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Superbowl ad – do I hear and emmy?

March 17, 2005

There was as much buzz around the Superbowl ads as there was around the Superbowl itself. Many people were as excited to see the ads as the game. Why is the quality of Superbowl ads so much better, and what are agencies doing to create ads that consumers want to see?

The Superbowl is now the only event in the U.S. that draws a truly mass audience. It is the one time that you as an advertiser know for sure that pretty much an entire country will be exposed to your message. And this is important, and has been for some time, as gone are the days when you could reach 90% of an audience on any given night by buying ‘roadblocks’ in prime time across the three TV networks.

The reason the ads seem so much better is because they better be. Just think of the pressure to be the VP of Marketing, knowing that you’ve just convinced your executives to spend $2.4 million for one :30 spot. If you as VP of Marketing get past that audience, then think of the pressure on the entire executive suite and the impact it will have on the employees.

The CEO tells his friends to look for the spot in the Superbowl. All of the employees tell their friends that their company is running this really great ad in the Superbowl. So, there is no place to hide. Everyone knows that it is going to run and that an entire country will be commenting on how good or bad it is.

If it is good, ahhh: the glory you reap. If it is bad, the egg on your face may be too much to bear. I remember the day after the Superbowl, there was commentary on the radio that discussed a national poll on people’s favorite and least favorite ads. I remember that Bubblicious Bubble Gum was singled out as one of the worst ads of the night. How humiliating it must be for the ad agency, the client marketing team, its employees and executives. It must feel pretty foolish to have spent so much money in one fell swoop.

So, pressure drives performance.

Lynda Richardson

Lynda is the Media Director at BSSP

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