The Kellogg School Super Bowl Ad Review (#KelloggSB)

ADPLAN Framework

Advertisements can be, and often are, evaluated on a variety of different metrics, such as creativity and popularity. The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University has developed a framework known as ADPLAN that assesses advertising from a strategic perspective.

Our overall goal is to use our strategic assessment to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of an ad with respect to their ability to build the brand. Our assessments of advertisements reflect six criteria that have been shown through research to be important to achieve these six goals:

Net equity

Kellogg students use the ADPLAN criteria to evaluate ads from a strategic perspective during the Kellogg School's annual Super Bowl Advertising Review. Each factor is taken into consideration when evaluating an advertising campaign.

Following is additional information on each of the six dimensions of ADPLAN:

Attention - Brands can benefit from consumers paying attention to ad information. Attention, or lack thereof, can often aid or hinder recall not only of the advertisement but of the brand and its position. Given the often cluttered and fierce environment that advertisements compete in, attention requires the aid of a captive audience, repeated exposures, a clever execution, or a combination of these or other factors.

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Distinction - Even if an advertisement is attention-grabbing, it is important that a brand's advertisement is distinct from its competitors. If an ad does not separate itself from the competition, the message might be lost in the mass of advertising or even lead to confusion over the brand.

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Positioning - Advertising executions can be evaluated with respect to whether they clearly convey the frame of reference (the category the brand desires to compete in or the ultimate goal the brand addresses) and the point of difference (how the brand is superior to competitors on some attribute). Strong positioning communicates to the consumer how to think of the brand and why it should be used over others in the category.

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Linkage - Advertising that draws attention, is distinct from competitors and has solid positioning can sputter if consumers cannot link the advertisement to the brand or the benefits it offers. It is possible that consumers might remember part of an advertisement but forget another part. If the forgotten piece of information is the brand itself, or the positioning of the brand, this could reduce the potential effectiveness of the advertisement. Some creative efforts to attract attention or create distinctiveness might come at the cost of linkage.

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Amplification - Consumers often "amplify," or think about the message content, after receiving it. That is, consumers have their own thoughts or idiosyncratic responses to advertisements. As a result, consumers' own cognitive responses play a critical role in determining whether the ad has a favorable or unfavorable effect on consumers' opinions and likeability of the brand.

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Net Equity - Brands develop a history and equity over time. As it often takes years, even decades, to build equity, it is important to consider how a particular ad or advertising campaign relates to and builds upon the net equity of a brand. Brand equity can be leveraged to strengthen position in an ad, and advertising can be used to reinforce the total or net equity of the brand. Walking away from equity might have adverse effects for a brand.

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Taryn Tawoda
Assistant Director, External Communications Email Taryn 847.467.1492
Molly Lynch
External Communications Email Molly 773.505.9719

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