Over the years I have had the pleasure to be interviewed on Super Bowl ads in publications like USA TODAY and the Wall Street Journal . Although trends and technology have changed, the one constant I see is that having a positively reviewed ad in the Super Bowl will always be a gamble. Even top brands like Budweiser and Apple, who have been ranked as some of the best Super Bowl ads in history, have also had some of the worst ranked ads.
The $2.7 million gamble for the success of one :30 second ad has helped the arm chair quarterbacking for the ads become a past-time greater than the game itself. There is no guarantee that an ad will be successful once aired during the Super Bowl. However, if done well, I believe the hype leading up to game day can offset the negative word-of-mouth and fall-out if an ad bombs. What happens when the hype leads to backlash?
The big story last year surrounding Super Bowl ads were interactive contests with consumer-created content . Consumers vote online for the user-generated idea or entry submitted. The winning entry is then aired during the Super Bowl along with all of the professionally created spots. I believe the user-generated ads also suffered their creative hits and misses. The Doritos Super Bowl ad creative was a hit while The Chevy Super Bowl Commercial making light of homeless people forced to wash car windows for change, was a miss. However, both Chevy and Doritos received positive press and word-of-mouth related to their contests.