Superbowl Ads 2010: A Lost Opportunity for Some, A Lesson for All

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It is a Super Bowl commercial postmortem on this week's Bella Buzz podcast.  Desiree and Joe break down the effectiveness of the advertising dollars that the big brands spent during Super Bowl XLIV, or should we say lack of effectiveness.

Last year, the expectation was more and more of the big brands would find creative ways to incorporate social networks into their traditional campaigns.  The rating for social media usage by this year's advertisers is once again a big #FAIL.

We know we tend to see things from within our bubble of online marketing and social media practitioners, but it's time for the big brands (and more specifically the big brand agencies) to start leveraging the dollars they spend on broadcast advertising by driving customers to interact via social networks.  The opportunity exists right now to engage a customer, capture some of their key contact data and then continue to interact with that customer so that they become a true brand evangelist.  Why are they wasting this media buy!?!

On the podcast, we did dig into a couple of the ads directly to discuss our reactions to them and the first one we reviewed was the Google Ad:

We had both heard that a spot was a possibility, so we were on the lookout for it to appear on the broadcast.  It was a very well done spot which subtly displayed how search is completely embedded in our lives. Google just needs to be careful about how well they present information for web searchers.  They could be accused of "scraping" so much content from web site owners and content producers that the traffic no longer actually clicks to the original site.

Throughout the night's broadcast there was a considerable amount of conversation taking place on Twitter using the hashtag #BrandBowl you can still see some activity there by following that link to the Search.Twitter service.  These large brands HAVE to be aware that there is a large, receptive audience ready to interact with them if the creative is done correctly.  That hashtag was different from the #SB44 which was mostly game specific conversations.  Brands should be able to manage the variety of conversations effectively by understanding the difference.

At the very least consider what we call the Offline Ask.  At every opportunity in front of a potential customer you must make the ask.  Ask them to become a part of your community whether it be to follow you on Twitter, join a Facebook Fan Page or submit an email address.

What specific actions should a business owner take when participating in the Live Web?  Get involved in the conversation around a particular event.  If you come with relevant, interesting, eloquent insights that make someone take notice and check out your profile .. which in turn, drives someone back to your business web site, you just might gain a customer.  

How did the Super Bowl ads work for you? Were you expecting anything in the social media space that didn't appear, or maybe you did see some things that we might have missed?  Let us know in the comments, we would love to know what you thought.

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  1. Todd Eury says:

    Desiree & Joe – you’re right on! The Superbowl ads made me feel as if these “brilliant” marketing / advertising firms – think Americans are basically stupid. Using humor to sell is smart – but slap-stick/ / half naked girls/ underwear jokes – are juvenile. Not linking back to social media WEB2.0 – makes me think all these ad firms are completely OUT OF TOUCH with “TODAY!!” Go back to 2002 boys – and laugh at the Budweiser Frogs. Millions of dollars were wasted and none of the ads resonated with me. Let’s look forward to 2010! GO STEELERS!!

  2. Great post. I think this post underscores the thought that many traditional advertisers have (maybe it’s more of a hope) that social media is a passing fad. At the very least, it indicates that they have no idea how to leverage it effectively.
    I didn’t watch the game, but I did watch the commercials later. I agree with Todd: what was up with the Godaddy commercials?!

  3. Joe Magennis says:

    Todd & Nichole .. thanks for the comments. Gina Trapani, whom I admire very much, got sick of the flagrant sexism from GoDaddy last year. She distributed (and now redistributed) this blog post about switching providers .. That’s hitting them where it hurts.

  4. Well, Desiree, it is unfortunate that so many of the advertisements and campaigns turned out to be very much a #FAIL! They had the largest audience EVER at their disposal, and that is all they could come up with. Wow! Talk about unfortunate, for, if I had that marketing budget at my disposal and one big shot like that, I would not have let it slip away like so many others did. I am, however, curious about how well Pepsi will do with their Refresh Project as the buzz potentially fades.

  5. Dwayne, shocking isn’t it? This was really the year to pull it out and connect online and offline at the same time. The big ad agencies blew it. Guess it’s up to us small biz folks to show them how it’s really done!

  6. Based on the discussions i was reading on live during the game most of the ads fell short this year.
    I think “The Dodge – Last Choice” ad won the popular support of most of the people online for this crowd (lol male 18-45).
    Hopefully for next years Super Bowl you’ll drop past to say hi.

  7. Dean, thanks for your comments and the shoutout!

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