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.”