Super Bowl ads: Three of our nation’s biggest marketers made strategic bets on their Super Bowl presence with varying results

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

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I’m not the biggest sports fan; in fact I don’t own a single piece of logo gear from any team. But, my brother-in-law is a huge Patriots fan, and sometimes you do things that take you out of your comfort zone for a good laugh and to make someone else happy. So, I went to our family’s Super Bowl party in full red, white and blue face paint. I made some strategic choices expecting a certain outcome, which luckily paid off – a happy brother-in-law and a Patriots win!

Trisha Reperowitz ready for SuperBowl XLIX

Three of our nation’s biggest marketers also made strategic bets on their Super Bowl presence with varying results.

The Good: McDonald's

OK, the campaign might be a little cliché; however, at the party I attended, the universal response was wow – isn’t that nice. It’s a tough category and keeping consumers engaged with the brand in an experience that can only be positive is a smart move. Expert live-tweeting and social media activity beautifully amplified the message.

Lesson #1: Take advantage of expensive ad time with a campaign that has legs.

The Bad: Lexus and Nissan

The Lexus ad felt so “been there, done that.” Fancy cars, coordinated driving in a dark, urban environment with futuristic-looking lighting. Nissan went for complex storytelling that was confusing, protracted and hard to relate to.

Lesson #2: Connecting with your consumer is key. Neither of these spots did a good job of making you want to drive their cars.

The Ugly: Nationwide

Talk about confusing. A hard-hitting, dark, public service message and then an abstract concept with the adorable and entertaining Mindy Kaling. Hard to piece together the strategic planning on these two spots. Around our agency water cooler, Nationwide was universally one of the biggest ad losers.

Lesson #3: Just getting talked about isn’t good enough. Lots of Nationwide mentions around the office and in the media. Will these translate into strategic outcomes that are going to drive Nationwide’s business? Doubtful.

Do you have tips or lessons learned for high profile media spends? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter via @ @IntrinzicSays.

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