What was the Effectiveness of the Super Bowl Commercials?

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Arthur Solomon, Public Relations Consultant

Like past Super Bowls, there are so many commercials that’s it impossible to name the effectiveness of them, especially the most or least effective ones at this time, despite what the advertising pundits will say and write.That’s because the pundits would have to read the minds of all the marketers to know what their true objectives were — to increase sales  or just to keep their product in front of the viewing public. Also, there’s a third reason that’s never mentioned: Advertising on the Super Bowl as a defensive move. I’ve had clients tell me that they advertise on mega sporting events, not  because it will increase sales but to keep their competitors from being able to do so. If the reason for spending more than $5-million on a commercial was to gain sales, the effectiveness of the spot will not be known for some time. A short spike in sales, if any, doesn’t necessarily mean that it will continue.. And what’s the  chance of a marketer saying publicly that, “What we did didn’t work”. Not great. More likely, regardless of the ineffectiveness of their ad they’ll say, “We’re very happy. It achieved our objectives.”

As for the commercials in the game: I didn’t see any that would make me switch from a product I’m using to one that was on the Super Bowl. Only two of the commercials caught my interest — Secrets commercial about women playing football, which I thought was the best of the night, and the Hyundai add about a self parking automobile, which I thought was the most informative. That’s something I didn’t know exists, and the next time I’m in the market for an auto I’ll check it out.

I thought both President Trump’s and Michael Bloomberg’s commercials were effective, but I give a big edge to Bloomberg’s,  because he has a long track record of believing in the message of the ad.


The Unspoken PR Tenet: Bad News Is Good News for Our Business By Arthur SolomonAbout the Author: Arthur Solomon, a former journalist, was a senior VP/senior counselor at Burson-Marsteller, and was responsible for restructuring, managing and playing key roles in some of the most significant national and international sports and non-sports programs. He also traveled internationally as a media adviser to high-ranking government officials. He now is a frequent contributor to public relations publications, consults on public relations projects and is on theSeoul Peace Prize nominating committee. He can be reached at arthursolomon4pr (at) juno.com and artsolomon4pr (at) optimum.net.