When it comes to reaching a mass audience, TV is the undisputed king of all media (sorry, Howard Stern). Or is it? In this column, originally published in Adweek, Radha Subramanyam of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment demonstrates how radio delivers not only reach, but receptivity and the sense of community consumers want. Read on for insights on how marketers can create Super Bowl-style results with the original social medium:
How Advertisers Can Stoke Super Bowl Buzz Year Round
Look to radio for reach, receptivity and community By Radha Subramanyam
Football fans around the country geared up for weeks before last Sunday’s Super Bowl between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers and their opposing coaches—brothers Jim and John Harbaugh, who took sibling rivalry to new heights.
The big game did not disappoint.
From the power outage to the 49ers mounting an almost-comeback to that electric Beyoncé performance—there was no shortage of drama. And the commercials were no exception.
For marketers, advertising during the Super Bowl is a once-a-year moment of unprecedented reach and consumer attention. Never does advertising have a more captive audience. But most brands can’t afford the $3.8 million it takes to buy just a 30-second spot. What’s more, everyday TV buys don’t come close to generating the awareness of a Super Bowl spot—and in fact, can be a fumble for brands.
The magic of the Super Bowl ad spectacle is that rare alchemy of reach, receptivity and community. Don’t underestimate the power of community; at a time when we are more plugged in than ever through email, Twitter and Facebook, what many of us actually yearn for is to feel really connected. That’s the feeling we get when we’re sitting around the living room with family and friends, engaged in a common experience—like the Super Bowl. But if you want to achieve Super Bowl-sized results all year, radio is the only medium that delivers a Super Bowl kind of reach, receptivity and community year round.
To read the full column, click here.
Even if you weren’t paying attention to NFL football on Jan. 20, if you had the game on, Merkley + Partners’ TV spot for long-time client Mercedes Benz likely made your head snap to attention.
In what is being called a teaser for the automaker’s Super Bowl spot in February, the ad plays the Rolling Stones’ song “Sympathy for the Devil.” Although the spot is beautifully produced and has a perfectly suspenseful set-up, the use of that song is curious to say the least. A rock ‘n’ roll classic, yes, but a lighthearted little ditty? Absolutely not. And how could it be when “Lucifer” is the first-person narrator?
Why would Mercedes Benz or any brand want to be associated with the following imagery?
I rode a tank
Held a general’s rank
When the blitzkrieg raged
And the bodies stank
I shouted out,
Who killed the Kennedys?
When after all
It was you and me
None of those lyrics actually plays in the Mercedes spot but consumers can finish the song in their heads once Mick Jagger’s familiar yowl is heard at the beginning of the song.
In an eerily prescient article back in November, Brenda Fiala, SVP, Strategy at Blast Radius, wrote in Mediapost about how the Rolling Stones “brand” has become downright respectable now that they’ve been a band for 50 years. “Let’s face it: The Rolling Stones aren’t just a band, they’re a brand in the same pantheon as Coca-Cola, Mercedes-Benz and Chanel.”
The question is, how respectable is Mercedes Benz now that it has appropriated one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most notorious songs?
M.I.A.’s Super Bowl finger flip may be old news now, but we thought the topic was relevant considering our recent post on crisis communications.
Arnell Group CEO, Sara Arnell, explains how scandals like this can actually be great branding opportunities – and how companies can effectively take advantage of set-backs to grow positive awareness.
Read more on Fast Company.