Marketing Genius from Maple Creative


Marketing tips, observations & philosophy, plus a few rants and random musings - from those who practice, preach and teach marketing, research, advertising, public relations and business strategy.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Super Bowl Ads 2009- Post-Game

Finally ... a year in which the contest was more memorable than the commercials! Congratulations to the six-time world champion Pittsburgh Steelers. Yesterday evening, I solicited input on the Super Bowl ads through various social media channels. We had a blog post here yesterday asking for your reviews, plus many folks shared comments with me on Facebook and Twitter.

Relax, we are not going to tell you how or where to watch the ad replays. All marketing geniuses are way past dialed in on such matters. Instead, we'll share a quick compilation of reactions to yesterday's 62-spots-for-$206 million spectacle.

In my humble opinion, there were only two TV advertisements that caused me to shift my thinking about a product or service.

1- Audi - their ad left no doubt that Audi is back in the performance sedan category. This one had the theatrical production feel of a James Bond or Jason Bourne chase scene ... and got some adrenaline pumping (which really boosts the memorability, by the way).

2- Denny's - offered us all a free breakfast on Wednesday from 6AM to 2PM. Guarantee you there's tons of water cooler chatter about grabbing some free grub from Denny's.

Here's an ad-hoc, unscientific summary of what I heard from you and others:

Up Goes the Thumb
Teleflora - talking flowers ad succeeded in tarnishing the concept of "flowers in a box."

Bridgestone - creative use of Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head, instead of actors.

Disappointing ... to Dumb
The Go Daddy ads were "dumb, offensive and inappropriate for kids."

Budweiser ads were mediocre at best (although the Clydesdales persist)

Gatorade "G" - good get with Tiger Woods, but low-budget production ... and we cannot keep up with your perpetual shifting of product lines.

Sobe - its Lizard Lake spot was a goofy, flop. What was the message here?

Split Decisions
Cash4Gold - some felt that this ad with its repetition and celebrity endorsement (Ed McMahon, MC Hammer) was pretty effective; others hated it.

Likewise with - opinions were split, ranging from "effective use of dark humor" to "worst ad of them all."

Cute / Funny
Folks thought that the E*Trade ads were still funny and cute (Shankapotamus!)

Many also thought the Dorito's "Power of the Crunch" spot was very entertaning.

Let's close with this concept. Advertising is and will always be subjective. We'll never have consensus on which were tops and which were flops. For now, let's just remember that the real measure of successful advertising is sales. Keep a keen eye on which, if any, of the advertisers' revenues have increased in the coming months.

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Blogger Adam said...

What? No mention of the various movie ads. All the hype about the 3d commercial. Personally, it made my eyes hurt.

A professor of mine from college has done research into Superbowl ad effectiveness (see There is a strong correlation between movies advertised during the Superbowl and how they do at the box office.

10:14 AM

Blogger Jen said...

I loved the Teleflora ad. Very different/innovative. The Bridgestone ad was funny and memorable. These were both ads that mastered the gender/relationship element.

The Go Daddy ad was trashy and dumb. Is it possible for them to do something other than that? I'd like to see something different than what they've done for years. The Bud ads were no where near what they used to be. Bud used to be the king of Super Bowl ads. This year, they fell off their throne.

Cash4Gold was ridiculous and so was Careerbuilder. There is a fine line between repetition and annoyance. They crossed that line about 5 seconds into the ad.

This year the ads were a flop overall. However, it still remains an area of interest of marketers everywhere. It's important to review the ads and see what worked and what didn't. And most importantly, analyze why they worked or flopped.

Thanks for another great post, Skip!

10:36 AM

Blogger Skip Lineberg said...


How could we have overlooked the movie ads! There were a ton of them. Some were quite good.

Thanks for sharing the backgrounder on the correlation between SuperBowl advertising and box office success for movies. I am really glad that you joined this conversation. Hope you'll come back often.


2:50 PM

Blogger Skip Lineberg said...


So you felt like that, too, eh?

Hey, you are right: the SuperBowl Adtravaganza is a wonderfully American experience; a common ground for conversation ...
especially for the marketing geniuses out there.

Thanks for taking the time from your busy schedule to share your thoughts!


2:56 PM

Anonymous Mona said...


As a classical music geek, here's how I heard the commercials:

(my least favorite of these was "Lizard Lake"--it was confusing and looked slightly unpleasant. On the other hand, I thought the one where the bugs stole the bottle of Coke to Peter and the Wolf was beautiful, even after several re-watchings.)

Classically Speaking/WV Public Radio

9:45 PM

Blogger Digital Autonomy said...

I sat with two media guys on Monday at lunch.. these guys handle placing traditional media for Toyota, State Farm, Inside Lacrosee and others... they made an interesting comment about the superbowl being one of the last pure mass media buys left.. so many of their clients are moving toward micro or one-to-one marketing via online, direct (PURLS) and social media...

12:14 AM

Blogger Erin Deegan said...

I am very interested in seeing stats from Denny's! I'm saving every article I can find about the free breakfasts.

10:25 AM

Blogger Skip Lineberg said...


I love the fact that you watched the Super Bowl with your ears! Thanks for bringing this unique, cool perspective to the discussion.


8:01 AM

Blogger Skip Lineberg said...

Digital Dave,

That's a great observation, well worth noting. The SuperBowl is one of the last "pure mass media buying opportunities." It is certainly the most expensive and massive in synchronous, worldwide reach.

Always great to have your thoughts and ideas here!


8:04 AM

Blogger Skip Lineberg said...


Hope you had a good time in Huntington! As for the Denny's data ... stay tuned. One of our marketing genius friends shared a story with me.

All this talk of Denny's does make one hungry, no?


8:08 AM


Post a Comment

<< Home