Meet the professors behind Kellogg’s Super Bowl Ad Review

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The 12th annual Kellogg Super Bowl Ad Review is quickly approaching, and with advertising spots selling at a reported $5 million, the stakes are higher than ever for marketers.

On Sunday, Feb. 7, more than 50 Kellogg students will join Professors Tim Calkins and Derek Rucker as they try to separate the Super Bowl advertising winners from the losers.

Read on to learn more about Calkins and Rucker — two of Kellogg’s most widely recognized marketing professors — including their past involvement with the Ad Review and what they’re most looking forward to about this year’s ads.

Tim Calkins

Clinical Professor of Marketing

Professor Calkins compiled the first Super Bowl Advertising Review in 1999 and launched it in its current format in 2005.

“The Super Bowl is a remarkable marketing event,” Calkins said. “I love seeing what brands come up with. The Kellogg review itself is fairly intense. The panel has to evaluate dozens of spots, and then we have to quickly turn around and release the official results. It is exciting working with students to make sense of all the ads.”

Calkins said he is always interested in seeing which brands manage to stand out. The same is true for him this year.

“There is so much going on during the Super Bowl, it is difficult to break-through the clutter, but every year a few brands pull it off,” Calkins said. “I’m also watching to see which brands struggle. The intense pressure to be creative means some will miss the mark.”

He also noted that he is curious about the tonality of the 2016 Super Bowl ad spots “because Super Bowl advertising reflects the mood of the country. Most of these brands have done extensive market research, so the spots tell us something about how people are feeling and what is important.”

As a longtime leader of the Kellogg Super Bowl Ad Review, Calkins has had the unique opportunity of seeing the full evolution of Ad Review participants: “Quite a few students who were on the panel in the early days are now working on the new Super Bowl spots,” he said.

Derek Rucker

Sandy and Morton Goldman Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies in Marketing

Professor Rucker is the co-developer of the ADPLAN framework, a strategic and quantitative advertising assessment tool that is used during the Kellogg Super Bowl Ad Review.

What does he enjoy most about leading the Ad Review?

“For me, it’s the entire atmosphere and environment of the Kellogg SB Ad Review,” Rucker said. “The energy in the room is just amazing. It’s a great and unique venue for interacting with our students and for taking fundamental marketing skills learned in the classroom and putting them into action in advertising’s biggest stage.

“I particularly enjoy it when I see the students identify and articulate why they viewed a particular spot as hitting or missing the mark. Seeing our students display their prowess in strategy is stimulating.”

Every Super Bowl, Rucker looks forward to two things:

  1. Seeing brands figure out the perfect formula to balance strategy and creativity to make an impact
  2. Spending time unpacking the underlining strategy of the ad

Learn more about Kellogg’s Super Bowl Ad Review.

Join Kellogg’s 12th annual Super Bowl Ad Review virtually and follow the conversation on Twitter using #KelloggSB and @InsideKellogg.

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