Super Bowl Ads

Trust me when I say I am the last person who should be running a pool of any kind, much less a football playoff pool.  I don’t generally watch football and I have no clue who most of the players or coaches are, much less which team they are a part of.  I live in GB Packer country but I am not a die-hard cheese head and I admit to the sacrilege that I don’t know every player on the team (nor do I own an actual cheese head or any other Packer paraphernalia which is rampant in these parts).  So how did it ever come to pass that I am in charge of a pool that seems to grow each year?  Well it all started the fall that my son was born.  My husband wanted to start a family playoff pool.  He talked it up and got everyone interested, set the rules and collected all of the money.  I was home on maternity leave through the playoff season so he asked me to “keep track of things”.  My highly organized self couldn’t tolerate the handwritten tracking system he had started so I computerized it and started the email chain and here we are five years later and I am still in charge of it. 

Even though I run the pool I have not become any better are making picks- in fact this year was my worst yet as I picked the Caroline Panthers to win the Super bowl.  What can I say, I like their uniforms!  Because it isn’t in me to simply send out an update each week on the status of the pool rankings I use it as my time to communicate with my captive audience.  Sometimes I find some football-ish topic to expound upon.  For instance I commented on and shared an article this year about how Tom Brady shops online for his wife at Christmas because he has no time to actually go shopping at a store.  But what I really live for is the Super bowl for the ads.  And I spend considerable time informing my extremely fortunate pool participants on who paid what to advertise during the game and any tidbits I can find on what the ads will be about.  And then they receive my synopsis on the best and worst ads following the big game.  Yes, I really do record the Super bowl so that I can start watching it late and fast forward through the game to get to the ads.  This is a true fact!

I admit it right here that I am biased in regards to my favorite beer company so I tend to focus in on Budweiser’s work in my commentaries, usually trying to pick it apart, and while I may not care for their products usually they have memorable ad work.  Come on- who doesn’t feel that nostalgic pull of the heart strings when you see the Clydesdales being trained by a cute pup!  I am a sucker for the funny and the nostalgic ads, they resonate with me for the most part.  So what can we expect next Sunday? I am waiting to see these live on the day, but if you just can’t wait you can find most if not all of the ads here http://www.superbowl-commercials.org/cat/2014

This year it is expected that about 160 Million viewers will watch the ads that cost approximately $134,000 per SECOND to run!  This is INSANE money being spent, but will it have the results that a participating company dreams of?  Forbes.com has an article posted called “2014 Super Bowl Ad Engagement Playbook: Brands That’ll Win, Brands That’ll Draw, & Brands That Could Have Saved A Lot of Money” which made a great point “With 30-second spots selling for $4 million this year (plus mind-bogglingly high production costs), it should be a whole new game plan when it comes to ad effectiveness and ROI. It’s nice to entertain, but it’s always more profitable if you engage. Some brands are able to do both, but it’s always a lot harder than just casting celebrities, cute kids, or a Clydesdale colt in your ad.”  It will be interesting to see who actually engages with consumers this year.

So what are the experts saying about the ads this year?  I went to adage.com to get the full scoop.  We will see a ton of celebrities again this year- Scarlett Johansson, Ben Kingsley, Stephen Colbert, David Beckham, Arnold, the men of Full House and more.  We will see ads for beer, cars/trucks, greek yogurt, snacks, soda, and Carmex.  Many familiar brands are in the mix for this year.  However we are getting a break from E-trade’s talking baby this year, maybe it’s his nap time.  Who will be great and who will flop?   My favorite ad from 2013 was the “Farmer” ad by Dodge Ram Trucks with the voice over by Paul Harvey.  I don’t know that it tied especially well to trucks, or told me anything about the performance of the vehicle or why it is a better buy than a different brand, but the ad itself was a great piece of work that I still remember.   Do you need a refresher? Here’s the YouTube video:

 To see the advertisers and their estimated spend, I like the AdAge breakdown, which doesn’t overly wreck the surprise of the ads for me. http://adage.com/article/special-report-super-bowl/super-bowl-ad-chart-buying-super-bowl-2014/244024/

 Next week after I wake up from my carb induced coma that resulted after eating too much unhealthy food while dissecting said commercials, I’ll share my opinion on the good and the bad.  Until then…

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