Monday, February 8, 2010

The Super Bowl Hang-Over

Oh, how the belt tightens when we seem to need oxygen the most...

It's called the Super Bowl hang-over. It'll make you sweat. It'll leave you confused and irritated and searching for reasons why you succumbed to the pressure to participate in the first place. I'm not talking about an alcohol bend gone horribly bad. Or how for the next week or so belly's will hang over the beltline in an attempt to make up for the overloaded nachos we all consumed yesterday.


I'm talking about marketing and advertising budgets everywhere feeling the pain of squeezing accountability in a world where ROI is less measured and measurable and more scrutinized and criticized than ever before. Let's face it, most of us only have a certain amount of - shall we call it "love" in honor of Valentine's Day? yes, love it is - love to go around.


When we dole out that love, sweet Mother of God, we want to get something in return. Or perhaps we will no longer dole so freely...


Not entirely meaning to be ambiguous, I am still talking about marketing spend. Check out what others are saying or doing when it comes to marketing dollars, the Super Bowl and social media as we know it:


 
Pepsi Super Bowl: Then and Now


For those of us in the industry, we saw this train coming long ago, but thanks to early Pepsi reports detailing a derailment of their own annual Super Bowl marketing budget (approximately $20 million) from traditional TV to social media strategies, it's not a huge surprise to hear after the fact that many other businesses are now questioning television advertising amid the biggest ad weekend of the year. Reports are showing that advertisers are bummed about not only paying so much, but also getting so little. The Forrester Blog reported that growing skepticism is rampant and only expected to climb as more and more ad folks get more and more disenfranchised with television advertising.


I think the problem is that the same people who are getting upset are the same people who demand such empirical data tied so tightly to their marketing budgets in the first place.

This is what they say; "Can we prove without a doubt that our investment turned into sales and profit? Then let's do it!"

It's the same people that look at numbers and not emotions. They want spreadsheets and not consumer feedback. They want dollars and not people.

Ugh.

Don't they know, "It's a people driven economy, stupid?"

But let's not lose hope in this world so full of love. Some branding reports are showing that the TV ads and the marketing budgets spent to buy them are just a portion of the overall success of an ad campaign and they are trying to diligently put numbers to the equation of delivering ROI in a nontraditional sense. Time will tell if corporate America will be able to stomach such visceral phenomena in the data game, but it's worth following. Here is an article from BrandWeek that examines how consumers took social media into their own hands while watching the televised Super Bowl and spurned some serious viral growth into the online world from the televised message. Of course, it's difficult to measure how an ad does once it becomes only part of the online experience, but still a vital organ that keeps the beast alive.

So, the question is, can you predict when your marketing campaign will be enough to make the average consumer put down the plate of nachos and pick up their crackberry instead, forwarding all your hard work to all their good friends?


If you want to learn more about the Super Bowl Ad coverage, check out the AdWeek's microsite dedicated to the day's events here. If you want to check out my personal favorite use of marketing dollars and storytelling for halftime enjoyment, click here.