2014 Super Bowl Ads – Trends & Observations

The biggest football game of the year is over. A game in which two American football teams battled it out to become “world” champions. A game so big that all of America watches it… even though many of its viewers might not even like football.

For some, it’s the commercials that are the biggest draw. Every year, we have our expectations filled (the Budweiser Clydesdales were back and Doritos made us laugh as always). We also have new trends and observations while watching.

Here are a few of my commercial observations for Super Bowl XLVIII:

Super Bowl Campaigns: In the past, we’ve seen advertisers repeat their commercials throughout the Super Bowl. This year, we didn’t see the repetition, but rather saw a commercial pick up where they last one left off. Kudos to Pistachios (Pt. 1 and Pt. 2) and numerous Bud Light Commercials.

Embraced Diversity: Advertisers began embracing some of our society’s biggest family topics. Cheerios showed a commercial with a multi-racial family and Coca-Cola presented a commercial that included America the Beautiful in multiple languages AND a gay couple with their daughter.

Sentimental: We usually think of Super Bowl ads making us laugh, and many of them did. But this year, we had a ton of commercials that were much more sentimental, including Budweiser welcoming home our troops and Chevrolet acknowledging World Cancer Day.

Suspenseful: Advertisers withheld their branding until the end of their commercials. Some were funny, some were sentimental, but often times, the viewers were forced to watch a commercial just to know who’s it was.

What trends did you find most successful or least successful? Which were your favorite commercials? I’ll add some additional examples to each section if you share your favorite Super Bowl commercials with me.

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Five Marketing Trends You Should Be Watching

Marketing trends keep advancing and changing with the new technology. Consumers have so many mediums of communication to give and get information and it’s a marketer’s job to keep up with all of these. It’s simple to keep up with what the consumer wants and where they are going to find it if these five simple trends are paid close attention to. Let’s break it down into five categories.

  1. Media Fragmentation: According to the Edison Report, there are 256 million U.S. users watching TV, 243 million listening to radio, 232 million on the Internet, 182 million connected at home via broadband, 177 million connected at home via Wi-fi, and 139 million smartphone users. Consumers are using more devices now than ever to do so many different things. Marketers constantly have to catch up to where the consumer is. Digital content that is sent out to the public needs to be catchy, creative and visual. In a world where the media has become more and more fragmented, more aggressive and outstanding content is important. You must catch the eye of a viewer amongst the millions of other technological ideas and persuasive techniques thrown at them daily.
  2. Smartphone Devices Are Taking Have Taken Over: 53% of Americans now own smartphones, making the mobile outlet a critical way to get in touch with consumers. Information is constantly being received from smartphones. Mobile is now becoming a more prominent channel for commercial transactions. “Mobile first strategy” is a priority for marketers. Utilizing apps and location-based marketing will continue to grow. Posts to social media should be short and simple. Images are best for a visually inviting approach. Create content that is easy to read and understand on the go.Hand holding a Social Media 3d Sphere
  3. Facebook Still Reigns Supreme: Facebook has undergone many changes since its debut but still continues to rise in the amount of users. Among some of these changes are #hashtags, typically known to be used on Twitter. Although this recent addition is not yet very popular, hashtags can open up many new opportunities to advertisers. Consumers who have clicked on a particular hashtag can see what others have said about this word, giving advertisers the ability to market directly to the consumer. Creating content that is specific to what the consumer wants has been made simpler through Facebook. A user’s demographics, interests and community group are made public for an advertiser to use and market. Creating content that follows the consumer is made simple and achievable.
  4. Branded Content on News Feed: 62% of Facebook users have noticed more brand content on their news feed recently. Users that want to see these advertisements pop up in their news feed will have an easier time accessing them directly. The users who get annoyed with seeing an advertisement they don’t want in their social community can easily hide it. One of the best things an advertiser can do to market their brand is to invest in high quality photos. The more visually pleasing, the more likely a viewer is to stop scrolling, click on your link and interact with your page.
  5. Twitter is Increasing in Popularity: The Edison report shows that Twitter is becoming more popular and engaging more users, following closely behind Facebook. 89% of Americans have at least heard of Twitter. Although only 15% of Americans use Twitter, 84% hear about Tweets through other forms of media. Twitter’s reach to consumers and viewers is much higher than one may think so taking advantage of this is key. Promote your brand through Twitter so that viewers can reach it through multi forms of media. Encourage talk about your brand and use hashtags.

Following these five simple trends will help a marketer or advertiser know how to reach the public. Keeping up with changing technology, knowing where your demographics focus their attention on and being creative will keep your brand forefront.

 

Information from this post came from studies published on:  http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/marketing-trends-2013/

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3D Printing Adds a New Dimension to Marketing

3-D printing may sound impossible, futuristic, and confusing but new technology has made this mind-blowing idea a reality. The thought of producing a three-dimensional object from a printer is hard for many people to comprehend.  A printer has always been known to produce a two-dimensional document in ink from a computer. Recent technological developments have changed this “printer” concept. Printing is no longer simply in relation to paper.

3-D printing is a process where a solid object of any shape from a digital model is made three dimensional. This goes beyond the familiar home printer we all own. The printing of research papers, photos, directions, and recipes is no longer all that we can do. This engineered process has been made successful through adding layers of materials down in different shapes. This additive process is different from typical machining techniques as they cut or get rid of materials, using a subtractive process. 3D printing is being used to create models and differently shaped objects. The term printer may not be as suitable as saying machine or production. These “printers” are more like a machine in that they produce an object using different types of materials.

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This printing technology is being used for prototyping and distributed manufacturing for areas like architecture, automotive, aerospace, jewelry, footwear and fashion among many others. There are many pros and cons associated with this.

Pros: Although the printer costs more up front (a few thousand dollars), in the end costs are even cheaper than labor that can be found internationally. Also, usage home printers will continue to decrease, since there are so many more manufacturing options and increased speeds associated with these 3D machines. Lastly, products can more quickly go from a design to an actual prototype.

Cons: Manufacturing jobs will decrease, which would have a large impact to global economies; particularly in third world countries. Dangerous items could be easily produced and sold illegally. Also, the production of copyright products to create counterfeit items will become more common and too difficult to keep track of.

With marketing tactics becoming more and more centralized on the internet, printing and distribution seems to be taking a back seat. With this new technology slowly becoming a reality for not only the manufacturing world, but also for the home, marketers may need to take a look at how this can affect the market. Being able to produce a three dimensional object to be marketed to consumers will change the industry. The capabilities to produce an object in three dimensional form changes how businesses will advertise and market their company.

Companies like Volvo and Coca-Cola have taken advantage of this technology in their marketing tools by twisting this with creativity. Coca-Cola wanted to introduce their Mini Bottles in Israel and created a fun competition to do so. They invited consumers to create a digital version of themselves, for which they had to take care. A select few were then selected to win a trip to the Coca-Cola factory and were able to turn their mini-mes into the real via 3D printing.

Volvo has also  recently taken advantage of 3D printing. “The Polo Principle” campaign allows consumers to take control and design their own versions of The Polo model. Forty of the most creative versions were selected and printed in 3D to be showcased. The winner was actually turned into a real life car!

All of this may seem outrageous and far from a perfect execution, but we are not a long ways off from our own home 3D printers. By turning the consumer into a designer, creator and engineer, 3D printing will not only change the marketing industry but also enter us into a post-industrial manufacturing age.

 

Information from this post came from a study conducted by Advertising Age

 

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