Tag Archives: Super Bowl advertising

Any Press

There is an old expression that “any press is good press.” It has a couple of corollaries – “as long as they spell my name right” being one. I’d like to examine that in light of the most talked about ad of last night’s Super Bowl, Puppymonkeybaby.” This was a bizarre ad for a new flavor of soda and featured three lovable things – a puppy, a monkey, and a baby – mashed up into a strange creature. I’m sure you’ve seen the ad by now. 
According to iSpot.tv:

Mountain Dew dominated Super Bowl winning 1st place for the top performing commercial on game-day with its weirdly unmistakable “Puppymonkeybaby” ad. Even with so many ads, this unique spot captured nearly 13% of the big game’s Digital Share of Voice, generating over 244k social actions and a total social volume of over 272mm impressions and more than 2.25mm organic video views on game day.

No question that the ad made an impression. It finished, however, towards the bottom of the USA Today ad meter rankings (almost 20,000 pre-registered people weigh in) and, more importantly, lit up social media with comments ranging from humorous (adopt your puppymonkeybaby from a shelter) to the negative (I’ve never felt so uncomfortable watching a commercial) to the frightened (I don’t even know what #puppymonkeybaby was supposed to be advertising. All I know is the fear.) Generally, the comments were negative.

So is any press – or our 2016 version of press – social media – good press? I don’t think so.  Any brand that thinks just getting their name out there is following a terribly misguided strategy.  Huge amounts of  press for the wrong reasons can kill a brand.  The folks at the Stanford Graduate School of Business put out a study that said in some cases negative publicity can increase sales when a product or company is relatively unknown, simply because it stimulates product awareness.  Their thinking is that the negative impression fades over time and increased awareness may remain.  Given how most people research today using search engines, you can be very sure the negative impression will remain too.

Any press isn’t good press.  I won’t be buying the soda and I’m not buying that the negative impression made by the ad is a good thing. You?

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Getting Engaged

Last night was the annual advertising festival known as “The Super Bowl.”

The San Francisco 49ers' Super Bowl XXIX troph...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They play a football game while the ads aren’t running although the one they played last night was not great. If you think I’m emphasizing the ads over the game or being a little too tongue in cheek some polls find up to half the viewers consider the ads their favorite part of the viewing experience.

This morning there is ample discussion of the ads and given that time in the game itself cost north of $4,000,000 for a 30-second unit, the brands running these ads try to deploy them before the game in the hopes that they’ll “go viral” to some extent.  They were successful: Super Bowl ads running on YouTube weeks before the big game were watched 66,058,625 times before this weekend. Since that’s all the ads in the aggregate, it’s only a fraction of the audience the commercials had in the game broadcast.  However, every eyeball is valuable and the digital versions can be looked at in other ways that demonstrate engagement.

According to Tubular Labs, an analytics company,  a number of the ads also generated some buzz via tweets and  Facebook shares and they compared those activities to the ads’ YouTube views to measure the total viewer engagement with the ads.  That’s where I get a little lost and here’s what I mean.

There is an AXE ad with  3.6million views.  It was shared on Facebook 50,000 times and tweeted roughly 5,900 times.  The analytics company says these social actions translate into a 1.6% engagment rate which was the highest they saw.  The lowest engagement, for a Butterfinger ad, was tiny – .03% and shares were in the hundreds.  Interesting, but it leaves out a very key measurement.

What is every one of those shares for the AXE ad went something like this:  “Kiss For Peace” is the worst ad I’ve ever seen.  Why would you waste money on this crap?  I’m never going to consider AXE again.  Engaged?  Yes.  But is that the sort of engagement we want as marketers?  What if every Butterfinger share raved about how good it the ad was and expressed a desire to eat a Butterfinger immediately?  Better?

It’s always important to measure.  It’s also important to dig a little deeper into those measurements.  I’d take smaller positive engagement over larger expressions of anger every time.  It’s not just “what is it?” but also “what of it?” as we gather data.  Make sense?

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