Many (Most? Nearly all?) brands face the brand strategy challenge of cutting through the clutter of other brands’ advertising and marketing. It may be clutter within a brand’s own category (at a trade show, in an industry publication) or across categories (in mass media, sponsorships, online).
No matter the types of clutter it’s battling, a successful brand strategy has to account for all the planned and random distractions getting in the way of its target audience receiving, experiencing, remembering, and acting on its message.
The brand strategy imperative to cut through the clutter in Super Bowl advertising has generated a wide variety of tactics never envisioned when the Super Bowl debuted including:
- Releasing Super Bowl advertising online before the game
- Sponsor bombing the event through social media
- Using extended commercial lengths
- Crowdsourcing creative
- Creating superstar laden ads full of pop culture icons
- Increasing the use of drama and surprise to reveal the sponsor late in the commercial
- Making Super Bowl advertising very loud and action-filled
While these tactics sometimes work to cut through the clutter, they more often than not raise another form of clutter: internal clutter.
Internal clutter results when there is so much (or so little) going on within a brand’s own Super Bowl advertising (or any other advertising for that matter) that its audience is distracted from the core message the advertiser is trying to convey.
This phenomenon became more evident for me two years ago while watching Super Bowl advertising at a party instead of sitting in front of a TV and computer so I could tweet and blog about it. While watching the game amid a crowd, much of the Super Bowl advertising was there and gone without with little recognition of what it was trying to get across to the audience.
I’ll be at a Super Bowl party again this year and will be on the lookout for those ads not creating their own internal clutter. Will these be the Super Bowl ads that stand out from the loud, aggressive, complicated ones and register the biggest impact?
If you’ll be watching for Super Bowl advertising and want to tweet about it, you’re invited to join the Super Bowl Twitter Chat party #SBEXP (for Super Bowl Experience), hosted by author and branding expert, Jim Joseph. If you want to learn more about #SBEXP, Jim has a blog post on it. You can also learn more about Twitter chats (and the “rules” to make them even more fun) in a previous Brainzooming post as well.
And here’s to the brands that avoid 15-yard penalties for clutter come Sunday evening! – Mike Brown