Tuesday, February 9

Super Bowl 50 Advertising - What's Missing?

There's been pretty universal criticism that this year's Super Bowl buffet of advertising didn't quite cut it.

Sure, there was creativity (Puppy Monkey Baby), technology (New Money), and sarcasm (TJ Miller), but was there true entertainment and engagement? Entertainment and engagement certainly are goals for any spot, among other things.

So what was missing?

There wasn't a lot of insight, at least not to my eye. Great marketing is based on a true, unique, and emotional insight about the target audience. I honestly didn't see much of the creativity grounded in an insight. Even great entertainment is rooted in an emotional insight. There were very few emotional triggers to pull viewers into the message, and to get them to react and engage. Insights were a missing link IMHO.

There also wasn't a lot of social engagement, at least not as much as there could be. Sure, there was commentary and sharing, and many brand analysts have ranked the spots based on social impressions. But there wasn't a lot of social activity back and forth across multiple screens and multiple social outlets. We know people are using multiple screens, but we didn't see many brands leveraging that behavior. It's through multiple screens that you can drive a deeper relationship with the entertainment and the messaging, ultimately moving viewers to take action. Like to buy a product. I didn't see much of that kind of activity.

Finally, there wasn't an overall message to inspire. The Super Bowl is a huge stage, a global stage. It's an opportunity for a brand to make a statement, and to say something motivating and inspiring that can bring us all together. I didn't see much...except at the Half Time Show.

Now I realize that it's easy to criticize and there was a lot of good work in the mix. I just believe it could have gone even higher.

What do you think? What's your experience? JIM

Monday, February 8

There's a Dad Movement Afloat

This article appears on the site "Mens Movement." Click here to read it there.  JIM


Lessons Learned from This Year's Super Bowl Advertising

This article appears on Entrepreneur ... all about what small business owners and entrepreneurs can learn from big brand advertising in the Super Bowl.

Click here to give it a read.

What's your experience?  JIM


Sunday, February 7

Super Bowl 50 Advertising - As Tweeted

(this article also appears on Huffington Post - click here to read it there)

I held my annual Twitter party #SuperBowlExp during the Super Bowl again this year…not to sweat out the game but to comment on all of the brand activity. We collectively rate the advertising and evaluate the marketing, and then take breaks when the game is actually in play!

Most years there is a universal theme or two that shines through, but I have to say that this year was much more of a mixed buffet. Nothing in particular stood out.

But my Twitter Party goers were vocal nonetheless. Here are a few takeaways:

Longing for Nostalgia. Throughout the entire game, people were asking what happened to the Clydesdales? They are a beloved Super Bowl tradition and there was just but a small peek. The Super Bowl is about tradition…and people were longing for it. Which is why the Halftime Show montage resonated so well, as did the commercials featuring classic music from David Bowie and Queen.



It’s Tough to be Funny. The humor wasn’t so funny this year, or certainly not in comparison to prior years. The Doritos spots didn’t disappoint nor did the Heinz dogs. But outside of the dogs, there wasn’t a lot to laugh about. People are looking for some entertainment and they are hoping to ROTFLMAO. It wasn’t really there this year.



Technology is Changing Our Financials. Brands like PayPal, SoFi, Rocket Mortgage, and even Esurance showed modern ways to pay, borrow, and protect. All online, very fascinating and all about new/modern money.



Context is Everything. No offense to anyone in the healthcare industry, and by the way I am in the healthcare industry too, but I’m not sure that the Super Bowl is the right venue for discussing health issues. People are just not in the right mindset. Folks in my Twitter party were immediately dismissing the multiple placements. I think there’s a time and a place for such personal and serious topics, IMHO.

My personal favorite was the little ditty from Pantene, showing football players doing their daughters hair. Amazing content that has been continually shared before and after the game. Brought a huge smile to my face. Dad-Do indeed!




Social media was alive and well, with everyone commenting their opinions and brands interacting with each other. Brand analysts were calculating winners with the most impressions and the most positive of sentiment. It's become a game unto itself to make sure your brand is scoring with consumers on the big screen and on all the others as well.

But without a shadow of a doubt, the night belonged to Lady Gaga who set a new standard for singing the National Anthem. We have not gotten goose bumps like that since, well, Whitney Houston.


WOW.  What were your favorites? What's your experience?  JIM