Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

Super Bowl Adds Don't Work

Wouldn't it be nice if mass marketing still worked?

It doesn't. I think deep down we all know it doesn't. Messages have become too targeted. At least the good ones have. Today, media uses technology to crank up the focus on their message and increase it's relevance to the audience.

CBS will be charging $4 Million dollars per spot during the Super Bowl this year. Industry experts agree it's a "bargain". They're all wrong.

Seth Godin writes that this process is, "clearly not a valid strategy". Niche marketing has overtaken the mass market giving rise to things executed on a smaller scale. Focus and relevance win with a touch of remarkable packaged in a sharable format.

Even as technology advances and people gain thousands of "friends" on social media, the one-to-one relationship is becoming increasingly important. Visions are sold person to person. Products are sold via word of mouth.

Today it's about the relationship and focus of the message.

Mass marketing is not worth a $4 million dollar investment for most brands, if any. It doesn't work.


Ironically, I posted this the morning of the Super Bowl. That evening, as the lights went out in the middle of the game, Oreo proved the point. In a stroke of free (yes free) advertising on Twitter, Oreo made this image happen. It's been retweeted over 20,000 times at the time I'm writing this. It's shown up in my Facebook and Twitter feeds over and over again in last 12 hours. I've seen it significantly more than any other add has been shared. It's been shared on national news programs this morning just like the other adds that cost $4 million or more (I don't really remember who ran those "other" adds - maybe a beer company or something). It's a real life case study in relevance, social media, and understanding the audience. A brave, brilliant, bold, move by Oreo that scored big. It's just too bad they also ran a $4 million spot themselves. Maybe next year they could invest a quarter of that into the right kind of advertising and brand promotion.

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