The After Super Bowl Marketing Hangover

marketing hangover

Verizon Wireless told us that, yes, it can hear us now. The rest of the Super Bowl television advertisers either did not hear or chose to ignore us.

Watching another Super Bowl, I waited helplessly for mobile calls to action, only to feel like the Minnesota Vikings on the losing end of another big game.

The feeling was shared by many of the nation’s mobile subscribers who in big numbers say they would like to join a mobile loyalty club. (one of my clients has added almost 400 members to his club in just 6 weeks)

Again, TV advertisers flubbed the year’s best and biggest opportunity to engage.

Super bawl

I thought this might be the year that advertisers embraced mobile. Think of the possibilities:

• Best Buy kick-starts its buy program with a call to action that drives consumers into the store for an exclusive opportunity to buy the iPhone on Verizon. A closer examination this plan doesn’t seem to be a great deal for consumers. Check in out at (

• Chrysler offers fans an exclusive Eminem download at the end of the “Keep Detroit Beautiful” when they join a mobile affinity club for the new Chrysler 200. maybe even throw in an Eminem download.

• Verizon Wireless asks mobile users to text in their ZIP codes to learn how its network is superior to AT&T’s.

• GoDaddy requires users to opt in to watch a special mobile version of their “too hot for TV” commercial.

None of these things happened.

In fact, while Best Buy had the power of Ozzy and Beiber, they forgot to tell us how their gadget buy-back service works.

More friends for social than mobile

The big breakthrough for advertisers this year was in social media:

• Many ads closed with YouTube or Facebook logos. Budweiser pointed viewers right to its Facebook page.

• We saw the first ad hashtag (Audi publicized this fact in advance), although the type was small and screen time so quick that it was probably lost on most: #muchadoaboutnothing.

Many spots advertised mobile services without extending the message to the medium.

Ads for tablets (Motorola) and even tablet content (The Daily) tapped into users’ desire for mobile consumption, while missing the opportunity to extend the commercials right onto to the devices.

A few spots even touched on the powerful potential for combining mobile and social:

• unveiled its mobile social service, replete with the Wii-esque avatars of halftime performers, the Blackeyed Peas.

• showed its new mobile user reviews feature, an excellent example of mobile/social convergence.

• Chevrolet highlighted the new Onstar Facebook news capability—a real-life example of mobile and social in action, in this case, checking the status of a just-completed first-date from behind the wheel.

Missed call

Yet each of these mobile-themed ads missed a critical, logical element: the mobile call to action.

So while Packer Backers, including me, were ecstatic, mobile marketers once again played to a woeful, scoreless tie:

Total number of mobile calls-to-action: 0

Total number of mobile loyalty clubs launched: 0

Maybe with the introduction of uninterrupted iPhone calls on Verizon, they will hear us in 2012.

A couple of questions:

Do you think Geico looks a little stale running a commercial we’ve all seen at least 237 times?

Is there too much violence in Super Bowl commercials?