Advertising Made to Last Versus Advertising Left in the Past: An Analysis of Effective Advertising in American Culture
Historically, advertising was best when it was informative because people did not look at advertising for entertainment. Stories, however, were helpful in selling products and promoting trials. Advertising has since evolved with society. Copious amounts of research still go into advertising but some old principles get left in the past. Some can be adapted to today’s digital world while others simply do not ring true anymore. Today, the best of the best showcase in the Super Bowl. This has proven to be very beneficial to those that dazzle and entertain viewers.
The USA Today Ad Meter has been used for decades to rank Super Bowl ads and can show us what works well. All ads that run during the Super Bowl are rated by thousands of viewers and then ranked based on average ratings. The Ad Meter is the most used tool to look at these ads and discern what viewers enjoyed seeing. Entertaining ads do very well on the Ad Meter while informational and simple ads often sink. The Ad Meter does a good job telling advertisers what worked but it does not tell us why it worked or what people want to see.
These entertaining ads do well on the ad meter because, according to the following research study, people prefer entertainment in Super Bowl advertising, whether the product is relevant or not. People are willing to watch a Super Bowl ad that is longer than a normal ad would be because they expect entertainment and the length allows for a story to develop. People also have a strong preference for humorous Super Bowl ads but the emotional/meaningful ads that make it into the top 5 are almost the exception to the rule because the results of the research performed here show very little preference for these ads. While the Super Bowl still seems to be a beneficial way to advertise, the price is a big barrier to entry. Luckily, digital culture gives smaller businesses the power to capture viewers in other ways. The study’s findings suggest that many younger participants often just watch Super Bowl ads on YouTube after the game. Younger people are also watching the Super Bowl less and becoming numb to scrolling through ads on social media. It is important, now more than ever, for advertisers to have attention grabbing tactics for a generation with such short attention spans. Advertisers need to follow the trends to keep up with social media, but it will be worth it.