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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Super Bowl Ad Ratings: USA Today, Nielsen, MediaCurves

OK, Last word on Super Bowl 42 XLII Commercials this year (one week after the game) comes from the ratings services, which turned out to have very different results and to prove how much polls and statistics can vary. The most visible ratings came from USA Today, which awarded the top spot to the Budweiser "Rocky" send-up starring Hank the Clydesdale, who fails to make the team, then trains with a dog for a year and makes the beer wagon team next year. That spot is featured below in another post.

The next rating came from Nielsen and also gives their number one nod to Budweiser. But Nielsen also rates ads on TV viewership numbers and ranks them according to which was most seen - they give that honor to the Victoria's Secret ad with Adriana Lima, which ran in the fourth quarter in the second to last ad slot and they claim was seen by 103.6 Million viewers (and an additional 980,000 times on MySpace, 520,000 times on AOL, 417,000 times on YouTube.

Victoria's Secret Super Bowl Commercial with Adriana Lima

Super Bowl Commercials

Then comes Media Curves, which added an odd element of second-by-second emotional interest to their ratings and award the top slot to the Fedex Carrier Pigeons spot. That link shows you a graph of viewer interest on top of the ad as it plays, but that seems a bit silly to me. People who voted at MediaCurves liked Fedex more than Adriana Lima or Hank the Clydesdale because they were more emotionally engaged? Which emotions? Fear of flapping feathers and pigeon poop from both the normal dirty birds in that shipping department or the giant dirty birds outdoors wreaking havoc on the city and trashing the shipping managers car? Hmmmm. (AOL gave the top slot to Hank the Clydesdale again, and gave the Fedex spot position #10 in their top ten list!) Here's that Fedex Ad:

Fedex Super Bowl Ad: Carrier Pigeons Bad Choice for Shipping

Watch Superbowl Commercials.

Very interestingly, you can also judge the commercials at each of the places they are housed on the web to see most popular ads by number of views. That honor appears to go (as of this writing) to the Bud Light "Ability to Breathe Fire" ad, which has been viewed over 4 million times at AOL (Total ad views 10.5 million), 1.7 million times at MySpace (Total ad views 34.7 million views) and (only) 372,000 times on YouTube, where it barely ranks at all). But wait, there are different numbers of most watched at each of these places! Choose your audience carefully. (YouTube is set to announce their winner later on Tuesday February 12th, based on number of votes - will anyone still care then?) YouTube ranks the Naomi Campbell "Thrillicious" Dancing Lizards ad tops, with 965,000 views, topping all it's other super bowl videos by 200K or so. Hmmm. Thrillicious is in 5th place at MySpace - Here's that ad:

Sobe Life Water Super Bowl Commercial: Naomi Campbell

Super Bowl Ad Videos.

So when ranked by raw numbers I'll award top choice to "Ability to Breathe Fire" from Budweiser. Ranked by viewer emotions during viewing, I agree with the MediaCurves emotions rating, but only because I want to dive under a table to avoid the flying rats, er pigeons. When ranked by Underdog factor, I'll go with Hank the Clydesdale and the Rocky theme. When ranked by libido interest, I think Naomi Campbell wins for Sobe Life Water. When ranked by overall favorite, I'll fall back on my previous juvenile humor assessment and go with the Tivo most replayed rating which ranks the eTrade Talking Baby Spit-up spot.

eTrade Talking Baby Super Bowl Commercial: Baby Buys Stock

More Superbowl Commercial Videos

Not enough ratings for you? Here's a few more:

Finally, for those of you who can't wait for next year to see what Super Bowl Ads, here's that MySpace Super Bowl Countdown Widget to take you into the 2009 Contest in Tampa Florida.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Super Bowl Bonus: Budweiser Cut The Cheese Ad

Budweiser, in an attempt to draw more audience engagement around their Super Bowl Ads this year, created a *Bonus* "Secret Spot" which was available only to visitors who either participated in a text message poll from their mobile phones or filled out a ranking poll called "order the spots" on> If you didn't do that on their site, here's a version you don't have to do anything else to see. I see why it didn't run at game time, since it would have suffered the same fate that GoDaddy did with the network censors. Poor taste, body humor. I had to do extra work to see this?

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Audi's R8 Supercar Super Bowl Commercial - No

OK, for those of you who can't wait to see the Audi R8 Supercar, here's a sneak peek. Though this is NOT the Superbowl Commercial, which will be a play on the "Godfather" movie theme. This is an "assembly" time lapse starting from the frame up with a catch phrase, "The Slowest Car We've Ever Built" appearing at the end. ... History, experience, carefully assembled, etc. -

Ok, now 3 days after the fact, here's the real SuperBowl ad, realeased nowhere early, but now available everywhere. ;-)


Audi R8 Luxury Sports Car Super Bowl Commercial Ad

More Super Bowl Ads

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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Budweiser Super Bowl Ads Dominate Game Day

The Super Bowl commercials that always stick in people's minds each year are inevitably the Budweiser ads. Last year's "Rock, Paper, Scissors contest for the last bottle of Bud at a party was the big winner in mind-share. This year Anheuser Busch will dominate again with seven spots during the Patriots, Giants contest. Here are a group of ads that have been leaked to the web ahead of Sunday's game (some are just teasers giving you the first few seconds of the ad):

Here is one about cave men, which have become wildly popular in the past couple of years between Fedex, Geico Insurance and now Budweiser, I've now had my fill of hairy guys with big foreheads:

This one is titled "X-Ray Vision" but that's about all you'll see in this short teaser:

Now we have a fire-breathing date, because, well, Budweiser is everything you want in a beer, including the ability to breathe fire:

Now we have a friendship budding between a Dalmation and the last lonely Clydesdale, who didn't get chosen for the team:

And finally, here's Carlos Mencia teaching immigrants how to pick up "American Chicks" in a bar with unlikely pick-up lines:

But that's not all Bud has up their sleeve. They will make you work for it, but if you really MUST see another Budweiser ad, they will give you a code to "unlock" a secret ad, viewable on their web site after the game if you vote each ad up or down on your cell phone during the game after "registering" to do so! Wow, that's serious brand engagement. Here's and Advertising Age Video Link where you can get more details before the game on this odd Budweiser "Secret Ad" effort from their own video "3 Minute Ad Age".

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Leaked Superbowl Commercials & Under Armor

New Super Bowl Ads seem to be trickling out before the game, this first one is from, and was posted on the Associated Press site.

There are also about a half-dozen movies being advertised during the game, all of which already have movie trailers available online - a couple from Sony Pictures (Zohan and Hancock), one from Disney (Wall-E), New Line Cinema (Semi-Pro), Paramount Pictures (Iron Man) Universal Pictures (unannounced) and Warner Bros.(unannounced). Fox (unannounced what they will use their time for) is a named advertiser, but that time is likely to be broken up into separate promotions for American Idol, House, 24, The Simpsons, Prison Break, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and multiple TV shows. It could be that they will promote the Eva Longoria movie "Over Her Dead Body" but we'll have to wait to see there.

Meanwhile, heres an MSNBC news clip on what we can expect from a new Superbowl Advertiser, Under Armor, plus commentary on making of that Silent Pepsi ad discussed here previously, as well as the now nearly obligatory GoDaddy commercial preview and commentary:

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Superbowl Ads Showing at MySpace, AOL & YouTube Video Sites

The year 2008 brings the Superbowl commercials of about 40 advertisers, running about 60 ads (Anheuser Busch has booked 10 slots and several others have more than one). During the three to four hour spectacle on Sunday February 3rd the ads will play to an estimated 90 to 100 million viewers on the upcoming Superbowl Sunday game day. And here are some shocking numbers - And at least another 100 million views were recorded on Super Bowl commercial video archive sites at AOL, YouTube, CBS, MySpace and other game day commercial video archives online. Those are some startling numbers for any advertiser, and may make those premium prices worthwhile.

With Superbowl ads costing upwards of 3 million dollars per 30 second spot this year at Fox, advertisers are getting a massive exposure beyond those fleeting moments on live television. Those Superbowl commercials were also saved amongst multiple additional TV commercial specialty sites, with unknown audience size and imprecise tallies of video views.

Looking at marketing smarts (or lack thereof) both AOL and YouTube have put up redirects on their 2007 Superbowl pages which take viewers to the new 2008 commercials pages, while CBS shows a limp "Download the latest players" notice, asking viewers to download either Windows Media Player or RealPlayer to view the commercials from last year. MySpace 2007 SuperSpots page, with 43,400 "Friends" has a floating javascript badge which encourages visitors to click through to the 2008 SuperBowlAds page.

The Wall Street Journal today covered the expansion of TV ads to the online venue in an article titled, "The Super Bowl Blitz Expands in Online Arena" and that story included the following quote:

The different online venues often attract a sizable audience. Last year, the Super Bowl ad poll on YouTube drew more than 28 million online viewers and 167,000 votes for the best Super Bowl commercial, Google said. AOL says its videos of the TV ads were watched more than 40 million times last year. This compares with the roughly 90 million viewers who tuned into the big game on TV in 2007.
Google has now launched its "Adblitz" section dedicated to the 2008 Super Bowl commercials.

But MySpace has also (a bit more quietly) rolled out its version of the SuperBowl Ads Commercials archive. Today also saw the updating of their Superbowl Countdown Widget to include the logos of the Patriots and the Giants on the properly colored helmets of the two teams playing on Sunday. (They had previously rotated the official colors of all NFL teams.)

I hear that this magic widget will flip over a couple of days after this years game to properly countdown to Superbowl 43, scheduled for February 1st 2009! (363 days 23hour 59 minutes...)

In other developments in this space, controversial advertiser has also marketed for much of the year with PPC ads which turn up on Search Engine results pages (SERPS) each time someone searches for "Commercials" or "Superbowl Ads" in regular searches.

Clicking on those Adwords ads takes you to the GoDaddy Commercials Archive, where you can see all their banned (and unapproved, er rejected ads from this year and previous years). Today there have been a couple of new PPC ads showing up for other TV Commercial sites, including a site called FireBrand which apparently has a cable program (ION TV) showing the best of television commercials as a regular show which, based on the site, looks as though they do a bit of commentary and just show great commercials. That's some business model there. All ads all the time - I wonder how you distinguish between the show and the actual commercials?

PS: They are obviously astute marketers as they originally grabbed my attention by making a comment on my blog in a previous post. ;-) Interesting site guys.

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

GoDaddy 2008 Superbowl Commercials Revealed

GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons has revealed, on his "Hot Points" blog, that after 10 submitted spots were rejected by Fox Network, the network has approved and agreed to air the new 2008 Superbowl Ads starring Danica Patrick in a commericial he calls "Spot On" in an apparent reference to all the rejected spots which are "off" because they were rejected. In previous years, they've shown rejected Superbowl ads on the GoDaddy web site and will follow suit this year with those 10 ads rejected before this one was finally approved.

Although it's apparently a cleaner version than he'll show on the GoDaddy website on Superbowl Sunday. The ad very wisely encourages viewers to go to the GoDaddy Web site for more, while showing a "Viewer Discretion Advised" disclaimer on the bottom of the screen to warn off those who might be offended. The broadcast version is pretty tame though:

Parsons also refers in his blog post to a second approved spot called "White Light" with the star of their 2005 and 2006 commercials, GoDaddy Girl Candice Michelle, which he claims they will be attempting to purchase a second slot for - assuming anyone pulls their ads last minute next week. There is a introductory "Teaser" to that seductive ad on the site already.

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Superbowl Ad Teaser from Victorias Secret

Turn off the sound

At first blush, it seems a bit odd for a women's underwear company to run superbowl ads, but a recent Nielsen "Guide to the Super Bowl" Press Release tells us that

" Approximately 36.4 million women over the age of 18 watched the 2007 Super Bowl"
And while the statistics in this data rich "Guide" fail to discuss the number of Giants fans that are women, it does enlighten us with the interesting stat that
"Forty-three percent of Boston's Patriot fans are women (Source: Scarborough Sports Marketing)"
Does that mean that the "Pats" are less manly than the Giants?

And according to Mediapost in an article titledAds Target Superbowls Female Fans they suggest:

Victoria's Secret--which has been missing on Game Day since 1999--is back this year, using the game to kick off its big Valentine's Day marketing effort. Procter & Gamble has bought a spot for Tide to Go, a stain remover. And Unilever will use the game to showcase a spot for Sunsilk, a hair-care product aimed at young women.
While an estimated 100 Million viewers will be watching the Superbowl game on Sunday February 3rd on Fox, among those networks which specifically target women viewers there are some targeting those women who sneak off to the extra television in the spare bedroom to watch other things while the big game is on in the living room. Oxygen cable network will run a promo for it's planned Deion Sanders reality show and according to an article on Broadcast and Cable. That article also states:
Oxygen’s not alone in trying to draw females during the game. Lifetime Television last week announced plans to run original movies on both the main channel and Lifetime Movie Network in a stunt labeled "Football-Free Movie Extravaganza." And Animal Planet slated its fourth-annual "Puppy Bowl," a marathon of dog shows.

So what are we to conclude from the Victorias Secret "Teaser" ad found on YouTube? Are those Andriana Lima "Come Hither" gestures and the bedroom eyes meant for the men or women as we reach eight days and 8 hours Count down to Superbowl 42?

VS is reaching for the Valentines Day market of men shopping Victorias Secret stores to buy the latest in lingerie for their lovers. Though I've often wondered what percentage of sales of VS and similar sexy nighties are purchased by men. When men do make those purchases, how often do they properly fit the women they were purchased for? How many are returned by women for things they'd prefer to actually wear, rather than provocative items meant to be hurriedly removed by the men who purchased them?

Do the Super Bowl Ads that cost an estimated $3 Million for 30 seconds pay off in sales? Well another interesting statistic from that Nielsen "Guide to the Super Bowl" suggests that one element of the advertising pays off handsomely for those Advertisers:

Super Bowl 2007 advertisers saw a collective 50% increase in Web traffic the day after the big game, from 8.5 million unique visitors on Super Bowl Sunday to 12.7 million unique visitors on Monday.
While it has an apparently measurable effect on web traffic for superbowl advertisers, few seem to take advantage of that fact by encouraging viewers to visit their web sites in those Super Bowl Ads. As MarketWatch tells us in coverage of the VS ads, Victorias Secret suffered a web site crash in their last Superbowl ad attempt, when over a million viewers left their television to log on to the Victorias Secret Web site. We'll see how marketers do this year in those ads to encourage web traffic.

Meanwhile, here's a sort of antidote to the softer side of advertising - (which won't be running during the SB) where snack food maker "Combos" shows us what life might be like "If your mom were a man" - a rather disturbing thought.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Super Bowl Commercials Creating Buzz Early

Turn off the sound

It used to be that Super Bowl Commercials would be protectively hidden until game day by advertisers, but they've learned the value of online buzz and many are releasing them early to get that buzz going. This one is from Unilever's Sunsilk Hair Care. and was found on "She Plays Music blog.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Super Bowl Commercials Better than Football?

I've got to admit that I am not now, nor have I ever been a football fan. My favorite moments in any game have always been those all too brief breaks from the action on the field which occur only once every year in February - Super Bowl Commercials. Not only do I fail to follow football, I've never been able to join in the office sports banter because I don't watch "The Game" on Monday Night Football, nor do I care a whit for football stats, scores and/or records.

The really interesting part about most football games are the highlight reels and the "Play of the Game" spots where the true action is - they're kinda like football commercials. They get us to watch the entire three hour game based on 30 seconds of action shown during highlight reels, making us believe there was that much action the entire game. Uh-uh.

I've got to admit that of all football games, the SuperBowl game itself is usually OK for a non-football fanatic like me. The BEST teams, the most action, the greatest half-time entertainment and when there isn't much action on the field, we cut to - guess what - those cool Superbowl Commercials.

One reason I LOVE most SuperBowl ads is because they cost the advertisers so much money to produce and air, that they polish and perfect those ads until they couldn't possibly be better (a bit like those game highlight reels). The expensive advertising gets tons of scrutiny from all angles.

Everyone looks at the ads for their creativity and memorability, but SEO Chris Boggs rated the advertisers for their search engine marketing savvy and SEO smarts in a Search Engine Watch review of Superbowl advertiser SEO/M.The New York Times devoted a two page article to the Superbowl Commercials and then they had an extremely long "Fifth Down" blog post reviewing most of the commercials - which drew 100 comments from readers!

There are additional reviews of those commercials offered by ad industry journal "Advertising Age" on their web site. Not only does "Ad Age" offer reviews, they have a collection of articles about those ads every year. This year's Superbowl commercial articles are here. Reprisemedia did another annual critique of how well advertisers leveraged the web in their Superbowl Commercials in a "Search Marketing Scorecard"(PDF download) and a blog post on the ads by Kate Zimmerman in the Reprise Media "Search Views" blog.

And last, but not least, the big game and it's marketing hype have drawn scrutiny from the Nielsen Company, who are watching all the hype and analyzing every bit of it. Here's a YouTube video from Nielsen's Pete Blachshaw talking about the Super Bowl Marketing machine and announcing a Super Bowl Blog to talk in depth about it all.

I love to talk about the Superbowl Ads. I'll bet you even remember last years' best commercials. Give it a shot. Remember "Click a mouse?" The main characters in this Blockbuster Video ad are Carl, the rabbit, who was given voice by James Woods, while Jim Belushi gave Ray the Guinea Pig his voice and comedian Bobcat Goldthwait provides the voice of the poor mouse, the spot includes a closing voiceover from Alec Baldwin.

How do I know this? Because Blockbuster and their ad agency, Doner, were so proud of the ad, they issued a press release the day before the game.

Here's a quote from the release:

"When Carl and Ray made their commercial debut during the 2002 Super Bowl, they scored the fifth-highest recall among consumers according to research from Ipsos-Reid Express Omnibus. The spot also ranked in the top 10 in popularity in USA Today's annual "Ad Meter" poll, and the campaign went on to win four CLIO Awards."
Here's the ad:

Click a mouse

More Superbowl Commercial Videos

Wow! That's serious stuff, press releases announcing commercials, online reviews of 50 television commercials aired during the game, consumer research on those ads, SEO commentary and critiques, Nielsen Company scrutiny and analysis, a USA Today "Ad Meter Poll" and advertising industry awards? How often do you see that much hype around a 30 second commercial?

While I don't particularly care to sit through three hour football games, there is one thing I love about sports on the web - you can follow only those things you have a true interest in - through widgets - without paying attention to all the stuff surrounding the game, including that droning blather by ex-coaches, retired players and "personalities" with endless sports blah, blah commentary.

Below I am showing a group of widgets featuring only the highlights (stuff I care about), which includes game schedules and scores. No Fluff, No Hot Air from tired and retired players, ex-coaches and "tv personalities" - just the facts ma'am. That's sports the way I like it - only the highlights. Here's the stuff I care about:


It's been a few years since an estimated 90 million people watched that Janet Jackson "Wardrobe Malfunction" during her Superbowl halftime show musical performance in 2004. Not to worry, provided a wardrobe malfunction parody Superbowl commercial in 2005 providing another spin on that idea and got the ad banned, causing considerable controversy

The domain name seller has run Pay-Per-Click ads which appear anytime the phrase "Superbowl Commercial" is searched. Here's a page hosting their Superbowl ads. GoDaddy continues to provide a minute and thirty second extended version of the wardrobe malfunction video on their own web site, along with all yearly GoDaddy Superbowl commercials. GoDaddy is set to be on the roster of advertisers for 2008

All the ads can be found at each of the online video sites, including YouTube, iFilm, AOL Video and MySpaceTV. The online videos can be embedded in blogs and web sites, so not only can you talk about your favorite commercial from the Superbowl, you can show it right on your own MySpace page.

And now I find myself counting the days until Superbowl XLII (42) from Phoenix on February 3rd. Here's a Superbowl Countdown widget which can be embedded in your own blog or web site.

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