Super Bowl ad frenzy

So as another annual landmark in the advertising calendar– which also apparently has something to do with sport – passes, just what have we learnt from 2011's massive ad-spend onslaught.

Well, it appears the brands getting the most consumer bang from their buck  (all $3M per 30-seconds)  are Bud Light, Doritos, Volkswagen and Pepsi Max , at least in the short term if USA Today's ad meter rankings are to be believed.

Ads in the top spots include the usual stalwart crowd pleasers of ‘animals doing funny things’ (such as hosting a Bud Light party or crushing men under patio doors for Doritos) and ‘kids doing cute things’ (such as stopping a Volkswagen with Darth Vader style Jedi powers). The later racking up some 14M post event viral views.

Doritos once again managed to secure plenty of attention for its UGC ‘Crash The Super Bowl’ competition, which netted the winning director of ‘Pug Attack’ $1M. A sizeable ROI on an ad that cost a mere $500 to create.

Elsewhere celebrity endorsements - although recently maligned in a report that questioned their sway with consumers - were out in force, from Kim Kardishan wrestling with her personal trainer for Skechers to Eminem appearing in both Lipton Brisk and Chrysler commercials. A number of other musicians made their mark too, including the unlikely pairing of Ozzy Osborne and Justin Bieber in a Best Buy ad and Puff Daddy making a cameo in a Mercedes spot.

The Chrysler spot itself is worth a special mention due to its unheard of running length. At 2 minutes it is both the longest (and most expensive) Super Bowl ad, and one of the most deliberate attempt at status positioning by an auto brand in recent memory.

The big question raised by Super bowl ads is not one of immediacy. An audience topping 100 million viewers watches the ads, so the initial eyeball impact - in addition to the iconic status associated with a placement among the world’s largest sporting event - is without question. The issue now, however, in a world that has moved on so dramatically from interruption advertising, is how these brands build upon this big hit throughout the rest of year, bringing consumers into the action and developing conversations around their brand.

In the heady world of Super Bowl ad expenditure it’s all about the conversion and not just the crowd-pleasing touch down.

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