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Super Bowl Ads and the Evolution of Online Marketing




Do you remember Pets.com? Back in 2000, the internet company made a big splash with a clever Super Bowl ad that had pet owners rushing to the site to buy dog food. Actually, not the second part. Like a lot of companies during the dot.com boom, the Super Bowl ad was the first and final hurrah for Pets.com.

While you won’t see the return of the dot.com dandies this Super Bowl, Advertising Age is predicting a big run on ads that are digitally and socially enhanced. Go read the article. I’ll wait.

(Insert “The Girl from Ipanema” here.)

Back? Great. Pete Blackshaw makes a reference to a POEM framework: paid media, owned media and earned media. It’s his contention, and I totally agree, that the successful brands will find a way to balance the golden POEM triangle in order to get the very most out of every ad dollar.

Let’s look at the Super Bowl. The ads have become as important as the game. They’re the only reason I watch. But in the past, even the most ingenious ads had a short shelf life. Today, that doesn’t have to be the case. That clever ad can now rest on a company’s home page or Facebook page. People can leave comments on it and share it with friends. Before the game is even over, viewers will likely be Tweeting about their favorite ads and if you’ve done your job right, they’ll mention the brand. Remember herding cats? Do you remember the company behind the ad? No one does.

With the proper mix of TV, social and digital marketing, a single Super Bowl ad can live on through the Stanley Cup finals and beyond. As Blackshaw says, “Google never forgets.” Just like I was reminded of Pets.com and EDS (the herding cats people) when I looked up the history of Super Bowl ads. Once it’s out there on the net, it’s there to stay.

Now you’re saying, ‘wonderful, but I’m not a big brand name. I can’t afford a Super Bowl ad.’  To that, I say, it’s the principle not the Super Bowl that matters. Too many companies segment their efforts instead of working together to create a cohesive message. Banner taglines should match Twitter posts and Facebook updates and, as we’ve said before, each effort should drive traffic to the others.

What’s also important is that you take advantage of short trend windows and brand hype. If the Tweeters are all a Twitter about a new running shoe, then maybe it’s a good time to Tweet about your patented running shorts or granola bars for quick energy.

You don’t have to run a Super Bowl ad to benefit from the ad hype. Create a short YouTube vid and call it, the “Super Bowl ad” I would have made if I had the money. If it’s clever enough, it could go viral and for a fraction of the cost.

It’s time to get creative people, and to get your creative people all on the same page. Whatever the size of your company or budget, use the ads and the social media campaigns of the big boys to inspire you to step up your game.

Have a favorite Super Bowl commercial or a great idea for an ad of your own? Tell us about it.

  • http://searchmarketingwisdom.com/ Alan Bleiweiss

    And whatever you do, be sure your site’s server can handle a crush of visits. The company I worked for back in the mid 90s created the original Publishers Clearing House web site. For Super Bowl XXXI (1997), they ran a Super Bowl ad about giving away all those millions. And sent people to their site to participate in the giveaway. And the server crashed. big time. Fortunately for me, I wasn’t responsible for the server / uptime aspects of the project. But we were on-site at the server farm that day, watching the network traffic spike, peak, then crash.

    Not a good way to execute a campaign.

  • http://hottrends001.blogspot.com google trend

    i like the idea ,You don’t accept to run a Super Bowl ad to account from the ad hype. Create a abbreviate You Tube vid and alarm it, the Super Bowl ad I would accept fabricated if I had the money. If it’s able enough, it could go viral and for a atom of the cost.