Playing Arm-Chair Quarterback

A Final Thought on Last Sunday's Commercial-fest

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Marc Brownstein Marc Brownstein
It seems everyone in the advertising industry is commenting on the Super Bowl commercials this week -- particularly about how clever (or not) they are. But I want to comment not so much on the content, but on the medium. For all the talk of 30-second TV commercials going the way of VHS videos, our industry's showcase event for advertising affirmed that TV commercials have much more than a pulse. They are relevant and powerful ... when used properly.

What do I mean by "used properly"? This year, more than any other, we have demonstrated that when a campaign is integrated, it is more powerful than when it is expressed in a single medium. For instance, the Super Bowl spots had big public-relations efforts behind them. Sneak peeks were given weeks before the game. Buzz was created on and offline about which spots were going to "win" the popularity contest. And months ago, an online promotion to solicit the first consumer-generated TV commercial to air on the Super Bowl was launched. Again, lot of buzz was created. Viral e-mails were flying around the internet, soliciting votes for best TV spot. Sites were created to rant on the spots. Finally, print, outdoor and event marketing was added to the mix. Nothing traditional about that. But this approach is quickly becoming the standard for how to make your brand famous.

Of course, it's easier to attain fame when half of the global population is tuned in. But what happens when you have to attract an audience? The recipe is the same. Create ideas that turn heads. Then promote them through all the right vehicles that connect you to your customer. Offline and on. PR and guerilla. Nothing revolutionary in the soup. You just have to have the talent to stir the pot.
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