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This Super Bowl ad guest post is from author and advertising guru, Jim Joseph. In his book, The Experience Effect, Jim hits solidly on the need for brands to provide consistent, distinct experiences which resonate with customers. I had the opportunity to meet Jim at the 2010 AMA Marketing Research Conference, thanks to mutual good friend Sherrie Binke, who seemed to introduce all of us to each other at the conference! Jim presented an outstanding keynote address at the AMAMRC event, and it was so exciting to have him participate in #BZBowl and share his perspective on the Super Bowl ads in this guest post:

110 million viewers. 68 Super Bowl ads. 50 minutes of advertising time. $3 million a whack. This was by far the most hyped-up Super Bowl in history – at least for the advertising. The game didn’t necessarily disappoint, but quite honestly for this marketer you could have told me that I was watching lacrosse. It was all about the advertising.

How do we possibly sort through all those spots to pick out the best ones? Thanks to social media, I had my early favorites but I have to say that I still enjoyed watching them all in real time. The magic of advertising has not gone away.

Despite all the over the top creativity (CarMax “Metaphors”), cleverly written lines (cars.com “Reviews”), CGI (Kia’s “Poseidon), and celebrities (Kim Kardashian for Sketchers), the winners for me were the ones that either hit on a real consumer insight and/or built a brand experience. At the end of the day (game), that’s what marketing and advertising is all about.

Take a look at many people’s favorite, VW “The Force.” Over 14.5 million hits on YouTube (talk about extending the advertising spend!). Aside from making us all smile or LOL, I believe the reason this one hit home was the core insight. Who doesn’t want to give a kid a thrill? There’s Dad, behind the scenes, making his kid feel like he is supernatural. The nostalgia of Star Wars didn’t hurt either.

CareerBuilder. I know that some people are tired of the monkeys.  For me it’s a branding device that hits on the insight of feeling like you work with a bunch of inconsiderate people that “don’t get it.” So getting stuck in a place where you are frustrated that you can’t get out hits the nail on the head.

And who can’t relate to the horror of hitting “reply all” by mistake.  Bridgestone, coming out of nowhere in my opinion, caught one of the best insights of the night with their Super Bowl campaign. And while many did not see the tie to the brand, for me it is as simple as those tires giving you the ability to race around and get to everything you need to.

I still like the Snickers insight of not quite feeling like yourself when you’re hungry. And while it wasn’t a new campaign by any means, I liked seeing Roseanne Barr pop out of nowhere.

Did these advertisements build the brand? Yes, certainly. But not to the degree that my two absolute favorites did: the NFL and Chrysler.

I was really impressed by the NFL advertising, although it perhaps didn’t deliver on the hype and glamor of many of the others. The NFL had a few spots thrown in the mix, and every one of them quite simply delivered on the NFL brand experience. I loved the one where the tv screen turned into a tablet turned into a hand held device turned into a tv. You can watch the NFL where ever you go. And then the retro montage of tv-inspired Super Bowl party moments was brilliant. Really going far in turning the NFL into more than just a football organization but into a brand and a brand experience. Best Fans Ever.

And finally there was Chrysler Imported from Detroit.

Best in show, at least for me. First of all it took me by surprise because I hadn’t seen it ahead of time. And while I am impressed by all the activity on social media leading up to the game, I do have to say that the experience of watching a great piece of film in the moment was priceless. The storytelling was the best of the lot for sure. The music, use of celebrity, and cinematography made for an attention-getting moment in advertising history. But the pride in America and what we all do for a living and what we can all do to improve our lot is what hit it out of the park for me (sorry that’s a baseball analogy I think). It was insightful, creative, emotional, engaging, entertaining, brand building, and memorable. It changed the way I think about the brand, about Detroit, and about our future together. What more can you ask for in a piece of advertising?

Best in show.

Thanks to everyone who participated with me in the live posts and tweets, particularly the #bzbowl bunch. Experiencing the “game” via Facebook and Twitter, while exhausting, was so much fun.   Big thanks to Mike!

Lesson learned?  Find a great consumer insight to lead your creative development, and then tell a compelling story. That’s what will deliver great advertising, for the Super Bowl or not.

Let’s continue to ponder these great advertising moments and improve our craft. It gives me great pride. Jim Joseph, President of Lippe Taylor Brand Communications and author of “The Experience Effect”

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Super Bowl XLV is today, and you’re invited to join us for #BZBowl 2011 as a great group of cool marketers, branding experts, creative instigators, authors, and pop culture mavens create a running commentary on how brands will be using the biggest advertising, marketing, (and social media?) event of the year.

BZ Bowl Official Start Time

  • 6:00 pm EST / 5:00 pm CST (This is the official broadcast start, although we’ll be tweeting before the game broadcast)

Participating on Twitter with Hashtags

  • To participate in the BZ Bowl, simply add #BZBowl to your tweets.
  • To get your tweet seen in other Super Bowl Twitter streams, you can also use: #BrandBowl, #SuperBowlAds, #SBXLV, or #ADBowl
  • There’s a widget at the bottom of this post to track #BZBowl tweets.
  • Beyond using Twitter, Tweetdeck, or Hootsuite, Tweetchat is a convenient site to log in with the #BZBowl hashtag to track and share your tweets on Super Bowl ads. The great thing about Tweetchat is it automatically adds the #BZBowl hashtag to each tweet so you don’t have to remember.
  • All the #BZBowl tweets will be archived at wthashtag.com.

#BZBowl Participants

Preview Super Bowl Ads Ahead of Time

Going to a Super Bowl Party? Take the #BZBowl Super Bowl Ad Clichés

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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On Wednesday, Barrett Sydnor shared the “Cracking the Ad Code” model he’ll be using this year to evaluate Super Bowl advertising. As one reader emailed last night, the model has a lot of elements to think about with a Super Bowl ad when you’re attending a Super Bowl party.

Great point!

So for those looking for a little simpler Brainzooming approach to following along with Super Bowl ads, we created a party version of the #BZBowl game. You can download and print out these #BZBowl party game sheets (there are 20 different sheets in the PDF), and the first time one of the Super Bowl ad clichés on your sheet is used, you receive the associated score in that quarter (or during half time).

Pass the sheets out at your party and give out prizes to the party guests who have the sharpest eyes for clichés and score the most points overall and during each time period.

Sorry though, you’ll have to supply the prizes.

And while you’re at it, join us live on Twitter, with the Super Bowl XLV broadcast beginning at 5 p.m. CST this Sunday, February 6, 2011. Share your opinions on Super Bowl ads by including #BZBowl in your tweets before, during, and after the game! – Mike Brown

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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3

The Super Bowl has long been the sporting event of the year.  Over time, it has also become the biggest advertising event of the year.  Numerous major brands launch campaigns during Super Bowl, catapulting the price of a 30-second spot to around $3 million.

Social media, however, is starting to challenge the nature of Super Bowl advertising.  According to a recent survey from Lightspeed Research, a unit of WPP’s Kantar, 18% of people will look up ads online with smartphones on Super Bowl Sunday.  So, the internet has definitely became an integral part of Super Bowl advertising, and smart brands are learning how to leverage social media to make their ad campaigns work that much harder.

The shout out for the “smartest” brand in this area must go to Old Spice.  It’s an old brand that has been revitalized and reborn from the Super Bowl campaign Old Spice ran last year.  In an effort to improve sales, Old Spice launched The Old Spice Guy campaign that targeted men and “their ladies.”  (After all, the ladies are the ones shopping the aisle.)  The campaign launched with traditional tactics such as television commercials and print ads, plus online display banner ads.  On top of it all, there were Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube components. These tactics were designed to work together and reinforce each other.  This is what nirvana looks like for an integrated marketing campaign with both traditional and new media:  The Old Spice Guy from TV replies to tweets via YouTube videos!

The results say it all:

  • The campaign achieved 1.4 billion impressions.
  • Video views were 40 million per week.
  • Sales increased double digits.
  • Market share grew, challenging for segment leadership.

I haven’t even got to the smartest part of this whole campaign – this Super Bowl campaign DIDN’T INCLUDE a $3 million Super Bowl ad! The television commercial was released around the Super Bowl.  Then, the marketers bought key search terms.  So, when the 18% of people looked up “Super Bowl ads” online, they found have the Old Spice Guy!

It was genius!

And it called for a second act from the Old Spice Guy.

This year, all the forums for the Old Spice Guy to engage with fans have already been set up from the prior year.  Old Spice Guy is already posting on Facebook.  Tweets are flying.  Teasers are on YouTube.  It’s reported that a fan will have his/her own ad, and it will debut on Super Bowl Sunday.  The new Old Spice Guy TV commercial will start running on February 7, the day after Super Bowl Sunday, though I have no doubt that if you search for “Super Bowl Ads”, you will find the Old Spice Guy. – Jeannie Chan

This guest post was written by #BZBowl participant, Jeannie Chan. Jeannie is a passionate brand manager, who’s fueled by intellectual curiosity and caffeine.  While Jeannie has been a marketer for nearly a decade, each day still brings her new challenges.  She keeps tracks of it all on her blog CuriousMarketeer.com.

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Super Bowl ad “best of” lists tend to rely on one of three perspectives:

While these lists are often entertaining and the comments potentially insightful, they generally lack any objective criteria that allow you to apply the success or failures of Super Bowl ads to your own situation.

In an attempt to provide criteria, last year #BZBowl, sponsored by The Brainzooming Group, used ratings from the SUCCES (Simplicity, Unexpectedness, Concreteness, Credibility, Emotional, Stories) model the Heath Brothers explained in their book on effective communication, Made to Stick.  While this raised the Super Bowl ad analysis above “I liked it ‘cause I thought it was funny,” I’m not sure that an ad that hit on multiple parts of the SUCCES criteria is any better than one that hit really well on only one criteria.

In their book, however, the Heaths cite research on advertising creativity from a group of Israeli social scientists. That research showed award winning ads nearly always make use of a rather short list of tools. The researchers’ subsequent book, Cracking the Ad Code, describes the eight tools and two complementary principles present in nearly every ad professionals judge as award winning and audiences describe as “creative.”

Briefly, the eight tools are:

  • Unification – using an element of the medium or in its vicinity to deliver the message.
  • Activation – using the viewer as a resource to reveal the message.
  • Metaphor – exploiting symbols or cognitive frameworks that already exist in the mind of the viewer to deliver the message.
  • Subtraction – excluding an element of the medium considered to be indispensible.
  • Extreme Consequence – presenting an extreme—sometimes negative—situation that happens as a result of using the product.
  • Extreme Effort – depicting the absurd lengths a consumer will go to obtain a product or the extreme lengths a company will go to in order to please a consumer.
  • Absurd Alternative – showing a possible, though highly outlandish and impractical, alternative to the product being offered.
  • Inversion – suggests how horrible the world would be without the advertised product.

The two complementary principles are Fusion and Closed World:

  • Fusion involves melding the symbol for something, its story, and the product or brand you are advertising. If your story is connection and your product is a telecommunications, the fusion is your logo becomes the world, i.e. ATT.
  • Closed World uses symbols or ideas from the actual world of the product. E.g. detergents would use clothes, stains, washing machines, not flowers, sunshine and mountaintops.

Ads employing Fusion and Closed World are judged more creative.

So for this year’s #BZBowl, The Brainzooming Group will track Super Bowl ads to see which ads employ  these tools and principles. We will also look at a sampling of “best of” lists to see if use of those tools match up with the ads on those lists. Look for our #BZBowl analysis recap mid-week following the Super Bowl.

Remember, if you want to tweet your thoughts live on which Super Bowl ads are good, better, best (or even crappy), include the #BZBowl hashtag in your tweets and join us for the smart, intimate, and conversational Super Bowl ad chat before, during, and after the Super Bowl this Sunday, February 6, 2011!Barrett Sydnor

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming at gmail.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we’ve developed  integrated social media strategy for other brands and can do the same for yours.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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The second annual #BZBowl is a Twitter-based chat The Brainzooming Group is sponsoring Super Bowl Sunday, February 6, 2011, and you’re invited to join us! Featuring cool marketers, branding experts, creative instigators, authors, and pop culture mavens (i.e., YOU and all the other Brainzooming blog readers) #BZBowl will be a running commentary on how brands are using what has become the biggest advertising and marketing event of the year.

Based on the strong response to last year’s #BZBowl, you can expect great branding insights, a little bit of snark, lively conversations, and no spammers (in contrast to other Super Bowl chats)!

Planned #BZBowl Activities

Here’s How You Can Participate in #BZBowl

  • Let us know if you’ll be joining us by replying to @Brainzooming on Twitter with #BZBowl in your tweet. Be sure to share the link with others as well. In fact, you can copy and tweet this to do both:

I’ll be tweeting on #SuperBowlAds w/ the #BZBowl sponsored by @Brainzooming. Join us Feb 6th! Info: http://bit.ly/hDNlBI

We’re up for ideas, so let us know what you think, and please plan to join us, Sunday, February 6 for #BZBowl! – Mike Brown

 

For a creative boost, download the free Brainzooming ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to enhance your creative perspective! For an organizational boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

 

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Strong interactive marketing can involve lots of design, complexity, and technology to make sure it works and engages the audience. Or interactive marketing can be done very simply and smartly, letting your ingenuity and creativity carry the day. That’s the route Houlihan’s took with this “interactive” email I received Friday. No places to click. No videos to set up the promotion. Just an engaging graphic drawing audience members in to figure out where they stand among the Super Bowl party invite crowd.

The only way it could have been improved?

It should include the #BZBowl as a great Super Bowl option for everyone!

Super Bowl Sunday, February 6, 2011 will mark the second annual #BZBowl, a Twitter-based chat sponsored by The Brainzooming Group, featuring folks from a whole variety of marketing, branding, social media, customer service, and other creative perspectives tweeting about they think works and doesn’t work in this year’s Super Bowl advertising and marketing camapigns.

Look for introductory details in Monday’s Brainzooming blog, when we’ll finally know what teams will be playing!  

Note: Houlihan’s isn’t a client, and there’s no direct payment for this shout out, but I have partaken multiple times in Houlihan’s Fourquare check-in deal for Free Frites! Love those Free Frites!Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your brand strategy and implementation efforts.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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