Super Bowl Ads: Our Kids’ POV

Super Bowl Ads: Our Kids’ POV
by Kirk Wakefield – February 2014

With all the polls about which Super Bowl ad was the best, we all know the best ads keep it simple–simple enough a kid gets it. Why? Because we’re all kids at heart.

Do these sound like your kids?

Here are what some of our readers’ kids thought were the best ads from the Super Bowl. Let us know if these sound like your kids–just Tweet, comment or post at the bottom of the page!

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Cover photo courtesy of John Brush.

Super Bowl Ads: A Kid’s Point of View

Super Bowl Ads: A Kid’s Point of View
by Deven Nongbri – February 2014

And now a message from our kids: KISB = Keep It Simple Brands

Even though the game itself was a one-sided romp , the marketing sideshow known as the Super Bowl Ads continue to be of interest both before and after the big game. And of course during the game. A well-executed campaign has tactics leading up to the game in addition to real-time marketing elements for the game itself and a little something to amplify the buzz coming out of the game afterwards. Advertising in the Super Bowl (whether your brand is on TV or not) is a huge deal these days.

And so it’s critical that your marketing efforts both reach and engage your intended audiences. Given the fact that 111.5 million viewers watched the game on TV  (and even more were reached online), your message needs to be accessible to those millions and simple to understand to the many.

Albert Einstein once told the faculty at Princeton the same thing: “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.1” Same is true in the agency world; if you don’t have a grasp of your client’s product/service, how can you create effective marketing communications?

With that in mind, which Super Bowl advertisers have a simple enough message to get through to the proverbial six year old in all of us? We decided to see for ourselves with my own four year-old son and seven year-old daughter providing the running commentary on the ads during the game.

Which ads won the day for the kids?

Wonderful Pistachios

The overwhelming favorite, for both the four and seven year old was the “Wonderful Pistachios, Part 2” spot. Who’d have thunk fifteen seconds of airtime would have the kids rolling on the ground laughing so much? Fake news man Stephen Colbert was the just the right amount of pushy to get the point across and surprise everyone in the process. I see green pistachio-head costumes in our Halloween future.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MErkYH-FNo

Heinz

Two year-old: “It tooted.” Enough said. And it brought the house down. And now we’ll be dealing with kids trying to get that exact sound from every plastic condiment bottle in the fridge. I wonder how this played out with others?

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAhkswKitQg

Doritos (Time Machine)

Of the two Doritos ads shown on TV, this one clearly had the kids engaged. They liked the idea of the kid pulling one over on the adults, but our scientifically-minded four year-old summed it up with, “Too bad time machines don’t work.” They both understood the humor and the product; bad news next time we head to the grocery store with them. I was sure the special effects of the Transformers or Spider-Man trailer would have pulled better, but the three ads above were recalled right away, and with a level of real enthusiasm about retelling each ad, complete with sound effects. It could also be that their top three spots were all food items, things they could relate to and have enjoyed at one time or another (viz., brand relevance). 

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-P0Hs0ADJY

What did they think of the kids they saw in ads?

Cheerios – Gracie

Seven year-old: “She needs to just eat those Cheerios before her Daddy gets to them.” Not saying that happens at home. Nope. Never.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKuQrKeGe6g

Coke – America the Beautiful

Both kids were stopped in their tracks when the first child started singing. They both listened intently as the ad played and the four year-old made a surprisingly thoughtful comment, “It’s nice to hear different people sing the same song.” I’m pretty sure that’s as simple a message as Coke would want to get across.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=443Vy3I0gJs

Did the kids pick up on any real-time marketing efforts?

Thankfully, no. From what I could tell, other than Buffalo Wild Wings informing folks they didn’t have a button to liven up the game , no one brand stood out like Oreos last year . JCPenney did capture the scorn of many with its attempts to be clever and relevant with real-time marketing and esurance cleaned up after the game.

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Any parting thoughts from dad?

The Radio Shack spot was pretty comical  and kicked off a lot of conversation about what 80s characters everyone saw in the commercial. Said the seven year-old, “You actually remember those guys when they were on TV the first time?!” Yeah, kiddo, I do.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUwwZHdx6SU

Postlog

Click here to read more from our readers: What do sports executives kids think were the best ads? Would your kids agree? 


Cover photo courtesy of Padu Merloti.

New Kid on the Sponsorship Block

New Kid on the Sponsorship Block
George Killebrew
George Killebrew
by Clark McCormack – February 2014

As George Killebrew has taught us, you’re always learning in this business, assuming you want to stay in this business. So, after breaking into sponsorship sales with the Dallas Mavericks, I began collecting helpful tips for those of us who are the new kids on the sponsorship block.

#1. Manage Your Expectations

Understand that this process is a marathon, not a sprint. Deals take time to develop.” -Guy Tomcheck, Director of Corporate Partnerships, Texas Rangers

Guy Tomcheck
Guy Tomcheck
  • Sellebrate: Celebrate the successes of sales regardless of the price tag.
  • Be a “grinder.” Look yourself in the mirror each day and ask yourself, am I 1% better than the day before?
  • Be an “explorer.” Don’t be afraid to explore new categories, create a new activation piece, or use fan data to engage with fans differently through your partnership.

#2. Start to Develop Your Personal Brand

Ask yourself: How am I different from those around me? Define your own brand, style, and the way you carry yourself. Dan Migala shared an insight he learned from  Ted Phillips, President and CEO of the Chicago Bears, who said, “Find the uniqueness of your own voice. Don’t try to conform to others.”

Dan Migala
Dan Migala

#3. Take a Story-Telling Approach

Tell someone a story you aspire to have happen to you.

  • Have a “reference story” for different categories of business or situation (ex: community relations initiative, quick serve restaurant activation story, in-game promotion, etc.). Show you’ve done your homework.
  • My inspiring reference story?  Someday I want to create a deal like Dan Migala did when he changed the start time of the White Sox games to 7:11 to tie in with the 7-Eleven sponsorship. I want to make a game-changing deal!

#4. Believe You Belong

Brian George
Brian George

“Don’t get caught up in others’ titles (CEO, VP Sales, etc.). Focus on building a mutually respectful relationship.” ~ Brian George, General Manager, Baylor IMG Sports Marketing.

  • Make others feel like they belong: When you are out in public, never discount someone you meet and how they may can help you in some way someday.

What do you think?

If you’re the new kid on the sponsorship block or the experienced manager or executive, what tips would you give me? I’m always willing to learn!


Cover photo courtesy of Yksisarvinen.

Why Sponsors Flock to The Olympics and Super Bowl: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Their Fans & Brands

Why Sponsors Flock to The Olympics and Super Bowl: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Their Fans & Brands
by Anne Rivers – February 2014

Why do brands line up to sponsor The Olympics & the Super Bowl? Below are five truths you might have suspected, but didn’t have the evidence or the details that explain why brands do what they do.

1. The Super Bowl and The Olympics are the two most powerful sports brands in the United States.

Top Sports Brands, U.S.

2. Across all leagues the final game is always more powerful in terms of brand strength and stature.

Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 9.20.15 AM

3. The Super Bowl and The Olympics have the most avid fans.

 When broken down into percentages of dedication from respective fan bases, the NFL & Olympics have more avid fans than the other leagues, providing tremendous brand rub for sponsors.

Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 9.20.18 AM

4. The Super Bowl and the Olympics Match up with Unique Brand Images

The dedication of each fan base, especially when describing The Super Bowl or The Olympics, originates from what each sporting event stands for. The Super Bowl stands for iconic performance and fun and can be compared to similar brands as the image below indicates. The Olympics, on the other hand, are usually characterized by originality, authenticity, and grace.

Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 9.20.22 AMScreen Shot 2014-01-31 at 9.20.22 AM 2

5. The Seahawks’ image stands for fan passion, but the Broncos stand taller for perceived skill.

In anticipation of the upcoming Super Bowl this weekend, we, and avid NFL fans, see the Denver Broncos taking home the Lombardi trophy.

Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 9.20.25 AM


Special thanks to Emily Buratowski for helping with this article.

Who’s your Hottest Lead? How to Leverage Post-Sale Opportunities

Who’s your Hottest Lead? How to Leverage Post-Sale Opportunities
by David Pierce – February 2014

Identifying highly qualified leads can be an arduous, time consuming process. As a result, it is important to maximize every opportunity with your hottest leads.

Who is your hottest lead?

Instead of looking to the CRM system or hoping for a better leads list, think of your hottest lead as the customer with whom you developed a high trust relationship that resulted in a sale.

In a recently published study of over 500 sport salespeople,1 leveraging post-sale opportunities through upselling and referrals was identified as the most important factor driving the success of sport salespeople. This finding was ubiquitous across all leagues and types of salespeople.

Duane Haring
Duane Haring

Relationships = Referrals

According to Duane Haring, Director of Season Ticket Sales for the Houston Astros, relationship building is the foundation of leveraging post-sale opportunities. “You won’t get any referrals or upsell many clients if they don’t relate to and trust you. Building a strong relationship for the long haul with a client will yield many more referral and upselling opportunities over the life of that customer.”

Setting priorities to upsell

Jason Cohen
Jason Cohen

However, some salespeople fail to seize the opportunity. According to Jason Cohen, Director of Consumer Ticket Sales for the Indiana Pacers, “some salespeople don’t prioritize asking referrals and upselling and prefer to choose the path of least resistance.” Cohen noted that salespeople also fail to understand how an organization is structured, the role of the salesperson in a company, and their goals in using the tickets.

What should sales managers do?

Sales managers should assess a salesperson’s competence in leveraging post-sale opportunities by comparing the sales productivity of those who are committed to asking referral and upselling questions to those who do so less often.

Referral Strategies

  1. Be specific. Instead of asking a generic question like “who else might be interested,” narrow the customer’s thinking to a specific area. For example, “who else do you know in your office?”
  2. Refer back to needs analysis. Use facts gleaned in the needs analysis to identify other people in the customer’s social and business network that could use tickets to the game (youth sports coach, human resource manager at work, pastor at church, etc.).
  3. Do your homework.  Put yourself in the shoes of the client to understand how their world works.
  4. Leverage social media. Use social media to identify who else is in a person’s business or social network.

Upselling Strategies

  1. Identify new ways to use the product. Get customers thinking beyond the product they just purchased into new ways tickets and experiences can be used.
  2. Remember that people consume sport in social settings. Would the experience be more entertaining with four friends instead of just two?
  3. Bundle. Bundle game tickets with other ancillary purchases like parking, concessions, merchandise, and access to premium areas. Product features such as stored credit tickets and all-you-can-eat options can add to the total sale price.
  4. Know your product. Be able to describe the difference in seating quality between price points. Provide benefits for improving seating quality.

1 Pierce, D., Lee, D., & Petersen, J. (2014). Sport sales personnel perceptions of factors impacting job performance: A factor analysis of sport sales activities. International Journal of Sport Management, 15(1), 71-90.

Photo courtesy of Glotzmeister.

 

 

How Can Teams Use Social Media To Build Brand, Develop Fans & Tell Their Story?

How Can Teams Use Social Media To Build Brand, Develop Fans & Tell Their Story?
by Neil Horowitz – February 2014

Before the days of social media, the frequency and avenues of touch points between brands and consumers, and teams and fans, were few and far between. Beyond media broadcasts and ads, team slogans printed, and in-venue experiences, the concept of building a brand and using it to develop fans and partnerships was an afterthought. But times have changed and the ubiquity and depth of social and digital media in sports has made brand building not just a possibility, but a necessity. Teams and their brands are live entities, speaking to, and interacting with, fans on a daily basis.

Why should sports teams care about their brands?

The most successful teams in terms of marketing have fans with whom they’ve built emotional ties. These fans understand:

  • What the team stands for,
  • Why they support them, and
  • The need to evangelize on their behalf.

Do your team’s fans understand their roles in the community? Have you intentionally empowered them by clearly communicating the core values of the team and engaging them in the task of building the fan base? Without a strong brand purpose, this very real and effective value is lost.

Go ahead, make their day

Chris Yandle
Chris Yandle

“If we [interact with a fan on social media], 99% of the time we’re making their day, said University of Miami Associate Athletic Director Chris Yandle (@chrisyandle).”Small stuff like that can make fans feel part of the program and that’s ultimately how we build brand ambassadors who help (further) build our brand…They’ll help amplify our message and fight for our cause.”

While brand ambassadors can deliver direct return by convincing a friend to go to a game, talking up the experience with the team, and generally just promoting awareness and interest for the team, there is more. These super-fans proselytize and spread the team brand even more, developing more fans in the community and defining the team. The Dodgers used social media with great effect to this end, as they sought to win back a fan base that had felt alienated.

Tell a good story

Josh Tucker
Josh Tucker

“I’m trying to tell a story and it’s the Dodgers brand story,” explained Los Angeles Dodgers Coordinator of Social Media, Josh Tucker (@joshbtucker). “It’s having a voice…but staying on brand. You can still have a personality on behalf of the brand; it’s just understanding and finding that voice.”

There is a proliferation of teams trying to cultivate a “personality” on social media, often of an irascible variety, pioneered primarily by the Los Angeles Kings Twitter account. Ultimately, the most effective brand building for teams comes down to trust – developing a lasting, emotionally invested and trusting relationship between fan and team.

Trust doesn’t just happen

James Royer
James Royer

Trust cannot happen with a shower of marketing messages and one-way broadcasting; it takes proactive, two-way engagement. Tampa Bay Lightning Director of Digital and Social Media James Royer (@jamesroyer) spoke of the importance of forming this relationship in order to get the most out of social.

“We saw [social media] as ‘Let’s interact and engage with our fans,’ said Royer. “Let’s earn the right to market to our fans, by engaging with them first.”

What about you?

Think about your favorite pro sports teams. Think about the team you work for. Do you have an emotional attachment? Can you define the brand? Tell the brand story? Are you a fan evangelist? Are your fans brand evangelists?

Social and digital media bring the brand to life, opening opportunities for fan development like never before. Understand its value, use it correctly, and use it strategically. Then that’ll be a story worth telling.

S3 Spotlight: Bill Glenn Explains–How to Expand your Skill Set to Advance Your Career

S3 Spotlight: Bill Glenn Explains–How to Expand your Skill Set to Advance Your Career
Bill Glenn
Bill Glenn
by Justin Pipes – February 2014

Bill Glenn is President of The Breakout Group, a boutique consulting firm that creates sales and marketing strategies to challenge norms and produce breakout results for brands and sports/entertainment organizations. His thinking is built on a foundation of deep sales and marketing expertise and both an agency and client-side perspective as it relates to integrated marketing programs in sports and entertainment, including big data and program analytics. Glenn has a both a Bachelor’s in Journalism and MBA in Marketing from the University of Missouri.

Build a Skill Set Foundation: Start with Sales

Glenn’s career started as a Marketing Associate with GTE (now Verizon) where he had three, six-month assignments in direct marketing, product management and sales. Although he doubted sales would ever be something he enjoyed, the brief experience felt like such a great fit he remained in B2B “consultative” sales and sales management for the next ten years.

Over this time, Bill learned the critical importance of blending strong customer relationships with a keen understanding of the assets you’re selling:

Great relationships uncover business needs while asset knowledge delivers the best client solution.  

Understanding this dynamic is the key to any successful business strategy. Through this experience, he was able to learn how sales and marketing are co-dependent functions in delivering client success. Additionally, Bill says, “Sales taught me the importance of having a broad knowledge base and understanding how all the parts of an organization work together to enable revenue.”

Build the Bridge: Understand How Sales and Marketing Work Together

Bill's Skills

After 10 years in sales, Glenn wanted to extend his skill set to brand marketing and marketing communications. He took over trade show marketing and strategy at GTE and was able to learn how messaging and technology at an event can deliver product value in a different context and what value this communication channel offers a field sales organization.

Bill quickly transitioned to leading GTE’s sports marketing and sponsorship group, where he leveraged his prior roles to understand how to leverage partnership assets in unique ways to produce value for both consumer and B2B target segments. His sales experience offered credibility and improved his productivity when interfacing with business and consumer-related field sales teams.  

Balancing the objectives of multiple organizations in this sponsorship role yielded a solid understanding of the company’s overall brand strategy and also improved the effectiveness of sponsorship investment. With this knowledge he was able to determine the best values in a sponsorship package.

Focus on Results: Learn About (and Learn to Like) Data

Check Box

Having a strong understanding of sales and brand marketing, Glenn decided to extend his skill set (adding research/analytics) and perspective (agency side) in joining The Marketing Arm where he launched the agency’s first Insights and Analytics practice.  In this role, he learned how to leverage primary and secondary research and measure program performance using statistical models to help clients understand the impact of marketing strategy and programs. It was a tremendous experience in learning how to find meaningful data points to both support and direct marketing and sales strategy.

Build Value: An Extended Skill Set Yields New Perspectives and Experience

Merrill Dubrow
Merrill Dubrow

Today, Bill is putting all these skills to use in consulting with brands and sports/entertainment organizations in creating integrated programs and building sales and marketing strategies that make a difference.

Merrill Dubrow, President and CEO of M/A/R/C Research, says, “Bill has a very diverse background having been on both the client and agency side. Very few people have the ability to offer clients sales and marketing expertise, including analytics, as well as an agency/vendor perspective.” Dubrow went on to say, “When dealing with clients, having been one of them, he is able to quickly gather keen insights thanks to this varied experience and perspective.” Dubrow’s comments reinforce how well Glenn knows sales and marketing and how extending your skill set over a career can pay dividends both personally and professionally.

Have Desire: To Learn

Keys to success

As an Adjunct Professor of Marketing, Glenn mentors many students and young professionals.  He says, “I just try to get students to think differently. The first 5-10 years of a career should be spent getting a broad base of perspectives and by extending your skill set through experience.”

Glenn says he hears many say they “want to work in sports” but that desire depends heavily on understanding sales and marketing. He continued, “It is much easier for me to teach someone the sports business than it is to teach marketing and sales skills. The latter, for the most part, is developed through experience.”

Glenn also coaches students to concentrate less on who they’re working for and more on the role their current job will play over the course of their career. In other words, what’s your dream and what perspectives and experience will enable you to reach that destination?

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