SuperBowl 2014

So this is the second year I’m ranking the top 5 and bottom 5 Super Bowl ads. Last year Tide “Miracle Stain” took the top spot. Click here to see the complete list from 2013.

For 2014, the “Big Game” was a big flop. It seemed like Denver didn’t even show up. But, even in a blow out, the show must go on. Advertisers that bet on 2nd half spots were probably disappointed in the viewership. Nevertheless, the game provided some memorable advertising.

Interestingly, some of the best “Super Bow ads” weren’t even in the Super Bowl. Esurance and Newcastle found creative ways to highjack the big game without spending big money. They would both be in my top 5, but they weren’t “technically” in the Super Bowl. So, I put them in the “honorable mention” category.

Without futher adu, here are my picks for the top 5 and bottom 5 ads in the 2014 Super Bowl.

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baby bath water

“Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water”.

I’ve heard that saying a lot in my career. It seems to be a staple in the conventional marketing vernacular.

It’s actually a horrible saying. I mean, the idea of “throwing out” a baby is really terrible. I guess that’s why they never say throw out the baby but save the bath water.

But, I think marketers need to retire that saying.

To me, it means that if what we’re doing isn’t working, let’s keep doing it anyway. Just make some minor tweaks and it will definitely start working.

That logic is usually misguided. If an idea or program isn’t working, it’s probably not going to work. No matter what you do to make the logo bigger or make the message clearer, the core idea might just be rotten.

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What are your resolutions for 2014?

What are your resolutions for 2014?

As we move ahead in 2014, it’s always a good time think about things we can do differently, better and smarter in the new year. As Ben Franklin said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing in the same way and expecting different results.” But too often marketers become creatures of habit, just turning over the same media plan and changing the year to 2014.

But the new year gives us the chance to start fresh, change our approach and try something new.

So here are some things to consider for 2014. Read More


The P&G Family of Brands

I graduated from American University in 1996 with a degree in “Interdisciplinary Studies”.   Basically, I got four minors – Communication, Law, Economics and Government.  We called it “CLEG” for short.

I really liked my “major”.  I took interesting classes and had a lot of thoughtful political debates.  But, when I was a senior, I realized I didn’t have a direction for my post-college career.  In other words, I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do when I grew up.

One of my favorite classes was about political advertising.  I remember doing a faux-ad campaign for the presidential election in ’96 (Clinton vs. Dole).  So, I was intrigued by the idea of working in advertising.  As luck would have it, I networked my way into an entry-level job at Saatchi & Saatchi in New York City after I graduated.  I was an “Assistant Account Executive” making $24,000/year. Read More

Skinny Jeff

Skinny Jeff. I miss my hair.

When I was in high school, I played basketball every day.  I was really skinny.  I could eat whatever I wanted and I definitely did not have a healthy diet.  Plus, I had a huge appetite.  There were never leftovers in my house.

But, as I got older, I played less basketball and still ate the same quantity of food.  The result was that I gained weight.  I just started buying bigger pants and baggy shirts.

Then when my wife was pregnant with our first child, I started to gain “sympathy weight”.  Meaning that I would eat more to match my wife’s pregnancy weight gain with some pounds of my own.  Then my wife had the baby and the weight just melted off her.  For me, it wasn’t so easy.  Below you can see a picture from when I was overweight. Read More

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