The Blueliner Super Bowl Ad Awards: A Marketing Perspective

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Advertisers spent $2.5 million for a 30 second spot during last night’s Super Bowl XL. Was it worth it? Blueliner Marketing awards the best.

It's a Little Monster

Advertisers spent $2.5 million for a 30 second spot during last night’s Super Bowl XL. Was it worth it? Well, let's reserve judgment on the million dollar question for the moment, but there is no arguing that this night truly is the super bowl of advertising, with over 130 million viewers tuning in across the world. ABC sold just over 60 prime time spots this year, totaling roughly $145 million in revenues.

So who got the best ROI from their Super Bowl commercial? The Blueliner Super Bowl Ad Awards signify which companies used their budgets wisely through strategies such as celebrity endorsements, calls to action, website URL placement and special effects. Through the Blueliner Marketing Blog, we will track how advertiser websites fair in the coming weeks.

Top Five Spots

(#5) Most Heart-Warming - Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty

Some may think that this is not the ideal audience for such a touchy feely ad. With many watching the games in large family and group gatherings, it works. Using Cyndi Lauper's True Colors and an effective website call to action - - Dove, with the help of its agency Ogilvy and Mather, did it right.

This is not a one shot deal either. Dove has commissioned studies and spent a lot of money to publicize the issues of low self-esteem in women. Getting people's attention and then sending them to a website seems to be a good formula, doesn't it?

(#4) Funniest and Best Special Effects - Fedex Caveman

This ad, developed by BBDO, was simply hilarious, true water cooler material for the week. A caveman is fired by his boss and stomped into the ground by a dinosaur after unsuccessfully trying to use a flying terydactyle to deliver a package. Call it karmic punishment for not using FedEx.

From a creative special effects standpoint, this may have been the best ad of the night. Driving home the message that you may get fired if you don't use FedEx in a comical way is subliminal suggestion at its best. DHL and UPS better come back with something quickly!

(#3) Best Story-Telling and Web Call to Action - Hummer's Little Monster

Modernista agency came up with the one minute spot, another $5 million spend, accounting for 5% of the $100 million that Hummer spends annually on ads. This commercial represents storytelling at its best. No words are spoken while music walks us through the love story between Jennifer and the Robot. A well-placed call to action sends us to following the only text on screen "It's a Little Monster", allowing the story to continue.

Going to the actual website brings us further into the land of make believe, with all kinds of information about Jennifer and how she met the robot - – a strange yet effective tactic. This commercial should serve to keep the new H3 in the consciousness of those who are in the market for an SUV.

(#2) Best Tie-In to Post-Game Marketing - Burger King's Whopperettes

This one minute spot cost Burger King $5 million, plus an extra $1 million to produce. By partnering with Sprint to show extended versions on video cell phones, creating a special section on its website, posters in BK's 7,600 U.S. restaurants, and commercials in movie theatres, Burger King is launching this Whopper-focused ad campaign in a multi-channel strategy.

The ad itself is classy and sexy, a well-choreographed production modeled after MGM's 1930s musicals. "As much as people want to write the TV network obituaries, alternative media becomes a way of extending what is still the No. 1 form of viewership in the world," says Russ Klein, Burger King's top marketer. We say kudos to BK's ad agency, Crispin Porter & Bogusky, for creative planning and execution of an integrated campaign. But will this great creative sell more Whoppers?

(#1) Best Overall - Toyota Camry Hybrid

This spot, developed by Conill, Toyota's Hispanic ad agency, was so simple and effective. And isn't it about time that some Spanish words were used in a mainstream television ad? Jim Farley, Vice President of Marketing for Toyota, clearly understands his audience, noting that "one out of every four adults Hispanics watches the Super Bowl." He continues, "In the spot, a little boy makes the connection that the Camry Hybrid uses gas and electricity, much like his father switches back and forth between the two languages."

The ad does a wonderful job of cross-cultural marketing, with a positive family-oriented and environmentally conscious message. No wonder Toyota is #1 in the Hispanic market since 2004, with the Camry being the third best-selling car in that market. This commercial will help Toyota further entrench itself in America's fastest growing population. Lastly, what gives this spot the nod is that it did more with less. At 30 seconds, using two unknown actors and no special effects, Toyota will get the most bang for its buck of all 30+ Super Bowl advertisers.

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For more information contact:

Arman Rousta, (212) 904-1240

About Blueliner

Blueliner is a leading interactive marketing company , combining Internet Marketing, Corporate Branding and Public Relations solutions to start-ups, emerging and established companies. With offices in New York, Chicago, India and China, Blueliner follows “The World is Flat” business model of efficient, 24/7 implementation and ROI-centric development and marketing methodologies.

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Arman Rousta
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