Gupta Takes Another Chance at Super Bowl Ads

Jan 28, 2008 6:57 PM  By

InfoUSA chairman Vin Gupta said the Super Bowl experience was a good one for his SalesGenie.com division. So good that he will again invest the reported $2.6 million for another 30-second spot on Feb. 3.

But in a television event where motor vehicles, soft drinks, and motion pictures rule the advertising airwaves, is Gupta shooting fish in a barrel, or will he miss the broad side of a barn?

If the sixth-annual Super Bowl Engagement Survey, conducted by the loyalty research consultancy Brand Keys is any indication, then SalesGenie.com could score a touchdown.

Brand Keys president Robert Passikoff says the survey is designed to predict consumers’ true reactions to brands. The results correlate with actual marketplace behaviors, and are said to be reliable predictors of future brand purchase.

The ability for the brand and the media to engage is based upon what Brand Keys says is an assessment of ROE or return-on-equity, a measure that quantifies the level of engagement created between the media environment and the advertised brand.

“Think of it as identifying how the media environment reinforces, or in some cases, degrades brand values,” said Passikoff.

What a brand wants to see is a minimum of +7 points to ensure a real return on the effort, Passikoff says. That score always results in increased engagement. Viewers will pay more attention to the advertising, think better of the product, and actually go out and buy the advertised item.

With that in mind, SalesGenie.com scored a +7. And what brands scored the same or higher? Only Budweiser (+10), Bud Light (+8), Cars.com (+8), Coke (+9), Doritos (+15), Daddy.com (+8), Hershey’s (+7), Planters Peanuts (+8), Pepsi (+11), Tide-to-Go (+7), Toyota (+9), and Unilever (+8).

So what did those surveyed like about SalesGenie.com? Passikoff says unsolicited comments regarding the ads had to do with the fact that they were for an advertiser aiming for the small businessman and not like the juggernaut products that “own” these kinds of events.

Does it mean television is the right venue for SalesGenie to prospect for clients? Maybe, maybe not. Passikoff says not all media venues are right for all brands, no matter how large an audience they generate.

“It has nothing to do with ‘being watched’ or awareness levels, and everything to do with viewers being emotionally engaged with the brand,” says Passikoff. “Everybody knows Ford, and their sales fell 12% last year. The objective is to sell cars, not just entertain.

The 2008 survey was conducted among a national sample of 1,200 men and women, 18 – 65 years of age, who indicated a strong likelihood to watch Super Bowl XLII on Feb. 3. The research examines most of the brands advertising during the game based on ad rosters that appeared in industry publications prior to the survey being fielded in the third week of January.