Super Bowl ads that score

We know, it’s all about the game for football fans, but here at Olin marketing professors and students will be studying the ads between the plays to find out what’s trending in the multi-million dollar 30-second spot ad arena.

Two professors share their criteria for a successful Super Bowl ad below.  Tell us which ads you think scored or fumbled this year.

Carol Johanek,  Adjunct Professor of Marketing

“I like to see Super Bowl ads that deliver a simple message with a humorous tone that not only grabs the attention of the audience but leaves the end-user smiling. Brands often use such ads to launch an integrated social media strategy across all platforms.  Humorous tones provide a non-threatening relationship with a brand; providing more opportunities for brands to continue the conversation with their market past the Super Bowl.”

James Sawhill, visiting Assistant Professor of Marketing

“A superbowl ad, first and foremost, must grab the viewer’s attention.  During the superbowl, the audience is expecting to be entertained, so ads need to be surprising or have some sort of shock value.  An informative ad just won’t stand out among the clutter.  The second thing the ad needs to do is bring up strong brand associations.  The most attention grabbing ad won’t be successful unless the audience remembers the brand it is associated with.

“The eTrade baby ad is a great example of both.

A talking baby grabs your attention, yet the content of the ad is such that the baby is strongly linked to eTrade.  The eTrade baby premiered during the Super Bowl.  The next day eTrade opened more new accounts than in any previous day.  Years later, when you see the baby, the mind instantly associates it with eTrade adding tremendous value to the eTrade brand.”




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