Super Bowl Ads: An Outdated Approach to Advertising

Super Bowl Ads: An Outdated Approach to Advertising


Super Bowl Ads: An Outdated Approach to Advertising and a Bad Brand Investment. Here’s Why…

Greg Yates
Chief Marketing Officer

13 February 2017

Finally, a Super Bowl game that’s worth watching, but more commercials that really weren’t. After the big game Facebook and Twitter feeds were flush with excitement about the game, but disappointment in the advertisements, which seemed disjointed, not on brand message and filled with forced humor.

Super Bowl ads have long been the most ridiculously priced time slot in the industry, the only things coming in close seconds are during the Academy Awards and sweeps week, in general. Even with OTT and streaming capabilities the Super Bowl time slots still garner a hefty $5 million price tags for precious 15 and 30 second spots, which seems absurd in this day of real-time engagement and interaction. What is the immediate impact of these ads? Can brands measure whether or not their ads reached intended audiences? Engagement, website traffic and online interaction seem to be the measuring sticks of the day, but after the fact it’s too late and the money has been spent. Many brands are getting smart after each experience and I guess that’s fine if you have $5 million to spend annual on 30 seconds of air time (before you even figure in creative costs), for instance, this year Snickers announced it’s doing ‘the FIRST’ live advertisement during the Super Bowl.

Of course, then there are the brands who have shown real understanding of having a powerful impact and ad in real-time, like Oreo, which responded to the power outage four years ago and started a ‘dunk in the dark’ campaign that ruled social media for days after the big game. The point in all of this is why are we still following the old formulaic approach to advertising during significant moments in time when we know we will have a captive, yet fickle, audience? Why aren’t we planning ahead in a way that utilizes tools we have readily available, like biometrics and neuroscience?

Can brands measure whether or not their ads reached intended audiences?

The Power of Biometrics in Advertising

As the Falcons were beating the Patriots before the final turn of events, were the people watching from New England amused by GoDaddy’s cats riding Roombas and were they even able to recall that was the brand associated with that ad, or will the jokes and calls to action, like promised “risqué” content on its website be lost on a sad and somber fan-base? Wouldn’t it be more powerful for GoDaddy to be able to change its scheduled ad in real-time based on what was happening in the game to reach its audience based on their mood and location? Sounds like fantasy-land where unicorns roam and strange orange-colored monsters rule kingdoms, but the reality is we’re there…we have the ability to do just that. 

By exploring human emotions (and what it means cognitively) and how neurometrics and biometrics is the ultimate form of intelligence to inform and refine the four pillars in marketing – strategy, the communications platform, distribution, efficacy & attribution expensive ads could take on a whole new meaning.

Photograph by Lorem Ipsum via Unsplash

Neuroscience and biometrics have become powerful tools for marketers who understand the power of data and finally want to do something with it. Neuroscience for marketing purposes studies consumers’ unconscious and emotional reactions to stimuli. People are inherently incapable of conveying how they really feel for multiple reasons as evidenced by Nobel winner and Psychologist Daniel Kahneman, Ph.D., therefore we must tap into the unconscious which bypasses the biased conscious mind. We have also learned from neuroscientist, Dr. Antonio Damasio that decision making isn’t logical, but emotional. Therefore, to truly appeal to your target, and get them to encode, and recall, your marketing message, you must understand their mindset and its neuroscience and neuroscience alone that can provide such access to that cognitive data.

Therefore, by harnessing this power and understanding the information it’s putting forth we have the ability to better reach our intended audiences, by being in tune to their unconscious reactions.

We’re already working with brands in the hospitality, sports and finance industries that are implementing the power of biometrics into their campaigns. For instance, we leverage galvanic skin responses (GSR), which measures arousal and facial action coding (FAC), which examines “microexpressions” via 43 muscles in the face to identify what real emotions are coming from the brain at any particular moment and there are companies using this technology in office buildings – through lobby monitors and out of home monitors to assess the overall sentiment of the room and feed up an ad that speaks to that sentiment in real-time.

How it Could Work and Beyond the Super Bowl

For brands to take advantage of biometrics and neuroscience they have to get in the game early. Ads need to be built on the premise that studying human reactions is going to be the approach to developing the ads, it can’t just be funny for the sake of being funny or play off of something a room full of creatives think is funny, but rather feeding off of the captive audience’s reactions and sentiments. This goes beyond traditional focus groups, as people are inherently incapable of articulating how they feel. The Super Bowl actually represents the best test case for this science, as we can predict one user group will be happy, elated, anxious, while the other will likely be frustrated, anxious and sad, so it just then falls on the brands to develop the right content to speak to those reactions.

Three key benefits for brands to know when using biometrics or neuroscience in ads:

  • Biometrics can help rewire your consumers brain triggering mnemonic devices and influences that impact decision-making up to ten seconds before the customer even realizes.
  • Biometrics puts the power of real-time engagement in brands’ hands, with the ability to target the target audience with the most compelling message based on mindset.
  • The digital world in which we live is ripe for this science to be utilized through OTT, streaming, AI assistants, social media and more brands now just need to alter their calls to action.
  • According to the Journal of Advertising: Adding neuroscience-based methods to a traditional test of creative can identify advertising creative that leads to more sales.

Biometrics is being applied to the everyday world understanding user sentiment while they are on the go, in real-time, so brands may change messaging in real-time across connected cities and media – while in restaurants, in elevators in office buildings, in arenas, in their homes and other places people populate and market their products, it’s happening already, so why didn’t any brands think about using this technology when it came to the priciest ad buy on the block? 

To use a bit of a cliché, wouldn’t the executives see a real ‘advertising touchdown,’ with their ads reaching the right audience on a subconscious level and engaging them from an emotional place, which ultimately drives purchase decisions at the key time, in a manner that triggers a subconscious buying decision? I would think the resounding answer is yes and I’m here to say it’s possible and the brands tapping into this science are paving the way for the next innovation to disrupt the advertising – and marketing – industries. So for those brands planning to spend that $5 million dollars next year, we’d urge you to look into the use of biometrics to target your ads in a way that will result in increasing purchase intent, better recall and definitely more positive feedback following the show.

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Humanizing Cybersecurity: A New Approach for Consumers

Humanizing Cybersecurity: A New Approach for Consumers


Humanizing Cybersecurity –Bringing Cybersecurity Branding and Messaging into 2017

Rafael Soberal
EVP, Executive Creative Director

16 February 2017

As the RSA Conference 2017 comes to a close today, IT and security professionals have been bombarded with all the bright and shiny new security solutions all week. With endless security products now available, how do brands make noise in this ever crowded cybersecurity space?

Cybersecurity branding and messaging needs to humanize security. It’s the end of ‘Internet’ security and the beginning of ‘human’ security. Everything we do today is digital so we need a new approach to protect our digital lives within our daily life.

The first way to do this is by demonstrating what you need, why you need it and when you need it. Life is a use case, just choose the moments and correlate with the security products that match their device and digital footprint. From home automation, to social networking, to mobile commerce and more: these are all moments that require secure, uninterrupted protection from unceasing threats, so we can continue doing what we love.

“It’s the end of ‘Internet’ security and the beginning of ‘human’ security.”

Cybersecurity is also a renewal business, and it needs to evolve from physical box products to subscription services that bundle service and support in an easy to buy subscription. This new subscription model can cover unlimited devices against unlimited threats.

Internet security messaging has traditionally been geek talk by geeks, aimed at consumers and SMB buyers. It all seems way too complex without having a straightforward differentiator.  As the cybersecurity market evolves from the traditional 40+ year old male tech buyer to a younger 30+ diverse audience the messaging, design and offering needs to appeal to its younger audience. The focus should be around the customer experience and delivering clear benefits and differentiators, and not so much around product features. Look at Nest and Airbnb – both brands have connected and disrupted legacy industries with products and services for the modern world.

Cybersecurity should be built around humans, not devices. This new approach to security is easy, intuitive, friendly, yet powerful enough to protect against even the worst cybercriminals. Make noise by changing the way we think about security – taking a holistic approach to protecting our digital life.

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