While the rest of America was riveted by Beyoncé’s half-time performance and the power outage at the New Orlean’s Super Dome, a group of almost 60 MBA students from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management Marketing Club studied the event from another perspective during the School’s ninth annual Super Bowl Advertising Review.
Students watched the event and rated the advertisers using a set of academic criteria known as ADPLAN to rank the most and least successful advertisers. ADPLAN is an acronym for Attention, Distinction, Positioning, Linkage, Amplification and Net equity.
First place went to the Tide “Miracle Stain” spot as the best ad during Sunday’s game, while BlackBerry ranked at the bottom of the always-anticipated Review due to weak branding and the lack of a compelling benefit.
“Tide really broke through the clutter with a very engaging spot,” said Clinical Professor of Marketing Tim Calkins, who leads the event along with Associate Professor of Marketing Derek D. Rucker. “At Kellogg, our Review evaluates the ads based on strategic execution and the potential to build brands. Tide, M&M’s and Best Buy all did a terrific job connecting engaging spots to product benefits.”
Students judged the advertisements based on their potential to drive sales, favorably impact companies’ bottom lines and improve brand awareness, as opposed to evaluating the commercials according to their popularity.
In a wrap-up posted on the Review’s blog, Professor Calkins noted two big trends this year: an increase in longer spots that develop a story, and a huge boost in social media tie-ins during the game. If you’d like to see which spots earned the top, middling, and lowest marks, and read commentary from the Review explaining their picks, check out Calkin’s post, which includes all of commercial spots in question.