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Super Bowl Advertising interview with Farrell Rodd and Teresa Guerriero

By Lauren Anderson  |  january, 2014, Issue 2

Are you ready to rumble Super Bowl fans!?!? With the big game coming up on February 2nd (between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos for those of you bankers living in a hole for the past week), everyone is expecting a great game and some even better commercials! ChicagoBusiness turned to two marketing 2nd year's for some insights, trends, and things to watch for this year.

Chicago Business: What trends did we see this year that you think will show up in the Superbowl ads?

Teresa Guerriero: Customization is huge right now! Doritos' "Crash the Super Bowl" got a lot of press from having consumers make the ads. Crowd-sourcing . Crowd-sourcing is a big trend. Even if you don't let consumers make your ads, involving your consumers gives people a personalized experience. Companies don't want to be seen as a "mass brand" but want to seem more personable and not so corporate. You want to appeal to broader audience, but if consumers follow through with the ad, you get more targeted experience.

Farrell Rodd: The end goal is getting you to interact with the brand. It truly makes it more interesting for people. There's a challenge though on how much money you spend customizing versus weighing needs of everyone who's watching. Some companies have found creative ways to do that, like "Crash the Super Bowl".

CB: Since you're a molded, intelligent marketing student, what are you thinking when you see an ad on TV?

FR: Does it appeal to me as a consumer? Do I understand what they're trying to say? If not me, who are they trying to reach? Is the message clear? That's usually the biggest issue! Maybe it's funny but you don't come away with one specific feeling about what they were trying to say, it's probably not effective. The funniest are the ones you like the most, but are they effective long term?

TG: Who in the world are they trying to target with that?? I notice ads when they're really good in that way and or bad in that way. I think about if they are hitting you at different touch points. It's always interesting to me when friends misattribute brands, like "Oh, that was a great Allstate commercial," when it was really a Progressive commercial.

CB: Why the Superbowl? Is it worth it? Share your thoughts.

FR: The Superbowl has mass appeal, which makes it a huge challenge. Companies must use tactics to appeal to a very wide audience. So they tend to be very extreme, either in humor or at the core of something emotional. It's worth it if your product has mass appeal-it makes sense for chips and beer. If you're the right type of company to advertise in the Super Bowl, it can be high reward.

TG: People know how much companies spend on these. Trying to keep the message your brand is trying to send can be a challenge. Also, you're not just spending money on a Super Bowl ad, but a campaign for the whole year. Idea generation and production should last longer than this event. These are campaigns that should drive advertising for the rest of the year.

CB: So you're actually asked questions about these ads in marketing interviews around this time of year...what is expected of aspiring marketers?

FR: Make sure you have a few favorite Super Bowl ads lined up and few that you think missed the mark, and be able to explain why. Don't necessarily dive into the 4 P's and 3 C's but have a couple insightful points about each. Google the ads and see what people's general consensus is - it's important to be aware of the conversation that's going on. Every year Hulu has a channel that shows all of the Super Bowl ads, so if you don't get a chance to watch the game this can be a great way to catch up.

TG: Don't allude to the fact that you've studied the Super Bowl ads, but you should. I DVRed the commercials and went through them, listed out who target consumer is, main message, good/bad, and fleshed out a couple of my top ones. The questions on this topic will be more conversational but do talk about something more than "it made me spit up my drink". Have one deeper insight. If the company you're interviewing with had them in the Super Bowl check out the full campaign (social, etc.) and know it in and out. Follow up on the #hashtags to see what people are saying about it.

CB: Will TV commercials not coupled with bigger campaigns (involving social media, PR stunts, etc.) become obsolete soon?

FR: You're not maximizing your ROI if you're just doing a TV ad. People just don't watch TV as much anymore.

TG: Their campaigns should be reflected in what the product looks and feels like. Everything should be aligned. Having a premium looking campaign, should your product be in Wal-Mart?

Last Updated 1/31/14
Last Updated 1/31/14