I was hoping to fall in love.
I watch the Super Bowl commercials like a high school senior at the
prom without a date. I look with undisguised longing for an emotional
The Super Bowl has given birth to some beauties: the great Eminem Chrysler
the emotionally powerfully Dodge truck commercial, “And so God made
a farmer” http://tinyurl.com/hfq85jr;
But alas, Super Bowl 50 did not deliver a marketing moment about which
to be passionate. There were some good commercials several of the
auto commercials were good and I am over the moon that Matt Damon is
coming back as Jason Bourne (there were lots of commercials for upcoming
films), but none of the commercials were gripping to the point of, Wow!
What did strike me was the complete capitulation by advertisers of positioning
the advertised products with celebrities. Nothing wrong with that. Advertisers
have been using celebrity spokespeople for decades…but never to this
Unfortunately, this is evidence, to some degree, that the advertisers
and / or their agencies don’t know how to position well other than using
a well known face.
On the other hand: if positioning your tax software with one of the
greatest actors in the history of stage, screen and television (Anthony
Hopkins if you didn’t see it) is worth the estimated $15 million, go
for it. (My estimate is based on the fact that CBS charged $5 million
for 30 seconds of Super Bowl air time double that for 60 seconds,
which is what the Turbo Tax commercial was. And I’m guessing Sir Anthony
must have picked up something in the neighborhood of $5 million for
the spot- I base that on the fact that Brad Pitt got $4 million for
a Super Bowl commercial for Heineken a few years ago).
Not bad deal for the knighted Welshman, who gets about $10 million for
an entire film.
But it wasn’t just Anthony Hopkins. The Super Bowl celebrity rooster
included Dame Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Christopher Walken, Steven
Tyler, Amy Schumer, Seth Rogen, Michael Pena, Jason Bateman, Alex Baldwin,
Steve Harvey, Dan Marino, Harvey Keitel, Serena Williams, Liam Neeson
(Neeson’s commercial for a technology product was produced by none other
than Ridley Scott Blade Runner, Alien, The Martin, etc.).
So, as you can see, advertisers are engaging sports and film celebrities
in droves and are throwing eye-watering amounts of money at these Super
Bowl commercials but then they reached more than 111 million viewers
and that’s some serious branding.
One commercial that did not use an A-list actor to sell their car was
Prius, which very cleverly catapulted the existing positioning of the
car (eco-friendly, gas saving) to a fast, almost sports car, position.
Prius, really? This was chancy, but they pulled it off.
Flying into Sacramento a few years ago, I decided to try a Prius at
the rental car agency. That car may have saved me some gas money, but
I took to calling it “piggy” because of the sluggish pick up I experienced
when trying to merge on to the freeway.
The Toyota marketing people understood that this was an issue with prospective
car buyers. They gave the car some juice, and in this commercial there
is not a word about gas mileage or being eco-friendly it already has
that position. No, they added Speed to the marketing focus, and it works.
You watch it and think…, “That’s a Prius?”
Check it out. Very clever to add this “attribute” to the existing position.
An interview with the marketing manager makes clear that he consciously
used the existing positioning of the Prius to handle an objection that
was in the minds of some of his prospects.
He did a good job of it.
If you need to really understand what is in the mind of your prospects
so that your marketing can penetrate and get response, give us a call.
We have been surveying the minds of client’s customers and prospects
for over 25 years.
You may not be able to hire Brad Pitt or Anthony Hopkins to promote
your product, but the action of surveying your public is the KEY to
increased sales and income.
“We live, as you know better than most, in a world where information
is the rising currency of real value. Your information, provided
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great wealth” J.B. President
President & CEO
On Target Research