Dozens of advertising professionals from all over Mid-Michigan gathered at the Spartan Hall of Fame Café to watch the big game, but it wasn’t just the score they were keeping their eyes on.
It was the commercials.
Whether creative or emotions, for these advertising professionals like MSU Advertising and Public Relations Department Chair, Jeff Richards, there was only one that could come out on top.
“It’s a lot of ads, and there’s a lot of money that goes into these ads, so they’re really competing, which ones manage to stand above the crowd,” says Richards.
Today’s big game wasn’t just between the players on the field, there was also a battle over viewer attention during the commercial breaks as well.
Advertising experts from MSU ranked commercials based off of categories like creativity production quality, and social responsibility.
However, according to MSU Advertising and Public Relations Professor, Robert Kolt, the best ads, aren’t always the most elaborate.
“An ad with a simple, clear, concise message that makes a sale, is really the best ad, and an ad that people remember after the game, and hopefully it has some humor and makes people laugh and feel good,” says Kolt.
Kolt says, the playoff game delivers the biggest television audience each year, and advertisers could pay up to as much as $5-million dollars for just a 30-second spot.
But it’s all about where that spot is.
“If you’re in the first quarter, that’s terrific, everybody’s going to see your ad, but if you’re in that final two minute break in a really great game, that could be like winning the jackpot in the lottery,” says Kolt.
And when it comes to picking the best ad of the night, Richards says, it has to tug at the heartstrings.
“Whether it is making you laugh, making you cry, it’s somehow grabbing hold of your emotions and pulling you along with it,” says Richards.
The group voted, and the winning commercial was created by Honda, and was presented creatively through a yearbook.
It featured celebrity voiceovers including comedians Steve Carell and Tina Fey.
And also MSU and basketball legend Magic Johnson.