Now that Super Bowl XLIX is in the rear view mirror, and the New England Patriots have been duly congratulated for winning anything but a Mediocre Bowl, for those of us with no pigskin in the big game this year, it’s time to think about the possible magic of Super Bowl L.

Wait what?

It’s that time of year again. Time to tiptoe around and avoid use of or make any reference to the Super Bowl. Whoops. Anyway, we’ve discussed this phenomenon before:

Advertisers — fearful of NFL legal

So, tomorrow is the big day, the big game, or whatever else other intimidated advertisers might call it. I just want to find the best deal on a flat screen television today!

But, more to Mike Masnick’s point on Techdirt about the NFL’s reputation as a “trademark bully,” and his challenge to

—David Mitchel, Chief Marketing Officer at Norton Mitchel Marketing

It has been about a week since Super Bowl Sunday. Super Bowl ads are always a big story. This year was no exception. FOX charged brands nearly $3 million per 30 seconds of ad space. Without further ado, here are the 5 most relevant questions about Super Bowl advertising this year.

1. Can buzz from a Super Bowl ad build sales?

Volkswagen would like to believe so, after building a lot of buzz from the ad entitled “The Force”. In the ad, a young boy dressed as Darth Vader tries to use the force to create magical outcomes. He fails to do so, but goes outside to greet his dad who drives up in the all new 2012 Volkswagen Passat. The boy stands in front of the car and it starts, from the remote control that the father uses inside the house. The boy is impressed with his power, and the father is impressed with the car’s remote start feature.

The ad got a lot of people to talk and was generally well liked. However, the kid and the Darth Vader costume were the stars of the commercial, not the Volkswagen Passat. This ad reminds of the Terry Tate Office Linebacker ad from Reebok in the early 2000s. It built a lot of buzz but didn’t generate incremental sales. The failure of the Terry Tate ad campaign did cause an MBA level professor to write a marketing case study though.

The new Passat isn’t scheduled to hit the market until later this year, and the buzz from the commercial will have simmered by then. Of course, it probably won’t matter much because like the Terry Tate ads, the commercials didn’t connect meaningfully to the product advertised, nor did the commercial advertise a particularly unique feature.


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