Tag Archives: branding

2020 Super Bowl Advertisements

Winter may be cold, but the Super Bowl heats us up! The Super Bowl has become one of the premier venues for marketers. The thrills, the chills, the excitement and surprises – and that’s just the advertisements! At a cost of roughly $5.6 million for 30 seconds of air time, the Super Bowl is also the most expensive advertising placement of any event or show. Add to the air time the costs of designing and producing ads, plus the integration into other marketing tactics, and a company can easily spend upwards of $6 million on a single day.

Love them or hate them, Super Bowl advertisements have become a talking point during and after the game. It’s a big stage, and can also be a big risk. This year it had an audience of 102 million adults in the U.S. across multiple platforms.  And viewers are far from passive, generating $17 billion in purchases on food, team gear, TVs and more.

All this generated roughly $435 million in advertising revenue, up 20% from 2019. Who were the top spenders?

  1. Anheuser-Busch: $41 million
  2. Pepsi Co: $31 million
  3. Proctor & Gamble: $30 million
  4. Amazon: $26 million
  5. Hyundai: $20 million.

Top categories for ads included automotive, food, financial services, and technology.

Watch the ads – which ad is your favorite?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Bring up one of the Web sites that have all the Super Bowl ads: https://www.ispot.tv/events/2020-super-bowl-commercials
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a Super Bowl ad to analyze and present in class.
  3. What is the target market, key message, and offer from the ad?
  4. How does the ad integrate with a company’s other advertisements?
  5. Are the messages integrated with a company’s Web site and social media?
  6. As a class, after each commercial have students assign one to five stars for the advertisements. Which advertisement won the class vote?

Source:  Ad Week, CBS, iSpot.tv, Nielsen, other news sources

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Bye, Bye VW Beetle

As marketers know, products have a life cycle that ranges from birth to decline. Every product eventually reaches its maturity stage where sales slow, and then it succumbs to a decline stage when the product is eliminated. Such is the case for virtually all products, including the indelible VW Beetle.

The Volkswagen Beetle has been around in some form since 1938, selling more than 24 million cars worldwide. The car was redesigned several times, most recently in the 1990s into the ‘new Beetle’. But now, VW has decided to pull the plug and will discontinue the iconic little car. As of 2020, no more ‘slug Bugs’ will be manufactured.

The Beetle was first introduced in the 1930s, designed by Ferdinand Porsche at the behest of Hitler and known as a “people’s car.” It has been immortalized in films such as Disney’s “The Love Bug” and was also known as a car for hippies hitting the road in the 1960s and 1970s. The Beetle had an iconic shape that was easily recognizable and has a front grill with headlight ‘eyes’ that looks like a smiling face. It’s easy to smile when looking at a Beetle.

There is a ‘final edition’ Beetle which sells for $23,000 – $27,000. And like all good things, there is an end.

R.I.P. VW Beetle. You will be missed.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various products and services into each stage.
  3. Next, discuss the life cycle of automobiles and the VW Beetle.
  4. Visit the VW Web site at to view the final models: https://www.vw.com/models/beetle/section/overview/
  1. A video of VW Beetle manufacturing: https://youtu.be/McV7siceylU
  2. A farewell video can be seen here: https://youtu.be/uKuYXNLGlOc
  3. News video about the Beetle’s last ride: https://youtu.be/0C38YYmNiEQ
  4. Next, have students brainstorm on how to reposition or revise products/services to that they can move into an earlier stage of the life cycle or be reinvented for a new life.

Source:  Ad Age; Automobile Magazine; Business Insider; Car and Driver; Forbes; other news sources

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Brands People Trust

Think about all the brands that we buy and surround us on a daily basis. Some of these brands are great, and some are not-so-great. Perhaps the quality isn’t consistent, or the value is not sufficient, or there has been corruption. But perhaps the most important factor is the level of trust consumers have in a brand. Americans on the whole have lost trust in companies and government. Generally, younger consumers are quite skeptical of corporations and believe brands should hold to a high ethical standard. This can present a significant problem for marketers. Think about it –  which brands do you think are reliable? Which brands do you trust?

Morning Consult, a global data intelligence company, recently released a report on “The Most Trusted Brands of 2020” which researched consumer opinion about 2,000 brands. The report was based on 16,700 interviews for each of these brands and judged brand trust by various generations.  A sample of U.S. adults were asked “how much do you trust each brand to do what is right?” The options were “a lot,” “some,” “not much,” “not at all,” and “don’t know.” The brands ranking were determined by how many participants selected “a lot.”

The most trusted brands include technology and consumer products companies (CPG). The top choice for most trusted brand was the U.S. Postal Service, followed by Amazon at second, and Google at third place. Nearly half of the top 25 spots are CPG brands, including Hershey’s, Cheerios, M&M’s, and more. When ranked by generation, younger generations preferred Google and Amazon, while USPS ranked number one with Gen X and Baby Boomers.

Which brands do you trust to do what is right?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of branding and trust with students. Why is trust important?
  2. How can companies gain, or lose, the trust of consumers?
  3. Poll students: What are their most trusted brands/products?
  4. View the report at https://morningconsult.com/most-trusted-brands/
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team chose a brand that ranks high on the list. What should the brands do to retain trust?
  6. Also have teams examine brands that rank low on the list. What should those brands do to build consumer trust?

Source:  Ad Week; Morning Consult


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