Super Bowl Ads Near Sell-out … WHY?????

Advertising Age reports that close to 90% of advertising time for the next Super Bowl is already sold. To the marketing folks at companies on whose behalf this time has been purchased, I have a question:

Did you buy anything as a result of the Super Bowl ads last year?

In fact, here’s another question for you:

Do you remember most of the Super Bowl ads from a year ago?

If you’re spending money, huge money, on advertising during the next Super Bowl, you better be able to answer a resounding “Yes” to both questions.

It will come as no surprise to readers of this blog that I am not a fan of “killer” creative, which seems to dominate Super Bowl advertising. Nor do I agree with those who try to convince us that “buzz” is a desirable result of advertising. “Biz” is a measurable result, and buzz without biz is just noise.

Successful advertising is about relevancy. It’s about selling your product. It’s not about some schmo standing at the water cooler on Monday morning saying “Hey, Dude … did you watch the ads on the Super Bowl yesterday?”

I have no problem with those who want to buy Super Bowl ad time. It’s their money. I have a distinct problem with those “creative” types who guide their clients down the wrong path. Creative awards simply don’t equal money in the client’s pocket. Just look at Crispin Porter & Bokusky, known to some as “the hottest” advertising agency in the country. After all, look at what their “killer” creative accomplished for Miller Lite (“Man Laws”) or ConAgra (“Deadenbacher”). Buzz? Maybe. But money losers. And accounts lost for CP&B.

We, as marketers, can’t get caught up in all the hype about the Super Bowl ads. We have an obligation to our clients to do everything we can to show them how to create advertising that works. It may be your client’s money, but if you drop $2 million to $3 million of their cash and don’t generate big business, the consequences could – and should – be grave.

Grant Johnson

Johnson Direct LLC