Kellogg Chronicles: Inside the Super Bowl Ad Review
This content was originally published in Poets&Quants
By Zach Cobb ’23, One-Year MBA student
The Super Bowl of marketing is, well, the Super Bowl. Every year, the biggest brands in the world compete to win the broadcast by making a lasting impact with the largest audience American television has to offer. At Kellogg, a panel of marketers gather each year to judge the effectiveness of these multimillion dollar campaigns during the annual Kellogg Super Bowl Ad Review (KSBAR).
Growing up with football-obsessed brothers and two parents who are brand marketers by trade, the Super Bowl has always been a highlight of the year. It’s the only time of the year where my mom willingly watches an NFL game with us, and I learned from an early age that she was only watching the game for the ads. It became an annual tradition for my family to determine a winning commercial and compare our opinions with those of industry experts. Once I arrived at Kellogg, I made it a priority to get involved with the ad review to learn from Professor Tim Calkins and Professor Derek Rucker who both lead the event.
In the lead-up to the event, I was able to meet with Professor Calkins to outline what we wanted the event to look like and how we could improve upon previous iterations. We quickly bonded over a mutual interest in brand advertising and our favorite football teams, and we identified exactly how we wanted the timeline of the planning process to work. Getting the chance to share one-on-one time with someone as respected in their industry as Professor Calkins has exceeded any expectations I had coming into the process. Not only were we able to discuss the event, but the opportunity to build a connection with both Professors Calkins and Rucker has led to incredible mentorship opportunities for me as well.
Throughout the entire planning process, the entire Kellogg team has been there to support not only myself, but the entire KSBAR team. Balancing the planning of the ad review with coursework was a daunting task as I took on the role. In typical Kellogg fashion, however, multiple people stepped in to help ease the load. As a VP within the Kellogg Marketing Club, I received support from members of the entire club to ensure the success of the event. Each of our Co-Presidents, Kaitlin Loomis and Freddy Adenuga, were excellent resources for knowledge of the 2022 KSBAR and how we could improve the event. Additionally, members of my own planning team, Hayley Purcell and Jimena Gonzalez, were always available to support both the faculty and me for whatever we needed. Kellogg prides itself on being collaborative and encouraging student leadership, and these people reinforce those values completely.
As a school that empowers its students to lead events, Kellogg has trusted me with an unbelievable opportunity to organize one of their most iconic events. While most schools might want faculty and staff to take the lead on their signature events, the entire team here was in alignment on providing me with the opportunity to take the lead and grow my leadership capabilities. After being a point of support during the planning of the Annual Kellogg Marketing Competition this past Fall, I understood the impact Kellogg’s signature events can have on my peers and the importance they carry with our entire network. Leading the event has given me a tremendous amount of confidence I can carry into my career after Kellogg, and is an experience I don’t feel I could’ve had at many other MBA programs.
Read the full article on Poets & Quants to learn how this year’s event unfolded and learn Zach’s most and least favorite ads of the night.