Super Bowl Ads Recap and Analysis

What is the purpose of an Superbowl advertisement? Is is branding, comedy or SALES? It is my understanding that all advertisements are supposed to generate twice as much revenue as they cost and at the very least should be able to pay for themselves with sales. Here is a VERY subjective look at Superbowl ads old and new and their sales effectiveness.

According to CNN Money, the 2010 super bowl ads cost “a record $2.6 million for a 30-second spot”. Add that to the approximately 1 million dollars it takes to produce the ad. That is a tremendous amount of money to have to recoup with sales and it doesn’t even touch what companies like Dorito’s and Papa Johns paid to be official sponsors of the event.

The other consideration is whether the ad is effective for just men or just women. At halftime my husband’s favorite ads where the Snickers where they slammed Betty White into a puddle and also the Doritos bark collar. I liked the irony of Oprah, Jay and Dave sitting together having a terrible Superbowl party BUT that is totally branding AND you have to know a lot of back story to have it make sense. That having been said, to people who DO pay attention it was worth a chuckle. I also like the ongoing Budweiser ads with the Clydesdales although this years was just okay.

I have been VERY disappointed with the ads and was particularly grouchy about one that had people flipping around in a pool like dolphins. REALLY? You are a Madison Avenue ad firm with a million dollar budget and the ability to do ANYTHING and you come up with slog like that?!?!!?

My Husband’s favorite commercial of all time is far and away the Nissan pigeons. We had a little talk about the effectiveness of the ad since he has never bought a Nissan, but John contends that it is a success because he talks about that commercial years later. He also thinks that paying this much attention to commercials is stupid, but that is a post for another day…:)

I don’t care what anyone says…I LOVED and they were around just about the time that Stanley Brown Dog was a puppy so I have to say that single handed-ly tried to purchase enough new toys to keep them in business!! That having been said, having a business model that effectively loses money while spending gagillions on advertising may not be the exact way to go.

The Apple Computer Ad 1984 is my all time favorite commercial and the very first time that I remember noticing advertising as something I liked to study! It was directed by Ridley Scott and has set the bar pretty high for the competition. There IS something to be said for the fact that I did not purchase an Apple product until a couple of years ago – was it actually effective or just neat?


  1. says

    I thought this year’s crop was particularly weak; the Google ad in particular, while well-done, missed the mark completely. Superbowl ads are primarily about the branding.


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