Okay, this isn’t about my vision for America at all, at least not in any material sense. I want to get into the Super Bowl, and out of the Super Bowl, but first I had to get this subject line out of the way.
I had a dream this week that I wrote a column with this subject line, and I figured I’d try it out. It was my first dream where I can recall writing a column, and the subject even had this punctuation, so I have to live with the consequences.
The dream took place in an episode of Pokémon. I was able to drive a car through Saturn’s moon, and it annoyed me that in the show, we had these dinky smartwatches and ugly cargo shorts, and instead of improving our planet, we were wasting all our best efforts building tunnels through Saturn’s moon.
Apparently, I was dreaming a version of the Salesforce Super Bowl commercial, albeit without the star of that commercial. And rest assured, if my dream starred Matthew David McConaughey, then anyone — male or female, gay or straight, cis or trans — would say that’d be a much better dream.
There was no McConaughey. Just a car on Saturn’s moon. And a dreamer determined to get his column out.
When I wasn’t dreaming this past week, I spent much of my time thinking about Super Bowl commercials.
I discussed them at length with my boss who wound up talking about the game on Yahoo Finance and SkyNews. And I wrote about my take on TV Rev, a group I’ve been having a lot of fun getting to know better lately. My analysis described how brands played it safe, but maybe too safe to excite most viewers.
I even fed a bot all the Super Bowl ads and shared the script that it generated. You can read it here:
Okay, I didn’t do anything like that with a bot. A reporter from a major tech outlet asked if I did, and I (kind of) regret telling him the truth. The “I fed a bot” meme is one of my all-time favorites, so it felt good to add a contribution.
After all these roundups, here’s a new coda that I’ll split into two sections: what we know, and what we don’t know.
…There is a perennial disconnect between what marketers think about the ads and what the rest of America thinks. My boss, Aaron Goldman, said in the video clips that the Coinbase Pong-style QR code ad was his favorite. America disagreed, ranking it dead last at #66 out of 66 Super Bowl spots on the USA Today Ad Meter. It’d be bad form to throw my boss under the bus here, and I’m only pointing this out because he may be vindicated (see below). I loved that Coinbase went for it. But what I heard even from many marketers is that they thought their TV was broken. Similarly, I didn’t hear marketers raving about the Doritos sloth ad, but on USA Today, it hit #3.
…The best spots can come from anywhere. Why has Rocket Homes and Rocket Mortgage won two years running? Casting one of America’s funniest comedians, Tracy Morgan, helped last year. So did casting two of America’s most likable celebrities this year, Anna Kendrick and Barbie. Rocket’s writing is so tight and fast that the spots require multiple viewings to catch it all. The writing was pretty, pretty, pretty good for the FTX spot with Larry David too; on the Ad Meter, I rated it highly because it was Larry David, and then I took off a few points because it was another celeb shilling crypto.
…Ads can’t address every phase of the purchase funnel. Marketing Twitter seemed especially irked by the automakers’ electric vehicle (EV) spots. I’m more generous here. In the US, there is one brand clearly associated with electric cars, and it was not one of the Super Bowl advertisers. The automakers advertising during the Game all started with awareness, and they can spend the rest of the year trying to convert that to interest and action. Coinbase, meanwhile, was trying to drive traffic, and it worked, if you consider crashing their site effective (could that have been intentional to add to the PR?).
We don’t know…
…What the advertisers’ goals were. Some might have been sending a signal to shareholders or investors. Some playing up the electric vehicle angle might have even been sending a signal to the White House, which is making a massive renewable energy push. It’s nearly impossible to judge effectiveness without knowing the goals and strategy. But who doesn’t love being a Monday morning quarterback? (Once a year, the metaphor makes sense!)
…What advertisers will do the rest of the year and beyond. Advertisers can amortize the 8-figure combined cost of media, creative, and production by adapting these campaigns to run in a mix of owned and lower-cost paid channels year-round. We may soon find ourselves tired of Kia’s robot dog, which probably is a bad sign for frequency capping but a good sign that the ad wasn’t a one-off investment.
…How much likeability matters. TurboTax managed to waste Jason Sudeikis’s talents even more than the second season of “Ted Lasso” did, but Disqo reported that TurboTax’s spot was by far the most effective. Even if Disqo’s right, it’s hard to assess why that spot did so well when that spot was so mediocre (5.1 on the Ad Meter at #38). Michelob Organic Seltzer (more wasted talent, and not the strongest branding) and Coinbase (good ol’ #66) both cracked Disqo’s top 10. I can’t attest to Disqo’s methodology, but it’s far better than only relying on how much you laughed or cried during the spot.
There’s much more I want to write, but soon I need to crash and perhaps dream up a better column title.
What worked for you? What didn’t? Do you respect wood? What are you making of yourself?
There’s so much I can’t wait to find out.
What I did find out during the game is that the Super Bowl may achieve the impossible: it may make Generation Alpha want to watch ads.
I’ll leave the parting words to my 8-year-old daughter. She started watching the ads with me during the game and said, “These ads are really funny. Are there ads in other things too?”
PS: I’ll be attending Ad Exchanger’s Industry Preview Tuesday in NYC, and now I’m likely to be at SXSW next month. Let me know if you’ll be at either.
- FED OPENS DEBATE ON U.S. DIGITAL CURRENCY by Foodman CPAs and Advisors
- Joe Rogan Isn’t Spotify’s Only Problem by Nicole Ortiz
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Keep checking out the #jobs channel in Serial Marketers for more. Better yet, subscribe to get updates from our job listing board. Here are some great opportunities shared in these places or sent to me directly.
DTC Marketing Lead
“Biocodex US, makers of Florastor Daily Probiotic, is looking for a Direct-to-Consumer Marketing Lead to grow their emerging DTC business. This person should have a passion or keen interest in building business units from relative scratch along with an obsession with the consumer experience. We pride ourselves on an entrepreneurial-driven culture in order to get the job done. You’ll be working alongside CPG Marketing pros who’ve come from Bayer, Prestige Brands, and Reckitt Benckiser. This position has a flexible work schedule — 1 to 2 days/week reporting to our Bedminster, NJ office. No recruiters please and feel free to share with your networks.”
Revenue Operations Manager
“In this vital role you will work cross-functionally across sales, marketing, customer success, and finance to drive top line growth as efficiently as possible. Plan to regularly interact with all team leads and facilitate the RevOps task force. This is a newly created function within a long-established, growing services company. The person in this role should be entrepreneurial, motivated, and willing to work within an established culture. We want to find someone who can function tactically and grow strategically. Everyone on the team balances contribution and planning, and you too will be working to inform and collaborate.”
B2B Email Marketing Specialist
Via Jeff in the community
“This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced B2B email marketer. This person must be a self-starter who can manage multiple priorities and work efficiently with key stakeholders to deliver insights-driven marketing initiatives. The successful candidate will report to the email marketing manager and work closely with our sales, MBS marketing, e-commerce and creative teams. They will lead driving marketing initiatives for prospect nurturing and drive renewals and growth from existing customer base.”
RESTAURANT BRANDS INTERNATIONAL
Director, Loyalty & CRM
Via Eric in the community
“The Head of CRM & Loyalty is responsible for the development and implementation of a comprehensive strategy that will transform our brand by building and continually optimizing a guest-facing loyalty program. This person will oversee the development of the strategic roadmap for a new guest loyalty program to drive profitable, incremental guest behavior as well as develop next gen CRM strategy, capabilities and processes to deliver personalized, customer-centric marketing campaigns across multiple digital channels and touchpoints.”
Director of Customer Support
“Forbes is seeking an experienced customer engagement professional to fill a new role, Director of Customer Support. The Customer Support Director is a key strategic and operational leadership on the Customer Experience team and will be responsible for resolving customer inquiries directly and in partnership with outsourced services plus the development of operational requirements, processes and technology to deliver key service outcomes as we scale and new products are launched.”
Also, check out the Serial Marketers job board.
Other job resources:
- AMA Job Board: Listings from the American Marketing Association (maybe you can also ask them anything)
- Beeler.Tech: Job listings for ad operations, programmatic account management, sales operations, and more.
- Braintrust: A freelance platform where you are the owner and where freelance talent keeps 100% of the bill rate.
- Built in NYC: Jobs at a range of levels and functions, as long as you’re okay working in this quaint, backwater hamlet.
- Content Writing Jobs: Content marketers, enjoy
- Creative Women of Color: List yourself in the database and find talent, via Women Who Create
- Demand Curve: Growth and marketing jobs
- ExecThread: Senior roles spanning a range of verticals and cities; membership is free but fully vetted (this uses my referral ID to get you in faster)
- Gently Ventures: Helps scale businesses by finding the right talent
- Growth Collective: Apply to join this network of notable freelance marketers
- Grace Blue Transitions: A portal for hirers and seekers with resources from this exec recruiting firm
- The Hired Guns: An array of jobs in marketing and related fields at brands, agencies, and media companies
- Hue: Amplifying voices of people in color working in marketing
- Lunch Club: Match 1:1 around predetermined goals with accomplished professionals (free)
- NYC Ad Jobs & Networking: A popular Facebook group
- One Club for Creativity: COVID-19 jobs Board
- #OpenToWork: There’s a channel in Serial Marketers where you can share what you’re looking for
- Pangea: Hire college freelancers (and college students can get gigs)
- Pocit: A platform connecting people of color with jobs in the tech industry
- Questions to Ask for a Marketing Role: What questions should you ask when starting a new marketing role or job?
- Serial Marketers Job Board: Post regular and featured listings and subscribe for updates.
- Startup.Jobs: There’s a section for marketing jobs
- Teal: One place to organize and manage your job search.
- TechNY Daily: While more technical, there are also some sales and marketing jobs at NY startups.
- VC Job Boards: Aleph, Eniac Ventures, Pear, Sequoia, Union Square Ventures
- VentureLoop: Free startup job listings; their paid option is $15/month and might surface more leads (but it might not).
- Venwise: Submit your job interests here and get in front of their roster of hiring leads; select “Serial Marketers” under “How did you find us”
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