Hit or miss? Adding up the Super Bowl ads

4:28 PM, Feb 8, 2010   |    comments
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Cole Koehler and Ben Krueger's commercial for Doritos titled "Snack Attack Samurai"

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Let the post-game party begin. Instead of celebrating a New Orleans Saints Super Bowl Sunday win, millions of Americans will stand around the water coolers on Monday morning and talk about the game within the game. The commercials always generate a ton of discussion on the day after.

"The Super Bowl always has some really creative stuff and some stuff where you say they spent all that money to get us that?" U of M Carlson School of Marketing Chair George John said.

Nearly 40 advertisers shelled out millions for 30 second spots during the big game. Anheuser-Busch bought the most slots; 9 all told. John says the beer-maker went away from tradition, and it might have hurt the brand-image. "You typically associate Anheuser-Busch with frogs and Clydesdales and ads that tug at your heart strings. This time it was very product-focused," John remarked.

Two of the most prolific Super Bowl advertisers, Pepsi and General Motors, were noticeably absent from the airwaves in 2010. "I'd call this Hyundai's coming out party. They had two great ads, each of which really connected to what they were trying to do," the professor said. One featured legendary, ever-popular Vikings quarterback Brett Favre, the other focused on a red car that John said really popped on millions of hi-def TV sets across the country.

An estimated 100 million viewers were expected to watch the big game, with an estimated 40 million people expected to watch the ads on-line.

Experts say TV commercials were the first step, but social media would be just as important to advertisers. "People put it up on YouTube, they text it to their friends, they email it. It's on their Facebook page. So there are a lot of links (possible)," Mike Gatti of the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association said.

"If you can get some traction where you get some proactive behavior on their part, everybody thinks it's a win," John added.

And a team of local guys won big as well, getting an enormous nation-wide audience for their Doritos spot. Ben Kruger and Cole Koehler shot their commercial at Upper Cut Gym in Minneapolis. It was one of 4 the company picked to air during the Super Bowl; their samurai spot aired late in the 4th quarter.

(Copyright 2010 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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