Sally H. vs. Steve Y.

Okay, let the game begin. This is where we’ll be posting Sally and Steve’s back and forth as the game goes on. Let’s see what happens.

sallyhogshead Okay, the gloves are off and I’m ready for “Super Bowl Smackdown” – live commentary with @steveyastrow at #tpsb43 and

sallyhogshead Quite the collection of advertising clichés in StateFarm spot: faux press conference, dream sequence, celebrity, mis-direct ending.

steveyastrow #tpsb43 This Audi chase ad may be exciting, but it is confusing, over done, and … it includes car crashes! Car crashes in a car ad …hmm

steveyastrow Hyundai is taking some risks by having multiple messages tonight – their Assurance program and the car of the year.

steveyastrow Remember Max Headroom from the ’80’s? In the future attention spans would be so short that TV ads would be 1 second. Future = now

sallyhogshead @steveyastrow Steve: What’s your take on a $3M media pricetag for :30 (or $100k / second) during a recession?

sallyhogshead Always surprises to see CMOs spend top media $ without top-shelf creative thinking behind it. This pre-game work is rather sub-par.

steveyastrow Yes, I can’t even remember what ads I saw in the pre-game, and I’m trying to pay attention!

sallyhogshead On average, Superbowl parties have 17 people. Will Twitter lower that number, by giving people a virtual party?

steveyastrow Yes, the audience is 100 million people, but 97 million are dipping chips in guacamole right now.

sallyhogshead I don’t care if the media is cheaper, it’s still a waste to have lame ideas in the commercials.

sallyhogshead I don’t care if the media is cheaper, it’s still a waste to have lame ideas in the commercials.

steveyastrow Sally, my take on $3MM for 30 seconds in a recession: Customers are so scrutinizing right now, spending 3cents each on 100 million people is spreading yourself too thin. They won’t pay attention.

steveyastrow #tpsb43 This Audi chase ad may be exciting, but it is confusing, over done, and … it includes car crashes! Car crashes in a car ad …hmm

sallyhogshead Audi spot is great because it’s so YouTube-friendly- you want to watch over n over. Highly crafted for Audi consumer tastes. #tpsb43

steveyastrow #tpsb43 Yes, if Iwatched the Audi ad 100 times on youtube, I might get it …. if.

sallyhogshead Hold on, deja vu, are we seeing two time-compression-technique spots almost back to back (Audi/Pepsi)?

steveyastrow #tpsb43 The Doritos ad was hilarious … but will be the classic, “Who was that ad for?” conversation at the water cooler tomorrow.

sallyhogshead Recent study stated that a single Superbowl ad generates more sales than 250 regular commercials. I bet more.

steveyastrow #tpsb43 Sally, so why is reaching 100 million people at one time a good idea? Seems like a mile wide and an inch deep to me

steveyastrow #tpsb43 Sally … but what are “regular commercials?”

steveyastrow #tpsb43 The bigger the audience, the more diluted, the more people watching who don’t care about your message … very few sales being made

sallyhogshead #tpsb43 Huge disagreement: SB is the ultimate shared experience in USA. Its power isn’t the TV buy, but in the social currency afterwards.

steveyastrow #tpsb43 I hope Conan O’brien got paid a lot, and enjoyed the shoot. It certainly didn’t sell a lot of beer

sallyhogshead #tpsb43 For 30 seconds, you have the attention of consumers and thought leaders all at once. Nothing else delivers 100M people WANTING ads

steveyastrow #tpsb43 Does shared experience lead to sales? Or just a lot of chatter?

sallyhogshead Just like people love to play “armchair quarterback” during the game, during the commercials it’s “armchair marketer.”

steveyastrow #tpsb43 So far Audi and Bridgestone have shown car crashes/accidents in their ads. And our whole party thought the Castrol ad was “creepy”

steveyastrow #tpsb43 Sally, but do armchair marketers buy the products? Or just talk?

sallyhogshead Goal to justify $3M media cost: don’t just entertain, but change minds and provoke action. Entertainment is sooo ’08.

steveyastrow #tpsb43 $3MM across 100 million consumers is 3 cents each. What kind of effect can you expect for 3 cents? Not much, but the superficial.

steveyastrow #tpsb43 GoDaddy wastes their money again. Not only tasteless, but it give no one a reason to use them.

sallyhogshead #tpsb43 Steve: armchair marketers debate, which equals free media over and over. Example: YouTube, web hits, and Tweets like THIS.

steveyastrow #tpsb43 After the GoDaddy shower ad, my friend said, What’s GoDaddy? I explained and she said, “Oh, I think we used them for my website.”

steveyastrow #tpsb43 Ok, the Pepsi Max is very unpleasant to watch. But only they could get away with it.

sallyhogshead 3 cents each: that’s the geometric growth of free PR. If it’s not worth bringing up in convo tomorrow, the brand shouldn’t run it.

sallyhogshead The biggest mistake Superbowl advertisers make is to water down their message, and run a commercial that’s nothing but vanilla mush.

sallyhogshead In Superbowl commercials, as in the SB game, you lose if you wuss out and play it safe.

sallyhogshead For SB, an ad agency might spend the entire year coming up with HUNDREDS of potential ideas, and then produce just one. Earn it.

steveyastrow #tpsb43 I’ve never bought into the excuse that buzz makes up for ludicrous ad buys. Bernie Madoff had lots of buzz, too.

sallyhogshead This year’s SB ads need to be multi-tasking machines: to prompt action, incite talk, and earn a consumer’s attention.

sallyhogshead RT @dhorridge: @sallyhogshead Sally, I’m not sure that Steve understands that time is the new currency.

steveyastrow #tpsb43 Sally, so what kind of buzz will lead to sales, or just to forgotten chuckles?

sallyhogshead A Superbowl ad should be tip of iceberg in terms of marketing halo. Check out Pepsi:

sallyhogshead Chuckles: no. Breaking through inertia and cynicism with humor to overcome savvy consumer’s natural resistance : yes.

sallyhogshead Today, Americans will consume 8 million lbs of guac, and 14,500 tons of chips. Maybe add a few obesity commercials too?

steveyastrow #tpsb43 Yes, some of these ads will work. But putting all of your chips on red 14 might work also … but most of the time it won’t.

steveyastrow tpsb43 Rationalizing SB advertising due to all of the buzz/conv is not senscial. Call these what they are: speculative, risky investments.

sallyhogshead I dislike the ads but admit they use controversy well. Too bad the concepts so weak– nothing to buzz about but boobs.

sallyhogshead “Buzz” is the only way to crack through consumer inertia unless you have world-changing data-driven rational benefit (most don’t).

steveyastrow #tpsb43 How does GoDaddy use controversy well? They get talk, but it can’t help their business. Talk doesn’t make the cash register ring.

sallyhogshead Social currency = people want to engage with, play with, learn from, talk about, and above all OWN a brand. That is sales.

steveyastrow #tpsb43 Brand harmony works much better than buzz. Have many interactions that all blend to tell a story. Then the talk will be powerful.

sallyhogshead GoDaddy: “Super Bowl Advertising Working for Go Daddy”

steveyastrow #tpsb43 The world is a very noisy place. Brute force rarely cuts through the clutter. Many interactions blending in harmony does cut through

sallyhogshead Isn’t buzz an infused part of brand harmony? One part – mixed with retail exp, cust relations, packaging, etc etc

steveyastrow #tpsb43 Did anyone find the Hyundai shouting ad a little xenophobically offensive? Germans and Japanese screaming.

steveyastrow #tpsb43 Sure, buzz can be a part of brand harmony. But buzz is rarely manufactured through expensive production and a single viewing.

sallyhogshead Hyundai annoying yes, but like classic Absolut campaign based on the bottle, it reinforced benefit AND product name.

sallyhogshead Bud Light “Drinkability” – what do you think of using a marketing-centric piece of jargon in consumer-facing ad?

sallyhogshead Hyundai is not spreading too thin w/ 3 messages. It’s fragmentation of brand, keeping surprise + interest.

steveyastrow #tpsb43 The Teleflora ad sucked. Like car spots with car crashes, a florist ad with flowers berating a woman is a really bad idea.

steveyastrow #tpsb43 We’ve been so jaded by buzz lately, aren’t we entering an age of substance? People are so scrutinizing these days!

sallyhogshead Every year there’s a menagerie of talking bears pigeons, squirrels, monkeys, Clydesdales. Now anthropomorphized flowers!

steveyastrow #tpsb43 I agree … these ads are contrived, forced, unmemorable … and mostly un-buzzable.

It’s halftime and your correspondent has decided that you can follow the rest of this discussion by going to and searching for #tpsb43. that will bring up the whole discussion between Sally and Steve (and whoever else cared to join in by using the hashtag on their tweets).

Happy trails!

Erik Hansen posted this on February 1, 2009, in Marketing.
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