Last year, the Super Bowl racked up $213 million in ad revenue. This year? Who knows. And who knows if it was worth it? One thing is for sure: the way advertisers take the ball and run with it this week and in weeks to come will determine how successful they will be with their Super Bowl ads.
Dodge, for instance, used the game to promote its ad for the Charger R/T car with creative ("Man's Last Stand") about how men give everything up to their wives and significant others in exchange for a tryst with the car. The company is furthering with a "Super Beard" contest that challenges people to grow a beard over six weeks, then post their photos to be judged by members of Dodge's car-brand Facebook page. The winner gets a weekend for two to a 2010 Dodge Motorsports race of choice, per the company. The Super Bowl ad, via Dodge's agency Wieden + Kennedy of Nike fame, is also on www.Dodge.com.
First-time advertiser Papa John's, which hoped to sell three-quarters of a million pizzas during the Super Bowl, is furthering its buy with a three-free-toppings for $9 promo this week, an extension of its "Toppings for Touchdowns" promotion, announced last week.
Jim Sanfilippo, COO of Hyundai's agency Innocean, says it isn't enough for Super Bowl ads to be interesting -- or entertaining, for that matter. He says that, particularly for the car business, they have to be actionable on some level at retail. Hyundai's Super Bowl spots, for instance, focused on product and attributes and pretty much eschewed humor. Sanfilippo said they will live on in dealerships as much for sales staff as for customers.
Post-Super Bowl, Hyundai put its commercials on touchscreen kiosks in dealer showrooms, but not just for consumers. "It's also for the sales force to understand what we are telling customers," he says. "In a perfect world, dealers tell consumers the same thing we tell them. Everything we say is relevant to the sales floor; we have a responsibility to do this."
John Thomson, president and CEO of Kansas City-based marketing-systems company Saepio Technologies, says it is especially important for advertisers at the Super Bowl level to think about retail.
"All marketing is local," he says. "But what I see happening is that Fortune 1,000 global brands who value brand, who have distributed marketing networks -- they have a corporate entity focused on things like brand integrity and cost containment and then a field marketing organization that cares about localization and customization for the purpose of compelling that consumer to act." He says tier-one marketing efforts can't really work without a cohesiveness between national brand awareness and tactics for driving consumers into a stores or dealership.
"In order to get marketers where they want to go, which is less interruptive ads and more engagement, they need to know their consumers; but that information is often trapped in CRM systems, which are repositories of silent information."