Six Important Questions for This Year’s Super Bowl Advertisers

M&Ms Super Bowl Advertisers

Quick show of hands: Do you have a marketing budget of five million dollars?

And if you did, how would you feel about spending it in 30 seconds?  Because that’s exactly what last night’s Super Bowl advertisers did.  Repeatedly.

That’s nearly $167,000 per second – more than most Americans earn in an entire year.

So I trust you’ll forgive me if I approach the Super Bowl ads, and the surrounding fanfare, with a healthy degree of scrutiny.  I’m a brand guy – always have been – but I also know this:  If it doesn’t sell, it’s bad branding.

And, based on history, most of last night’s ads did not sell. Continue reading “Six Important Questions for This Year’s Super Bowl Advertisers”

Dove, Bud and the Quest for Real Brand Values

Budweiser debuted one of this year’s most-discussed Super Bowl ads. Called “Brewed the Hard Way,” it’s still running. I saw it twice on CBS yesterday.

In this spot, Bud declares, in screen-filling block text, that it’s “proudly a macro beer.”

“It’s not brewed to be fussed over,” the text announces, as a bearded, bespectacled hipster inhales deeply from a tulip glass filled with a stout-like brew. “It’s brewed for a crisp smooth finish.”

“It’s brewed for drinking, not dissecting,” it continues. We see more hipsters, this time sampling a beer flight.

“Let them sip their pumpkin peach ale,” it proclaims. “We’ll be brewing us some golden suds.”

Why the broadside against craft brews and those who drink them? Continue reading “Dove, Bud and the Quest for Real Brand Values”

Sam vs. Bud

The question came up during a friendly game of poker. At the table were several local businessmen who had heard me speak of brand storytelling, and one asked:

“So what’s the difference between a great brand and a brand with a great story?”

As I glanced around the table, I found some help in answering. This was a BYOB poker game. To my left, I saw a Budweiser; to my right, a Samuel Adams. Continue reading “Sam vs. Bud”