The $5 million dollar mission drift
If your team didn't make it, you're probably watching the Super Bowl for the ads and the half time show. This year the peak number of Super Bowl viewers came in at 115.5 million. Nearly 5 times the average number of Sunday Night Football viewers (21-23 million viewers). For some of us, the Super Bowl is an amalgamation of everything branded and messaged that follows a mission.
Whether you've sat down and consciously gone through the exercise of writing a mission for your company or not, you have one. It might be on paper, framed and hung around the office, or posted on your website. Every company has one. It may be a simple as sell x number of widgets over the next 2 years, it might be open a sister store in your next largest market, it might be to launch a new product, to re-invent your product message. Whatever it is, your mission drives your story. The leadership in your company creates it, drives it and the entire company should view it as beacon where all marketing, circles back to your mission.
So, I have to ask, how many companies spent over $5 million (I say over $5million because that's the ad placement fee, creating the ad itself, isn't cheap either!) to watch their mission drift to see their story run off on a tangent? A Super Bowl spot is the holy grail of ad spots for an ad agency. It's the ultimate opportunity to have the most number of consumers at one time actually waiting to see your ad!! It's not bathroom break time, not time to let the dog out, or load the dishwasher, or refill your beer. Consumers are waiting to see the funny, the sad, the new, the edgy, the racy, the best!
So where was the Bud Bowl! Where were the majestic Budweiser Clydesdales, where were the racy godaddy and Carl's Jr.? Heck! Where's the beef??? In my humble opinion, it was in general, an epic fail for advertisers, whose goal should be to keep clients on message, on brand. Tell their story...not someone else's. Catch my drift?
On the flip side, the NFL and it's controversial half time show, nailed it! They had a mission and stuck to it. Wether everyone was on their best behavior or direct orders were given, it was a relief to see everyone can get along and can stay focused on their mission...play football, sing songs. Until the commercials started and the tension started. So in honor of the many advertisers that did stay on brand, thank you Spuds Mackenzie for your comeback, thank you Febreeze for reminding us we're not alone in our plight for fresh air! And thank you Mr. Clean for making clean a little dirty!
The moral of the story is, stay on brand, tell your story and you will be remembered for what you sell! Go off brand and message, tell someone's else's story and no one will remember who you were...mixed with politics, you will likely alienate a segment of your market. Well executed brands endure, political statements are easily forgotten. Be remembered for your Coke and a Smile, not your take on current events. Put your $5million or $500 bucks to good use! Don't drift!!