Bridgestone is tops in Super Bowl advertising buzz

Mon Feb 7, 2011 3:09pm EST
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By Paul Thomasch

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The polls are out, the critics, academics and armchair ad executives have cast their votes and the winners of this year's Super Bowl branding battle have been declared: Volkswagen, Bridgestone, Doritos and Bud Light.

The big loser? That may be the actual polls and reviews run by USA Today, Kellogg School of Management, The Wall Street Journal and Advertising Age.

No longer are polls the object of obsession they once were with chief marketing officers seeking feedback on the millions they forked over for 30 or 60 seconds of Super Bowl commercial time. Twitter and Facebook are replacing them.

Rating highly in polls still does not hurt, of course. But social networks can tell CMOs more than the simple thumbs up/thumbs down conclusions of voting, since the ads become the subject of conversations rather than one-word responses.

Plus, buzz on Twitter or Facebook can also make a product cool -- a designation that justifies the $3 million cost of a Super Bowl ad.

Consider E*Trade Financial Corp, which ran a popular ad on Sunday featuring its spokesbaby getting measured by his tailor Enzo, "the artiste behind my wardrobe." That ad was just part of a broader campaign that included extensions to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and a site that lets the consumer create a script for the baby and email it to friends.

"In the last couple of years, we've done incredibly well with the USA poll, the Wall Street Journal poll, so we've won a couple of those," said E*Trade Chief Marketing Officer Nick Utton.

"But at the end of the day you want to be part of the conversation -- this is not just about running one spot on the Super Bowl. This is a business decision, so it means full integration."   Continued...

<p>On the set of Bridgestone's "Reply All" Super Bowl commercial. REUTERS/Bridgestone</p>