There is a lot to see on Sunday’s Super Bowl: more than 50 commercials, each one costing well over $3 million and a big half time show featuring Beyonce. Oh yes, and there will be a football game. With all this advertising excitement it is easy to forget that part.
Every commercial provides an interesting story, even the clunkers. So pay attention to the ads. Remember that behind each spot there is a team of people that has worked exceptionally hard to create an impactful piece of communication. Of course, effort only goes so far. How did they do?
There are six brands that are particularly worth watching this year.
Chrysler: In 2011 and 2012 Chrysler stunned people by running unexpected ads that really broke through the clutter. The pressure is on this year to do it again. As in prior years, Chrysler hasn’t said anything about its plans for the game. What will it run? How does it follow the remarkable spots from 2011 and 2012?
Samsung and Blackberry: Two electronics giants will battle it out on the game. Blackberry has a thirty-second spot and needs to have a big impact to jump-start its turnaround plan. Samsung has two minutes and a terrific campaign to build on. Will Samsung crush Blackberry?
Mio: Kraft is looking to accelerate growth on Mio, its innovative water flavor enhancer. This is a tough creative challenge; most people don’t know Mio (what do you call that stuff, anyway?) so Kraft has a lot of explaining to do. How well will the spot work?
Lincoln: Ford is trying to rejuvenate Lincoln. The Super Bowl is critical in this effort. Does the brand break through the auto clutter? Or will Lincoln’s spot (and brand) be lost?
Budweiser: The biggest Super Bowl advertiser is Anheuser-Busch. For years AB dominated the ranking with the most popular spots. Will AB deliver this year? The popular Clydesdales figure prominently in at least one spot so that is a strong start.
It will be a fascinating day of advertising and marketing strategy.
And there will be some football, too.
I’ll post results from the Kellogg Super Bowl Advertising Review right after the game.
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Next week I will be speaking in San Antonio. I’m back in Chicago later in the week and will be reviewing the 2013 Super Bowl spots with the Harvard Business School Club of Chicago. If you’d like to join that event you can sign up here: http://www.hbsclubchicago.org/events.html