Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review?
The Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review, now in its fifth year, is an annual event in which faculty and students from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University come together to evaluate Super Bowl advertising and rank the ads based on academic criteria.
Who is involved in the Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review?
The Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review panel is comprised of Kellogg Marketing Club students and led by Professors Tim Calkins and Derek Rucker.
Who are Professors Tim Calkins and Derek Rucker?
A clinical professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management since 1998, Tim Calkins teaches courses in marketing strategy and branding and acts as co-academic director of the school’s branding program. He has led the Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review since its inception and acts as a consultant to several major corporations worldwide on marketing strategy and branding issues.
Derek D. Rucker is an assistant professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management. He teaches advertising strategy and researches the areas of consumer metacognition, consumer emotion, consumer information processing and judgment. A Kellogg School faculty member since 2005, he has also had his research published in a number of academic journals, including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and the Journal of Consumer Psychology.
This year, Professors Calkins and Rucker will be blogging about the Super Bowl Advertising Review to offer their insights on issues and news related to this year’s lineup of Super Bowl commercials.
What is the Kellogg School Marketing Club?
The Kellogg Marketing Club is an organization comprised of Kellogg MBA students that provides members with academic, recruiting and networking resources to prepare for marketing careers.
What makes the Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review unique?
The Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review utilizes proprietary academic criteria to rank the advertisements. Unlike other reviews which rank ads based on popularity, the Kellogg Review evaluates an advertiser on key factors that can help drive sales and favorably impact the company’s bottom line and brand awareness.
According to the Kellogg School criteria, what qualities are essential to a strong Super Bowl ad?
The Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review ranks ads using a set of criteria developed by Kellogg professors, known as ADPLAN: Attention, Distinction, Positioning, Linkage, Amplification and Net Equity
Super Bowl ads must first break through the clutter and grab viewers’ attention. Strong branding is equally important, because it enables the audience to fully understand and recall the product or service being sold. The stakes of Super Bowl are incredibly high; therefore, to be effective, ads must demonstrate likeability and offer some sort of entertainment value to viewers. Finally and arguably most importantly, an effective ad must give consumers a reason to go out and buy the product. At the end of the day, the main reason for Super Bowl advertising is to drive sales.
What can viewers expect to see different from previous years in Super Bowl XLIII advertising?
Certainly the economy is a major factor in Super Bowl advertising this year. Spots are selling slower than in previous years, and bigger players like FedEx, GM and Salesgenie.com are sitting out this game. At the same time, many perennial advertisers will be back, including Anheuser-Busch, Godaddy.com and Careerbuilder.com, as well as the highly anticipated return of Monster.com.
Although consumers this year are experiencing significant uneasiness with the financial crisis and high unemployment rates, the Super Bowl is the biggest event of the year, and many consumers are even more excited about the commercials than the game itself. Marketers have found that the excitement and buzz generated from pre-game promotion, combined with online marketing components and the integration of social media, can make a big impact on brand awareness and sales before and after the big game.
With 30-second spots running up to $3 million, is it worth it to advertise in the Super Bowl, especially in this economy?
The Super Bowl is the most watched television event in the world, and has been for more than 10 years, attracting an audience of 140 million viewers and growing. To marketers, the Super Bowl is increasingly the one chance to reach a mass audience, and to target a number of different demographics beyond the traditional NFL fan. While we might see a change this year in the type of advertisers, content and messaging in response to the economy, Super Bowl commercials are eagerly anticipated and much-talked about in the days and weeks after the game, all of which is good news for advertisers.
Which type of marketer can best take advantage of a Super Bowl audience?
Brands that plan to launch new products can especially capitalize on the Super Bowl because it allows them to spread awareness of their product on a broad scale. However, the success of a Super Bowl ad depends on a number of key factors. First, it is important that products or services launched during the Super Bowl have a mass appeal so that the advertisements can draw a large group of consumers. Also, a brand’s ads must be effective enough to relay the proper message to consumers. The ad needs to grab the viewer’s attention, have a likable element, clearly illustrate what brand it represents, and give people a reason to buy the product or service.
According to the Journal of Advertising Research, advertisers are more successful at engaging their consumers when they discuss their Super Bowl commercial plans prior to game day. What are your thoughts about this strategy?
Frequent and direct contact with the target consumer is a great way to build brand awareness. By engaging Super Bowl viewers prior to game day, marketers are creating brand ambassadors in anyone who spreads the message. These additional touch points expand the number of consumer impressions the brand makes.
Who will be advertising at this year's Super Bowl, and what are you expecting from them?
Super Bowl XLIII advertising will be different than previous years because several familiar names will not be participating this year, including FedEx, GM and Salesgenie.com. That opens the door for a host of newcomers, favorites like Anheuser-Busch, Godaddy.com and Careerbuilder.com, as well as the highly anticipated return of Monster.com.