Real-Time Consumer Research Finds Anheuser-Busch’s Army Ad Best
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By Kris Oser
BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. (AdAge.com) — Even though GoDaddy’s Super Bowl ad is what they’re talking about around the water coolers this morning, its ultimate impact may be negative, according to an instant online survey conducted during the game last night.
GoDaddy’s busty star performed for a congressional panel. Watch the spot on the ‘TV Spots of the Week’ Video Page.
GoDaddy, a little-known Internet domain registration company, produced the evening’s single most provocative commercial. Set in a mock congressional committee hearing, the spot starred a young women whose very large breasts were constrained within a very skimpy camisole that suffered a near “wardrobe malfunction.” The story line was a satirical jab at the government’s recent moves to more tightly regulate TV and radio content that falls within the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission.
Mixed reaction Funny as it was, the spot received mixed reaction from online consumer blogs surveyed by Intelliseek of Cincinnati. During the game, the market research company monitored 40 blogs to measure which ads were likely to generate the most buzz or controversy the day after the game.
“As for building buzz,” said Intelliseek’s marketing chief, Pete Blackshaw, “they’ve done a great job, but for a lot of people, it was just a cheap thrill and I’m not sure the ad will sustain itself with buzz.”
Among Intelliseek’s panel of bloggers the GoDaddy spot, created by the Ad Store of New York, was “polarizing,” Mr. Blackshaw said, and some people were surprised it made it on the air.
Forty bloggers polled Intelliseek chose 40 bloggers who regularly post commentary on their own blogs about products and consumer issues. During the Super Bowl they blogged about their thoughts and
Consumers indicated they were deeply moved by the Anheuser-Busch ‘Applause’ spot honoring U.S. military personnel. Watch the spot on the ‘TV Spots of the Week’ Video Page. emotions as they watched the ads. The blog site operators were chosen because they are “engaged consumers” who influence others’ reactions, Mr. Blackshaw said. These reactions are Intelliseek’s top-line findings, he noted. Quantifiable results will be issued later in the day.
The top ads in terms of buzz included the Pepsi-Cola “Guy Watcher” spot featuring Queer Eye for the Straight Guy fashion guru Carson Kressley; Ameriquest’s “Mini-Mart”; and the FedEx ad starring Burt Reynolds and a dancing bear. “[The FedEx spot] poked fun at advertisers and that resonated with consumers,” Mr. Blackshaw said. “Guy Watcher” was created by TBWA/Chiat Day; “Mini-Mart by DDB Direct of Venice, Calif.; and FedEx’s “Top Ten” by BBDO of New York.
The latest commercial in MasterCard’s ongoing “Priceless” campaign was “Icons” from McCann-Erickson, New York. It was an an ode to animated brand icons and a hit with many bloggers. Blogger “Minnesota Man” wrote: “This campaign still works for me. I love seeing Mr. Clean again. He must be 50 years old. Good staying power for the Yul Brenner lookalike.”
Anheuser-Busch’s ‘Applause’ Of the Anheuser-Busch ads, “Applause,” which shows U.S. soldiers in desert battle fatigues walking into the airport and receiving a spontaneous standing ovation from the travelers, “really touched a nerve,” Mr. Blackshaw said. The spot was created by DDB, Chicago.
Among the brewer’s humorous ads, Bud Light’s “Lady,” which showed a macho cockatoo protecting a woman from unwanted advances in a barroom, got mixed reviews, but the spot showing a pilot jumping out of an airplane after a six-pack of Bud Light was a hit.
“The key thing is not what’s controversial,” Mr. Blackshaw said. “You can have breakthrough copy, you just have to make it funny.”
Mixed reaction to iTunes A spot from TBWA/Chiat Day promoting Pepsi’s co-marketing effort with iTunes music downloads, got mixed reactions. One, from Katie’s Super Bowl Blog, observed: “Rather old, almost like last year’s ad with the codes that all turned out going sour because of Net fraud and people hacking caps and codes in the end.”
The commercials that received the most negative reaction included “Green Light,” a spot for the ford Motor Co.’s Mustang by J. Walter Thompson, and CareerBuilder’s series of ads featuring a beleaguered office worker and his simian co-workers. “I don’t think CareerBuilder scored many points with the monkeys,” Mr. Blackshaw remarked. Cramer-Krasselt created the monkey ads.
The biggest failure with consumers appeared to be Grey Worldwide’s work for Cialis. Typical of the criticism was one that appeared on “Blog and Tackle”: “So what if I’m sitting in my living room with my daughter and she turns to me and says, ‘Dad, what’s erectile dysfunction?’ I don’t like being in that position, OK? I’m not a prude. I’m a dad. Hate you guys a lot. And by the way, the ad is wretched.”
Industry reaction While the bloggers had a consumer slant, advertising industry insiders had a slightly different take on the Super Bowl’s ad work. At the Super Bowl party at the iMedia Brand Summit in Bonita Springs, Fla., where this reporter watched the game, the GoDaddy ad was an over-the-top hit. As soon as the raucous revelers at the Hyatt Regency here caught on to the parody, the room went dead silent. Then there was a buzz of appreciation.
The only other ad that resonated across the room of several hundred advertising insiders was the Anheuser-Busch “Applause” spot. Those watching the game applauded along with the people in the brewer’s ad.