Super Bowl Ads: Buzz and sales are very different things


Was it me, or were there very few ads in last night’s Super Bowl with a call to action?  There were some memorable images and concepts, as always, but in general there was very little effort placed on driving the viewer to a next step, to a Web site or social media presence where the experience and engagement could continue, where identification, registration and/or sales could happen.

Yes, there were a few URLs at the bottom of ads at the end.  But most appeared to be placed as an afterthought, or at least as a mere boilerplate with very little reason for viewers to go there.

You spend three million dollars on 30 seconds of air time (let alone the cost of creative and all the internal soft costs associated with executing the campaign), and you end up with a nice ad, some nice gameday buzz on Twitter, then what?  When the advertising world is buzzing about which ads were the most creative, what’s happening to your brand?  What’s happening to sales?

Driving ROI from that investment has very little to do with what the Madison Avenue elite think on Monday.  Is’t about what Main Street does on Monday and beyond.  That’s where the real value and ROI is created.

Pepsi was absent during the game last night, of course, because they’ve put that money into a massive social media effort instead. 

Is this the consumer brand equivivalent of having the courage to forego exhibiting at your industry’s big trade show?  At the show, a few people may wonder why you aren’t there, and you do miss out on grabbing the spotlight (briefly) when everyone’s looking in the same place.  But you smartly save your money and divert it to quieter but more effective marketing.  Long-term, are your sales (and strength of your business) better as a result?