Super Bowl and Marketing The Super Bowl, the National Football League’s (NFL) final game, features the current year’s best teams to compete against each other to decide the National champions. What you may not be aware of is that there is actually another competition going on at the same time, except this one’s for marketers. Commercials have become something that we look forward to now as entertainment. These expectations are met by many companies as we watch, rate and judge each commercial. 36% of Americans planned to share their favorite ads after the game (Horovitz).
Companies use this as an opportunity to sell their products indirectly. With marketing trending towards the online community because of our advances in technology, social networking played a huge part in advertising. This year’s Super Bowl set a record of getting 111. 3 million people to tune in, resetting the bar for the largest number of viewers for a single telecast in U. S. history (Stewart). With this much attention, marketers are willing to pay $3. 5 million for each 30-second slot (Horovitz)! The competition was very steep this year with returning companies and new companies competing for a slice of the pie.
To determine which commercials were more popular, USA Today assembles focus teams to critique and rate them, assigning each a rank. This year, USA Today featured a Facebook Super Bowl Ad Meter, in which the audience voted online after each commercial so that the commercials are rated according to the public’s taste (Elliot). Amongst the many commercials, only few can be considered the elite. The top three commercials, picked by the public, are; Doritos: “Sling Baby”, Bud Light:”Weego”, and Kia:”A Dream Car. For Real Life” (2012 USA).
Doritos, a popular company, known for its famous chips, has become a huge contender in the Super Bowl ad campaigns in the last years. With their corky sense of humor and clever commercials, they are able to grasp the audience and connect with them through comedy. By creating a happy emotion while advertising the product simultaneously, marketers can create a commercial that will dwell in the memories of the audience for a longer period of time. Placing first place in the Super Bowl Admeter, Doritos commercial was undoubtedly successful in grasping attention.
In the commercial, a young kid torments his younger brother and grandmother with a bag of Doritos, whilst dwelling in his playhouse some odd feet away and above. This tormenting then leads to the grandmother pulling back the younger brother(a baby), who is attached to his bungee, and catapults him towards the elder, resulting in a slow motion, high flying snatch of the bag. The older brother, shocked at what just occurred, can only stare at his grinning grandmother and triumphant baby brother holding a chip in the air as a trophy.
The commercial was beautifully put together with funny expressions and relative background music. The clear cut motive was to show what people would do for a bag of Doritos, except in a comical fashion of course. The commercial was successful because it was perfectly suited for all age groups to enjoy. Doritos was expected to release great commercials to follow in their footsteps from the previous year. It’s safe to say that they exceeded those expectations. Bud Light, a beer company, placed second place with their “Weego” commercial.
The synopsis of this commercial is basically a group of party goers call their new found friend, a dog named Weego, which results in the phrase “Here Weego”. This anomaly results in the dog finding any possible way to get his caller a Bud Light. As more and more people call on him, he strives through many scenarios such as swimming in a pool with a beer and rolling on a keg to a group of party people. With an easy, fun catch phrase (“Here Weego”) and a cute dog making funny gestures and sounds, it’s easy to understand why the commercial was a hit.
It’s a family friendly commercial that also relates to dog lovers and creates genuine humor. Another factor that might have played a part in its success is Bud Lights commitment to donate $1 for every “like” that they got for the ad on their Facebook page (up to $250,000) to an animal rescue fund (Horovitz). Their strategy, which scores brownie points for its sincerity, turned out to be a double edged sword in their campaign this year. Third place goes to Kia with their “Dream car” commercial. Their strategy was also geared towards humor.
The commercial starts with a fairy gently sprinkling fairy dust on a lady to make her dream, which is riding on a horse through a field with a brawny guy. While she’s pleasantly dreaming, the fairy then goes towards her husband, trips on a slipper, and drops the entire bag of fairy dust on the husband, which results in an explosive dream full of everything he desires; a sexy model, a rock band performing, flames, a crowd of beautiful women in bikinis, a rhino rodeo, an enormous building sized sandwich, and a competitive fighting event, all he observes while he speeds in his powerful Kia Optima.
He then finally crashes through to his wife’s dream and steals her away from the brawny guy. It was a creative commercial that helps show that Kia is trying to rejuvenate their image. Their target audience is obviously young and old men. They find ways to incorporate and subliminally show the speed, power, and style of their new car without losing comedic value. It truly depicts its motto, which is a “Dream car. For real life”. Not every company decided to go for humor this year.
Other companies such as H&M and Chrysler chose more serious or sexy tones. The only commercial to make it into the top five without humor was Chrysler, with their serious commercial attempting to renew their patriotic beliefs and show their meaning to America and specifically Detroit. Other companies such as Honda used their opportunity to try and recreate their image and help get out of a slump. “Honda Motor Company, which produces Acura, didn't have a commercial during last year's Super Bowl, and they are coming off of their worst year in America.
Alan Ohnsman of the Bloomberg news quoted Mike Accavitti, Honda's vice president of U. S. marketing, as saying the following about their intentions for the ad: "What we wanted to do with these Super Bowl spots is announce Honda and Acura are open for business. (Langford)". Other strategies used were the use of old and modern stars to help sell the product, such as Matthew Broderick for Honda, Jerry Seinfeld for Acura, and Clint Eastwood for Chrysler. Another strategy used was Audi’s use of pop culture to relate to the audience.
Their commercials featured Stars Wars characters and references and vampire references to the Twilight craze that’s currently sweeping the nation. And lastly, of course, Coca Cola brought back the famous polar bears with a line of commercials all cleverly resembling football scenarios and references. The Super Bowl is a great opportunity for companies to get their products out there, at a costly price of course. In order to successfully and effectively use it however, requires creativity. As social media and the use of technology changes, more ways and tools are available for advertising.
This Super Bowl generated an impressive upwards of 985,000 social media comments, which is more than the entire 2011 Academy Awards generated (Horovitz). Companies that posted Super Bowl related messages on social websites had a 60% greater engagement than every other posts, according to Buddy Media, a social enterprise software company (Horovitz). Twitter confirmed that statistic stating that consumers were sending out 10,000 tweets per second during the last three minutes of the game! In order to be elite, a company must use these new found tools to their advantage.