Super Bowl LII Ads - For The Win?

There are endless lists online right now related to the Super Bowl LII ads - Top Ads, Worst Ads, Funniest Ads, etc. etc. Of course, these lists are very subjective. I’m not saying these ads do or don’t belong on their respective lists, but they are coming from a place of personal bias from the writer, or group of writers.
While it’s fun to make lists like this - where we impose personal preferences into our decision-making on “success”, it’s important to remember what really makes an ad (or campaign) successful.
First and foremost, we must remember the intent of the ad. Let’s say - we wanted the ad to make people purchase the newest model of vehicle X. To gain awareness, interest, and most likely attention, we used humor to keep the viewers engaged in our 30 second ad. As a result, we secured the top spot on several lists for Top 5 Ads and Funniest Ads. YES! Ok wait, let’s remember, our goal was to make viewers purchase vehicle X, or at least consider the purchase. Of course we don’t expect viewers to leave during the game and head down to their local dealership, so we need to measure that success in another way. Did local dealers receive more foot traffic or phone/internet inquiries on vehicle X in the days or week(s) following the Super Bowl Ad? Yes? Awesome! Our ad is likely the cause of this increased interest (only way to really know is to ask each individual - “what made you come in today/inquire on vehicle X?”). No? Then darn, our ad may have proven entertaining, but the intent behind our ad did not produce the desired result of either selling more of vehicle X or at least earning more interest.
Now that we have a mock example of truly determining success of an ad (or campaign). Here’s a brief list to keep in mind for future planning and analysis of the success of your ads or campaigns.

  • Make a plan for execution and include specific desired results (measureable)
  • Determine the channel(s) you plan to utilize
    • Create specific links, landing pages, dedicated phone lines, etc. to measure where leads are coming from
    • Entice viewers to “mention the ad” for an additional incentive
  • Determine metrics (trackable numbers) for analysis
  • Measure success based on plan criteria and collected metrics
  • Reassess or refine future execution plans based on analysis and conclusions

Most important takeaway? Know what you’re looking to accomplish with each ad or campaign. If you don’t know what you are trying to get as a result, how can you possibly determine the success of your efforts? Each ad or campaign should have a specific intent and should be measured against that criteria. From there, you can continue your efforts of success, or re-assess your methods needed to reach your desired results.