Blog Feature

By: Jennifer Devitt on February 1st, 2015

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Snow day Monday, Super Bowl, Brand Bowl marketing genius and duds in review!

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Well, happy snowy Monday! Here in the Chicago area, we have another snow day! Some places saw 20+ inches of snow! Schools are closed, many businesses as well. While our physical office is closed, we are working! In our neck of the woods, we saw approximately 15 inches of snow. It's hard to say exactly because of all the blowing. Our kids were laughing saying our neighbor stole our snow because on one side of our house it all blew over to the neighbor's yard. No joke we can see grass on one side and it's waist high by the neighbors! Our short little Westie dog isn't complaining!

The weather probably puts a damper on lots of Super Bowl parties. I am sure it skewed the ratings somewhat. I heard this morning that it was the highest rated Super Bowl ever. But was it or did the weather skew the ratings? With many roads here unplowed, some people who would've gone to a party to watch with friends watched from home. My thought is, those people all still watched but on multiple tvs versus one big screen at a party. Also, many who may not have watched, tuned in because they were snowed in.

While the ratings were up and the game was close, I think many of the commercials missed their mark and the half-time show was, meh! I think there were some big hits of course. Some that were branding genius that we will remember and talk about for a while. Some were well not new ads at all. Let's discuss a few shall we?

1. Katy Perry Half-time. Ok, I am going to start with this one. For one, I thought Pepsi's ad for the "First half-time" was awesome. I thought the half-time show would be good. My kids all like Katy, so I thought ok, this should be good. But, instead, we all sat here saying "OMG" or "that's bad" or from my kids "When is Kim Jong Un gonna come out with margaritas!". Yes, my kids watched The Interview. My oldest is a dancer, and we found it sad that some backup dancers were outfitted like cartoon sharks or beach balls and she much preferred watching Missy Elliot. I mean when the teenagers take to Twitter and all tweet about "Firework" and The Interview instead of how good the show was, you missed your mark. In the beginning, I found the special effects and dancers on the chess board to be cool but wondered how it played out in the stadium.

2. Nationwide. OK, at the end my exact words were "That's awful".  I am a Mom, and yes we all need to be aware of the preventable dangers to our kids, but come on. This ad just took the air out of the room. Kids are watching Nationwide! And, let's just say the tweets following the ad, were well not pleasant! I think this could've been a PSA for another time.

3. Skechers Pete Rose "Hall". This is one of those ads that is not newly created for the Super Bowl. I have endured this ad for months, all while listening to Dave laugh and say it was brilliant! You see Dave & I disagree on if Mr. Rose should be pardoned and allowed back in baseball and be in the Hall of Fame. My thoughts on it since I first saw it is, it's things like this that he does that keeps him out of the hall of fame!

4. Always "Like a Girl".  As a Mom to 2 girls and 1 boy, I loved this ad. I found it awful though that instead of embracing the ad, "Like a Boy" started trending! Others on Twitter were offended by an ad for a feminine hygiene product during the Super Bowl. Really, come on! They only thing related to the product was the name! Some found this offense but hinting at Viagra usage in the Fiat ad is ok?

5. Dodge "Wisdom". This was also a hit in our house. "Keep your eyes open and your mouth shut!", love it! I did see a tweet about it terrifying someone's kid and sent them screaming from the room? Really, do your children not have Grandparents or any elderly family or friends? My oldest loves any commercials with elderly folks!

6. Microsoft. Microsoft had two spots. While they might not have been hilarious, I found them awesome. Being technology spots, they show different ways technology can benefit anyone. In one ad, they show how the power of technology help a young child to walk again. In Estella's Brilliant Bus, there is a bus that brings technology to kids who otherwise might not have access.

On our local WGN newscast this morning, Professor Tim Calkins from Kellogg School of Management discussed the the good, the bad and the ugly of the ads. I watched him on the newscast, the link is from the radio broadcast. On the newscast, he discussed the importance of staying true to the brand, like Budweiser does. He also discussed why the ads he viewed as a flop failed. For some, it was that they were just plain ordinary. They were ads you would see every day, they didn't make a splash or leave a lasting impression. When you are spending millions of dollars and have the kind of audience you expect on Super Bowl Sunday, you need to go beyond the ordinary and leave your mark.

So, what was your favorite spot? Were you snowed in or did you brave the elements and head to a party? As I mentioned, we stayed in, did some pre-game cleaning and lots of shoveling and ate many things I would never allow on a regular day. And to cap it off we got the call that the schools were closed! If you had to venture out today, be safe! I hope many of you, like us here at SYDCON,  are using the power of technology to be business as usual, even from the comfort of your homes in your PJ's instead of risking an accident on unplowed roads!