flat, I was curious to see if they lived up to the hype. So, flipping back and forth between the game and the Top Gear marathon on BBC America, I checked them out.
Overall, I’d say this year is on par with some and better than most. I’m not sure any hall-of-fame ads will come out of this one — like Snickers’ Betty White getting tackled spot from last year. This year’s Snickers entry was Rosanne Barr getting pummeled by a log, but I expected it. So, in my mind, it’s been done so to speak. That said, my favorite ad hands down was this one…
It’s priceless! I’ve laughed every time I’ve seen it. It ranked fourth in MediaCurve’s survey and ranked second in the category of most likely to be talked about around the water cooler.
And then there’s this one…
Grateful furry animals that have my back…it warms my heart and brings a smile, every time.
I wasn’t alone in my love for these spots, these two were among the top four most enjoyed spots in yesterday’s game according to MediaCurves.com which surveyed thousands of participants regarding their perceptions of the ads using parameters like emotion, memorability, involvement, and breakthrough. They used an online dial-testing system with participants to measure interest in the ads. Bridgestone’s ad ranked number one overall and also claimed the top spot in the water cooler category. You can see the realtime results off all the 110 ads they were monitored here.
According to MediaCurves participants NFL’s "Best.Fans.Ever." ranked second overall. If you love classic TV sitcoms, you’ll see why people loved this spot..
It was like a walk down memory lane, and I enjoyed every nostalgic second of it.
Bud Light continued it’s winning streak with with a spot called Dog Party…
While not necessarily in my top four (and rightly so…I’m not Bud Light’s target audience), this spot is indicative of Bud Light’s continual focus on originality and memorability.
So what can higher ed brand managers learn from the success of these spots? Employ these three best practices next time you do a TV ad and you’ll have a better spot, even though you don’t have millions to spend on special effects…
- Pick one target audience. Don’t try to speak to all audiences with one spot. Bridgestone’s target audience is middle to upper-middle class safety and environmentally conscious individual; Passat’s target audience is affluent, though not rich, Baby Boomers or Gen X’ers, and family conscious; Bud Light’s audience is younger – late 20’s to early 30’s, middle-class male who hasn’t quite left his college years behind.
- Keep the brand message simple. Passat – sleek modern engineering for the modern successful family; Bud Light – when you have Bud Light, you have the makings for a cool, fun time.
- Know your audience, what makes them tick, what pulls their heart strings, what makes them laugh, what they care about. The genius of the Passat commercial is that it taps into two strong emotional areas for its target audience, parenthood and their own childhoods – that time in their lives when anything was possible and Star Wars was the number one box office hit. Similarly, the NFL ad pulls on the 30 to 40 something nostalgic heartstrings of its key viewers.