Super Bowl ads called misguided

Jan. 23, 2012 at 7:02 PM
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Expensive TV spots for the biggest U.S. sports spectacle of the year have become a misguided venture for advertisers, a University of Purdue professor says.

Professional football's big show, the Super Bowl, is often seen as an annual coming out party for no-holds-barred corporate ad campaigns. But airing an advertisement once on Super Bowl Sunday flies against advertising logic, said consumer psychologist Richard Feinberg at Purdue University's Department of Consumer Sciences and Retailing.

"Since repetition to the right consumer is the foundation of purchases, companies just might be better off with 10 $350,000 commercials targeted to specific consumers than one $3.5 million commercial targeted to a lot of consumers, but not necessarily the right ones," Feinberg said.

"The best commercials tap into helping consumers solve a problem, fill a need, make them look better, feel better or be better. The problem with Super Bowl commercials is that there is so much effort to be creative and cute that the real reason why commercials work is lost and ignored," Feinberg said in a news release.

"Super Bowl commercials are celebrated for their creativity and humor," said Feinberg, who interviewed 100 people who watched the 2010 Super Bowl and found out their recall of the ads was not very good.

They may have liked the ads at the time, but if the consumer can't remember what the ad was for, the money was not well spent, he said.

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