Successful Super Bowl Ads Generate a Reaction

Curator’s Scott Battishill joined some of the industry’s most successful and accomplished advertisers and marketers last week for the American Advertising Federation’s 2016 Chalk Talk. The panel spent the evening going over spots from #SB50, sharing their opinions on what worked, what didn’t, which made an impact and which were duds.

The overall sentiment was that companies have to take a stand, make a splash, or do something crazy to stand out in such a loud, crowded marketplace.

To put it bluntly, neutrality sucks and it’s not going to get brands anywhere.

Some brands seemed to put out ads just for the sake of having an ad. They wasted $5+ million and didn’t take advantage of the stage they were on. The spots that everyone forgot about were the spots that didn’t have brand recognition, connect with the viewer, or strongly tie into social, which is where the conversation would continue long after the Lombardi trophy was awarded.

When a brand is competing for attention, they have to be the Donald Trump: loud, crazy, controversial and memorable. Brands who are safe, boring, neutral – the Jeb Bush of commercials – are forgotten. When there is so much going on in the viewer’s life – a game to watch, a beer to drink, a friend to talk to – it’s easy for a brand to get lost in the commotion. Spots that stood out made viewers stop, listen, react and respond.

So the take away here isn’t, “What’s the formula for a successful Super Bowl commercial?” The take away is brands will never get anywhere sitting in the middle. Whether good or bad, some reaction is better than no reaction. Either way, people are still talking about your brand and [hopefully] remembering your product.

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For Chalk Talk 2016, Scott was joined by Mary Knight, Principal and ECD of Hydrogen; Ronan O’Mahony, Director of Brand & Advertising at T-Mobile; Cal McAllister, Co-Founder and CEO of Wexley School for Girls; and Troy McCall, Freelance Creative Director. The event was moderated by Chris Copacino, Account Director at copacino+fujikado.