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Professors Tim Calkins and Derek Rucker lead students in grading advertisements during Super Bowl XLIV.

Professors Calkins and Rucker lead the Super Bowl Advertising Review

Super Bowl Advertising Review

The Kellogg School rates Google’s ad the best in Super Bowl XLIV; ads from Focus on the Family and the U.S. Census are ranked the worst

2/8/2010 - The score is final and the points are tallied — for both the Super Bowl and the Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review.

Google earned top marks for its “How to Impress a French Woman” ad, winning the sixth annual ever-popular Review.

“This year’s Super Bowl featured several effective ads, making the Review an exciting learning experience for the students,” said Clinical Professor of Marketing Tim Calkins, who leads the event. “The overarching goal for Super Bowl advertisers is a successful ad that resonates with their target audience. Based on our framework, Google really embraced the key elements of a winning Super Bowl commercial with both its sentimental and practical execution.”

Google earned the title of champion from the Review panel, which was comprised of MBA students from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Google edged out fellow “A” grade advertisers including Denny’s, Audi, Volkswagen, Dodge and Snickers. With three auto spots scoring in the top five, automakers surprised viewers by creating memorable ads that broke through the clutter.

With the pre-game buzz surrounding Focus on the Family for its anti-abortion sentiment and the U.S. Census, which used government dollars, the panel thought the ads fell flat and didn’t live up to the strategic framework. Other advertisers receiving low marks from the panel included Honda and Bridgestone.

Associate Professor of Marketing Derek Rucker, who also leads the Review, noted, “Companies now need to leverage the buzz to increase their ROI. Turning the advertising into consumer action is the next step and the best companies know that. The marketing departments will be working overtime for that reason.”

Unlike other popularity-based reviews, the Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review uses a strategic academic framework known as ADPLAN. The acronym, developed by Kellogg faculty, instructs viewers to grade ads based on Attention, Distinction, Positioning, Linkage, Amplification and Net equity.

A full list of the rankings can be found here.

More Information 
To schedule an interview or learn more about Professor Calkins, Professor Rucker and the Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review, contact Aaron Mays.