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Want to run a slot at the Super Bowl? Paul Venables outlines what’s involved

Doughty copy­writ­ers and art direc­tors who’d like to see their online adver­tis­ing agen­cies aim for the Super Bowl have some top insid­er advice to chew over, thanks to Ven­ables Bell & Part­ners co-founder Paul Venables.

VB&P has pro­duced some daz­zling spots at the Super Bowl for major clients like Intel, Audi and Vizio. Giv­en that a recent poll from the firm found that a third of Amer­i­cans tun­ing in to the Super Bowl will watch ads before kick­off this year and a half will re-play their favorite ads after the game, these spots are by no means triv­ial bits of froth.

Mil­lions of tasks, mil­lions of metrics

Liken­ing Super Bowl slots to run­ning an “entire cam­paign”, Ven­ables warns that suc­cess­ful ads require more ideas, more resources and more force than he ever believed pos­si­ble before start­ing at the mega-event.  Dif­fer­ent objec­tives need to be iden­ti­fied and aligned with the dif­fer­ent audi­ences and dif­fer­ent rea­sons for choos­ing the Super Bowl to adver­tise in.

More­over senior mar­ket­ing man­agers tend to want to be involved all the way through, and the onus is on adver­tis­ers to select from the mil­lions of pos­si­ble met­rics to get the most rel­e­vant mea­sures. That means being clear about what mar­keters want from their Super Bowl expe­ri­ence. Ven­ables says:

“Is it Twit­ter buzz dur­ing the game, the pre­views, the postviews, Good Morn­ing Amer­i­ca, the USA Today poll? Are you look­ing at all the polls in aggre­gate, to sales, aware­ness, Google search­es, deal­er vis­its? … You can say “all of the above,” but that is not the real­is­tic way to market.”

The “awe­some” impact of a good Super Bowl ad

An ad’s pres­ence on game day is, Ven­ables insists, an entire­ly unique expe­ri­ence — noth­ing remote­ly like look­ing at a lit­tle win­dow after click­ing on a Face­book or YouTube link. Sit­ting around a big flat screen with friends, all with beer in hand, changes the impact of an ad: “[A] spot comes on and the place goes silent, it’s awe­some. There’s no replac­ing that.”

Ven­ables urged would-be Super Bowl ad shops to pro­duce for the right rea­son – because they love what they do and want to make some­thing great. If shops are too wor­ried about the polls, the press and so on, he warned, “you’re going to go out of your freak­ing mind.”

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