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Advertisers Fumble ROI with Super Bowl Ads

Posted on | January 27, 2010 | No Comments

By Robert Passikoff

62% of Advertisers will Fumble ROI

Not all programs are right for all brands, even if it happens to be the Super Bowl. The 8th annual Super Bowl Engagement Survey, conducted by Brand Keys, Inc, reports that when it comes to the monetary return advertisers will get on their advertising investments in the Super Bowl, upsets are not limited to the playing field.

Five Winners and Five Losers
Brand Keys’ research shows that Denny’s, Viacom’s Iron Man 2, Hyundai, Anhauser-Busch (Budweiser), and Diamond Food’s Pop-Secret are the five advertisers most likely to get the highest return on their Super Bowl ad investments. Advertisers like TRUTV, Kia, HomeAway, Dockers, and Dr. Pepper are likely to see much lower returns.

This year’s Brand Keys’ survey was conducted the third week of January, among a national sample of 1,350 men and women, 18 – 65 years of age, who indicated that they were going to watch Super Bowl XLIV, February 7th. The research examines most of the brands advertising ‘on the Super Bowl’ and includes brands reported in industry publications as having purchased spots.

This is more than Monday-morning creative quarterbacking, day-after creative reviews are always interesting, have a high ‘Water Cooler Effect’ and elicit lots of Monday after chatter. But advertisers should remember that ‘buzz’ comes in two frequencies: positive and negative. ‘Wasn’t that terrible?’ generally isn’t a phrase that appears in creative briefs.

Even setting aside the question of quality creative, the survey brings into harsh relief the question being more loudly articulated this year does the ad buy actually lift the brand?

More and more, clients want to know more than was their ad seen, and with 30-second spots selling for $2.5 million – $2.8 million, this is a whole new ballgame. Brands like Pepsi, which has advertised on the Super Bowl forever, have decided there are more effective media venues.

Predicting Brand Loyalty
The Super Bowl Engagement Survey, like the Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, is created to predictively measure respondents’ true reactions to brands within the context of the medium. Results correlate highly with consumer behavior, and are reliable predictors of future brand purchase. Think of it as identifying how the media reinforces, or in some cases degrades brand values. What you want to see is a minimum of seven points added to your brand to ensure you’re getting a real return on a very expensive investment.

Assessments for the 2010 Super Bowl XLIV advertisers:

Advertiser “Super Bowl” R.O.I

Anhauser-Busch (Budweiser) +8
Audi +6
Boost Mobile -0-
Bridgestone Firestone (Halftime Sponsor) +5
CareerBuilder +6 -3
Coke +2
Denny’s +9
Diamond Foods (Pop-Secret) +10
Dockers -2
Doritos +9
Dr. Pepper Cherry -4
E*Trade -2
Electronic Arts +7
Go +3
HomeAway -3
Hyundai +10
Kia -5
Mars +5
Monster +7
Motorola +7
NFL +9
Telaflora -0-
US Census Bureau -0-
Unilever’s Dove Men&Care +7
Universal Pictures (The Wolfman) +7
Viacom’s Paramount Pictures (Shutter Island) -0-
Viacom’s Paramount Pictures (Iron Man 2) +11
Viacom’s Paramount Pictures (Last Airbender) +4
Walt Disney (Alice In Wonderland) -0-
Walt Disney (Toy Story 3) +6

Engagement assessments are separate from how many eyeballs were watching and are a reality check that lets advertisers know how super their media buys actually are, and it can be done before signing a check. It has nothing to do with ‘being watched’ or of consumers ‘being aware,’ and has everything to do with being emotionally engaged with the brand. That’s vastly different from just being entertained. A laugh is not an acceptable return on an investment of this size.

Robert Passikoff is the Founder and President of Brand Keys


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