Last year, Salesgenie's Super Bowl ad was "pretty much unanimously" chosen as the hands-down worst ad during the game by media critics and fans alike, confirms a PR spokesperson for InfoUSA, the Omaha, Neb.-based database company that owns Salesgenie, a subscription-based sales lead site designed for small businesses.
That ad showed a James Bond-like, Ferrari-driving salesman being drooled over by a female co-worker and begged to come home to dinner by his boss, as other hapless salesmen bemoaned under-performing despite being tied to their desks. Mr. Success's secret? Salesgenie.com leads, of course.
Lending credibility to the old saw that the only bad publicity is no publicity, the commercial--one of the few Bowl commercials to include a call to action and a discount device (100 free sales leads)--drove more than 25,000 prospects to Salesgenie.com.
Furthermore, in the 11 months it's been on YouTube, it's attracted nearly 31,000 viewers.
No wonder, then, that InfoUSA chairman/CEO Vin Gupta, who conceptualized and wrote last year's ad, is at it again. This year, Salesgenie will run animated spots written by Gupta and produced by San Francisco agency Create Mint during the pre-game show and the first and third quarters.
Gupta isn't ready to reveal what animated delights await viewers on Feb. 3, he but makes no bones about intentionally going for the "thumbs-down crown" again with his "no frills" ads.
"If it positively impacts business like it did last year, we'd be thrilled to be the worst again," he said, calling the Super Bowl the "ultimate vehicle" for reaching millions of businesspeople.
Frills or no frills, Gupta spends a quarter of InfoUSA's entire year's ad budget on the Bowl.
This year, Salesgenie is also making the most of the four free Bowl tickets it was given by Fox by including them in a sweeps (along with those 100 free sales leads) being hyped on the site's home page.