Behind the scenes at Kellogg’s Super Bowl Ad Review

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Kellogg’s Super Bowl Ad Review was one of the reasons Mike Hayes and David Morgenstern chose to attend Kellogg. They’ve always watched the Big Game and been a fan of deciding which commercials they liked or didn’t like. But this year, they were able to go beyond that and put theory to practice as they analyzed which ads were most effective and which fell flat.

Hayes and Morgenstern were two of 67 current students who participated in this year’s Ad Review. McDonald’s topped the rankings with its “Pay With Lovin'” ad. Other brands that earned top marks include Budweiser, Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble’s Always. Squarespace, Lexus and Heroes Charge received low marks.

Hear more from Hayes, Morgenstern, Kate O’Brady and Vivek Kumar about participating in this year’s Ad Review. Find out why they took part, what their favorite commercial was and what they learned from the experience.

MIKE HAYES

WHY DID YOU WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SUPER BOWL AD REVIEW?

MHayes_Headshot.jpgThe Kellogg Super Bowl Ad Review was one of the key reasons why I chose to attend Kellogg. As a marketing student with a sports business background, there is no better way to learn from industry experts like Professors Calkins and Rucker and better understand how advertisers position their brands and products to (hopefully) drive business.

Using the ADPLAN framework, it was great to discuss each advertisement with fellow classmates and analyze which companies were able to achieve their branding objectives, and understand why others fell short.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE COMMERCIAL?

McDonald’s “Pay with Lovin.” It was refreshing to see McDonald’s come through with a spot that truly speaks to the “I’m Loving It” brand equity they have been building for years. The combination of light-hearted fun with a focus on raising awareness for the truly important things in life should resonate with target customers.

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST THING YOU LEARNED FROM THE EXPERIENCE? 

Humor is good, but marketers need to make sure they take a position early, make the connection with the brand and own that position credibly. It is unfortunate to watch a commercial that has an incredible creative but makes the viewer immediately forget the company that just spent millions of dollars.

DAVID MORGENSTERN

WHY DID YOU WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SUPER BOWL AD REVIEW?

DavidMorgensternHeadshot.jpgParticipating in the Super Bowl Ad Review was one of the reasons I chose to attend Kellogg. I grew up watching the Super Bowl, mostly for the commercials since my Browns were never in the game, and was always very opinionated regarding which ads I thought were the most effective.

The Super Bowl Ad Review provides a truly unique experience to learn from a creative group of marketing leaders from around the world. The Kellogg experience is rooted in collaborative and experimental learning  and the Super Bowl Ad Review is an opportunity to do just this – plus a great excuse to indulge in chicken wings!

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE COMMERCIAL?

My favorite commercial was for Coca-Cola. They did a fantastic job of linking the spot to their larger brand equity and clearly communicated with the consumer the benefits of drinking Coca-Cola.

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST THING YOU LEARNED FROM THE EXPERIENCE? 

I learned how important it is to develop marketing that links directly to your overall brand and effectively delivers a message of benefit to the consumer. Participating in the ad review was an incredible opportunity to directly apply the lessons we learned in class on the most important advertising day of the year.

KATE O’BRAY

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE COMMERCIAL?

Katie_ObrayBudweiser – Brewed the Hard Way

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST THING YOU LEARNED FROM THE EXPERIENCE? 

It was really interesting to dissect the Super Bowl ads from a marketing standpoint. Historically, I’ve watched the Super Bowl ads and rooted for the most entertaining ads. The Kellogg Ad Review showed me how challenging it is for brands to win in the entertaining/heart-tugging categories and still drive their businesses.

You could see that a number of brands were trying to connect with consumers on an emotional level, and they started to tell good stories, but their messages did not always sync back with the brand’s positioning.

The Ad Review was such a powerful way to learn how to apply marketing concepts because of the experiential aspect of it. Now I’ll never look at advertising the same again!

VIVEK KUMAR

WHY DID YOU WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SUPER BOWL AD REVIEW?

Vivek Kumar.jpgHaving worked as a Brand Manager with PepsiCo before joining Kellogg, I know how marketers emotionally feel about the Super Bowl! Marketers across companies and industries work for months painstakingly putting together some of the best work of their lives. So I was really excited when I was invited to be a panelist at the 11th Kellogg Super Bowl Ad Review.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE COMMERCIAL?

I loved the McDonalds ad. For one you could not miss the ad – it was high on engagement, and unique in execution from the other ads of the evening. The benefit for consumer – “love” – was strong and clear, and provoked an emotion in me as I was watching it.

Also the spot was well-branded. This was well done by the marketers at McDonalds since the role of the product in the ad was low, consumers could have struggled to link the ad to the brand if it was not well branded.

Finally the ad was consistent with the “Lovin’ It” campaigns that McDonalds has been running for a while. All in all, this ad checked all the boxes of the ADPLAN framework, and in fact did each of the A-D-P-L-A-N very well.

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST THING YOU LEARNED FROM THE EXPERIENCE? 

I found it very interesting to note how the ads from the gaming apps – Clash of the Clans and Heroes Charge – are trying to make their mark during the Super Bowl. One, it just reinforces the power of TV advertising during the Super Bowl when online products see it imperative to advertise on an offline platform. Two, I personally think the Clash of the Clans ad spot did so much better than Heroes Charge because it combined the online and offline worlds in its execution, making it stand out more. Of course, having Liam Neeson helped!

ABOUT THE SUPER BOWL AD REVIEW

Each year, brands spend upwards of $2 billion collectively on Super Bowl commercials. Some emerge as clear winners. Others limp away. This year, for the eleventh time, Kellogg School of Management marketing students applied rigorous, research-based criteria to determine what separates the Super Bowl advertising winners from the losers.

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