A few years back, I sat in on a meeting with co-workers discussing whether or not to exhibit at a large national conference. The ROI wasn’t clear for starters. Plus we were a medium-sized fish who had just been acquired so we were in a heightened state of accountability. As such, we threw out the idea of not exhibiting. A co-worker reminded us all that if we were on the fence (we were) then we should go given how reputable the show was in the industry and how not going would send a very different message to our customers during a period of uncertainty. He had a good point. We went to the show.
And to a certain extent, that’s what I think of Super Bowl advertising. Like it or not, it’s become the “industry show” that major players in the US market need to “exhibit” at. It’s also become something of a bell-weather for the economy in general. As we see signs of the economy starting to improve it’s worth noting that many automakers are returning to the fold (seven total in 2011 by our count vs. six in 2010 and five in 2009).
If you’re Chevy or Chrysler (both advertising in 2011) it’s a good opportunity for a stockholder’s meeting with the American people on the health of the company (pun intended). Though some may question the $3 million pricetag for :30 of airtime during the big event …
For my part, I’ll be live tweeting color commentary on the ads during the game this Sunday and provide a Monday morning follow-up here on my blog like I did in 2009 and 2010. I’ll be in San Francisco at the National Auto Dealer’s Association so I may be able to offer some sideline perspective from the industry as well.