Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - Super Bowl Ads: 2008 Was No 1984

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Valeria: the Super Bowl spots, generally speaking, were a gross waste of money for the brands doing the spending. Budweiser had how many ads? Four? About $10 million, which is a small number for a Fortune 500 company of their size and ad budget, but a waste nonetheless. They will sell no more beer because of their Rocky Clydesdale spot. Or Breathing Fire (why did they do this?). Or any of the others. CPG brands *very very rarely* even break even on advertising.

The real winners? Sales Genie, who managed to insult both people of Indian as well as Chinese extraction, and Go Daddy, who reported a 4X increase in traffic over last year's ad. Both are web-based companies selling products at high margins. Pepsi at least had a strong call to action with their iTunes promotion. Doritos wasted money on a very nice girl's video that didn't sell any chips.

Advertising is about SELLING STUFF. How many advertisers remembered that on Sunday night? This is an exercise in corporate hubris. Yikes.

I'm not sure if we have grown tired of making our ads work as much as the country's collective consciousness is one of 'let's play it safe' which so often curtails the creative process....check out...

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  • Since 2006, Conversation Agent focuses on business, technology, digital culture, and human behavior. At Conversation Agent LLC, I help organizations and brands that want to build better experiences tell a new story.


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