truth in advertising
Posted by Deborah Dunham on February 9, 2010 02:52 PM
At an average cost of $3 million for one 30-second spot, the Super Bowl isn’t just the biggest day of the year for football fans, it’s also the biggest for many of the world’s top advertisers. In addition, the fact that it can cost another million to produce and promote an ad worthy of Super Bowl Sunday can turn the big game into one high-cost, high-pressure event.
With 106.5 million viewers this year – the highest ever according to the Nielson Company, the brands that scored the biggest were not necessarily the ones that worked with the biggest ad agencies though. In fact, one company that followed the age-old “customer is always right” advice ranked highest on the scoreboard.
Two commercials from Doritos, both created by consumers, were among the top-watched spots in households with TiVo, with one ad entitled “House Rules” ranking number one and another called “Underdog” finishing fourth. Both ads received high approval ratings with four out of five stars on AOL’s FanHouse survey. Doritos also generated the most Tweets and came in first on a Twitter and Hulu.com survey.
But just because the ads were created by consumers, doesn’t mean they were cheap. Twenty-four-year-old Joshua Svoboda from Raleigh, NC, won $600,000 for his creation of “Underdog” (which only cost him $200 to produce) and Joelle De Jesus of Hollywood won $25,000 for “House Rules.”
“The answer is not that everyone should fire their agencies and have users create campaigns,” Todd Juenger, vice president and general manager for TiVo audience research and measurement told the NY Times. But he did concede that consumers seem to know best what their fellow fans would like to watch in the “unique” ad environment of the Super Bowl.
Google also took a different route and produced their top-ranked ad internally. Its “Search on” themed ads drew a 98 percent positive approval rating from Zeta Interactive research and top rankings from the Kellogg School’s Super Bowl ad review panel as well as from female respondents to a survey by the Kaleidoscope Group.
While mainstream advertising shops did produce some spots that earned cheers, they also dropped the ball with low-ranking ads from Skechers, Bridgestone Tires, Flo TV and GoDaddy.com, all of which received predominantly negative consumer reviews.
“The Super Bowl this year says consumer-generated content really can work,” Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University told the NY Times. And despite some industry professionals playing down the trend as “a seventh-grader in his backyard with a video camera,” brands and consumers may be on to something.