Super Bowl Ads: Sex Does Not Sell

2013 Mercedes-Benz Super Bowl XLVII commercial with Kate Upton

Does sex sell? Controversy? Or does the coolest, funniest ad sells more product? It’s the perennial question that’s asked each year during the Super Bowl commercial season. I love the Doritos goat ad, but as I shared it with my social network, was I evangelizing the brand or a piece of entertainment? After all, I don’t actually buy Doritos that much. The problem is that most Super Bowl ads are quickly forgotten despite the glued eyeballs, dropped jaws and chuckling.

I would argue that these ads do not drive sales; rather, they create unhappy customers.

Super Bowl ads are enjoyed for their entertainment value, but the gap between what the ad portrays and expected experience customers want is often so great that it creates cognitive dissonance with the audience. That calls into question the brand’s credibility. While brands revel in the attention they get, audiences are actually laughing at them instead of with them.

Audiences expect ads to entertain as well as inform them about the customer experience. Shoppers make purchase decisions based on the how they think they’ll be treated as customers. In today’s economy, customer experience is the new competitive differentiator; not the product.

According to Edmonds most car buyers want an experience similar to shopping at Best Buy or Walmart where customer services counts, the “buying process holds few surprises,” and they expect the brand to be an indicator of how they will be treated at the dealership.

This year’s Mercedes Benz ad of Kate Upton blowing suds at a new model CLA creates a pretty big gap between the experience customers want from a luxury car and what’s being advertised. I own three Mercedes; none were purchased in the hopes of having a babe wash the cars. The ad makes me wonder about the company’s investment priorities, marketing strategy and management’s common sense.

Read More at : Huffington Post