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News & Events

Kellogg School of Management Faculty and MBA Students Rank Toyota Prius Best; Pepsi Second in Super Bowl Advertising Review

2/7/2005 - EVANSTON, Ill., – The New England Patriots may have won Super Bowl XXXIX, but Toyota Prius scored highest with the students and faculty at the world’s No. 1 business school, according to the Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review panel.

“As always, the Super Bowl featured a mixed bag of advertising,” said Kellogg School of Management Clinical Associate Professor Tim Calkins, who spearheaded the Review. “There were some clear winners this year and also some big misses.”

As major corporations and lesser-known startups agreed to pay an average of $2.4 million for a 30-second chance to debut innovative commercials in front of America’s largest audience, marketing faculty and MBA students from the Kellogg School Marketing Club convened at the Kellogg School to watch the event, rate the advertisements on a series of predetermined criteria and produce a final ranking of the most – and least – successful advertisers from this year’s Super Bowl.

The Kellogg School Review panel awarded a grade of “A” to five advertisers, listed alphabetically: Emerald Nuts, MasterCard, Pepsi (Pepsi and Diet Pepsi), Tabasco and Toyota Prius. Toyota was the highest ranked advertiser, followed by Pepsi. The panel thought the Pepsi and iTunes promotion was particularly effective. “All these advertisers produced spots that broke through creatively, were well branded and communicated a clear benefit,” said Calkins.

The Kellogg School Review panel awarded a grade of “B” to five advertisers: Bud Light,, FedEx, Novartis Ciba Vision and Olympus. “While the single strongest ad in this year’s Super Bowl was Bud Light’s “Parachuting” spot, the other Bud Light spots were not as strong,” stated Calkins.

The lowest ranked advertisers were Bubblicious, Silestone, Degree deodorant, and MBNA. The panel had significant concerns about each of these advertising efforts. They thought Silestone, MBNA and Bubblicious were poorly branded, and Degree did not deliver a benefit linked to the product. Many members of the panel were not sure what was selling.

The panel ranked each advertiser based on the following criteria: breakthrough, branding, persuasiveness and likeability.

About Tim Calkins
Each year Professor Calkins provides a well-received Super Bowl advertising review for students and Kellogg School alumni. A clinical associate professor of marketing at the Kellogg School since 1998, he teaches courses in marketing strategy and acts as co-academic director of the school’s branding program. Prior to his academic career, Professor Calkins worked at Kraft Foods for nearly 11 years. He stays connected to the private sector today by consulting for major corporations around the world and is the managing director of Class 5 Consulting.

About the Kellogg Marketing Club
The 30 students serving on the panel belong to the Kellogg Marketing Club, which provides students with academic, recruiting and networking assistance to prepare for marketing careers. The club serves as a marketing and branding resource to the Northwestern University community.

About the Kellogg School of Management
The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University was founded in 1908 and is home to a renowned research-based faculty and MBA students from more than 50 countries and six continents. The Kellogg School includes the Full-time, Part-time and Executive MBA programs and the non-degreed Executive Education Program. The school offers three joint degree programs: the JD-MBA, MD-MBA and MEM-MBA. Additionally, the Kellogg School of Management has alliances with business schools in Europe, Asia and Canada.

In October 2004, the Kellogg School was named the top MBA program in the world for the third consecutive year by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a division of The Economist Group. Also in October 2004, BusinessWeek magazine ranked the Kellogg School the number one graduate school of business in the United States, an honor it has achieved a record five times since the biennial survey began in 1988.

MORE INFO: To learn more about the Kellogg Advertising Review rankings, contact Peggy King at or 847-491-2112.