Engagement and SB XLII Ads

Think back about the game.  Do you remember any of the ads – without any aided recall?  Did any of them really "engage" you?

For $3 million, I was curious about how engaging the ads would be.  I do marketing/advertising research for a living which means my perspective is biased.

To refresh your memory, going back almost two years:  "Engagement is turning on a prospect to a brand idea enhanced by the surrounding context."  Thus spoke the ARF.  I’d extend that definition because it could be as simple as "they liked our ad."  I say engagement means that people did something after watching.

Well, these days the easiest next step would be for consumers to find out more online.  So I was looking for ads that sent people to the web to find out more – and not just looking for the ads on myspace.

OK so were any of these ads really "engaging"?

As expected, the only one that did with any effectiveness was GoDaddy.com.  The trick wasn’t the suggestive humor – it was their URL displayed on screen for the entire spot.  (I spoke with their PR director last month in Vegas who said this is a recognized value-creating tactic.)

I can vaguely remember some other vanity URLs:

  • A talking stain during an interview.
  • Sunsilk – something with music, nothing to do with shampoo.
  • Doritos using snackstrongproductions.com again (remember I’m biased)
  • Sobe had one, but I just remember Thriller.

I also remember some of the other advertisers – Bridgestone, Audi, Coca-Cola, Victoria’s Secret, FedEx, Gatorade, and salesgenie.com (their URL was ../tv I think).  But if they had vanity URLs, I can’t remember them.  (were there any others?)

Keep in mind that I’m biased, in the industry, and trying to keep the addresses in mind.  Blame the memory, I suppose.

Pew’s latest survey shows over 73% of adults have internet access.  Forrester data shows 72%.  Of course we could go to myspace and look at all the ads.  But isn’t the point of engagement to say something that a viewer will remember – and then do something about?  Seems like most advertisers did as well here as the Patriots’ offensive line.