Marketing

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.

Seattle vs. New England: Which Town Boasts More Brand Marketing Swagger?

A Letter from Seattle

Dear lovable New England Chowdah-heads,

We’re going to take a look at a few Seattle brands that are cranking it all the way to 12 ahead of the big game. But first, we’ve got some news for you, New England. There’s a little local company down the street from Curator’s offices called Amazon.com. They crunched a few numbers recently and found that Seattle fans love their team more than New England loves its Patriots. What?! How can that be? Well, first they looked at site searches, then they sliced and diced customer purchases. What Amazon discovered is that items from the Seattle Seahawks Fan Shop on Amazon sold more than 8 times the average NFL team, while the Patriots sold at just 2.5 times the average team. 

Ok, ok. I can understand that you might be leery of Amazon’s bias. They sure were quick to jump on the #deflategate bandwagon. 

Let’s take a look at some other Seattle-based brands and see how they’re participating in this Seahawks frenzy. Everyone knows Boston is famous for tea parties and Seattle loves its coffee. Starbucks, an official partner of the Seahawks, calls the coffee-drinking fans the “Legion of Brew.” This interesting partnership delivered exclusive Seahawks content via the official Seahawks mobile app, when L.O.B.s were sipping lattes inside a Starbucks location. The baristas’ shirts were pretty cool, too. 

Image source: Starbucks

Image source: Starbucks

Here in Jet City, both Delta (the team’s official airline partner) and Seattle-based Alaska Airlines want to be known as the Seahawks' biggest supporters. Personally, I like the local guys. At Alaska Airlines, Russell Wilson is the carrier’s Chief Football Officer. Anyone flying from Seattle wearing a #3 Hawks jersey gets to board their flight early. #GoHawks.

Speaking of travel, Expedia employees created an amazing 10-story shrine to Beast Mode completely out of construction paper displayed in the windows at HQ.

Image source: MyNorthwest/Dara  Khosrowhshahi

Image source: MyNorthwest/Dara Khosrowhshahi

Around here, when a brand or businesses uses its building to pay tribute to the team, we call that #Hawkitechture. Go ahead. Scroll through the #Hawkitechture hash tag on Instagram. I’ll wait here. It might take a while. There are just sooooo many. 

When it comes to personal branding, we at Curator have to tip our hats to the #12Pets. Some of those pets have an amazing content strategy. We can't decide who is more creative — @barkleysircharles and his 306K Instagram followers or @Meowshawn_Lynch and his 2,500 Twitter followers. 

You may have heard that recreational marijuana is legal here. We wondered if an industry so young would be ready to jump into the action. Sure enough! A hard-working marijuana dispensary is working round the clock to roll 12,000 joints in honor of the big game. This special Seahawks blend is marketed as the 12th Pack. 

But don’t worry. If that kind of green isn’t your thing, area grocers can hook you up with some fan-friendly organic produce. 

One final note from our local mythical creature brand, Sasquatch. He has made the most mesmerizing 12th Vine. Seriously. I challenge you to look away. 

With that, we’ll hand it over to you, Boston. We’re waiting to be impressed by your marketers' Patriot Pride.