The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

The Winners Made it Great

The best show on Earth certainly lived up to its name, with an exciting game, hard working entertainment, amazing sportsmanship, some great commercials, and an event showcasing some of the best traits of our country. Ad wise, Google and New York Life did their best to make us cry, while the NFL 100 awed millions with its creative and inspiring transition from video to stadium entrance. Rocket Mortgage welcomed us to get comfortable with Jason Momoa, Amazon wooed us with incredible flashbacks full of symbolism and a flicker of transcendence, while Bill made us smile all over again. Reminding us that we can find joy in even the most repetitive of circumstances and situations. Budweiser and Verizon both gave a great nod to the heroism, courage, sacrifice, and achievements of our fellow American. Again we were reminded that through all our perceptions great and small, we still remain the most generous and compassionate nation ever assembled. From Microsoft's notable salute to Katie Sowers, to the numerous charitable donations and projects anchored to the campaigns, it was another inspiring year around football.


But Not So Quick...

A key takeaway this year should really leave only one impression with anyone who works in advertising for a living, and that is: “What has the obsession with social media done to our Internet”?

 

These are the most expensive advertising slots in the world. If there was ever a time for smarter thinking on how to maximize the forward momentum from each commercial, to guide and navigate consumers to the fullest interactive experience, to showcase your innovation and recognition for all that technology can now facilitate – this was it.


I have personally never seen such a lazy mass approach to planning and engagement strategy, especially given the depth of options for secondary videos, interactive experiences, personalized environments, call-to-action opportunities, and even the most basic of participation routes to capitalize on the unprecedented reach this sports gathering now provides. In a world of unlimited possibilities, lazy end caps should not be the new norm. For the most part, it looks like great work went into some masterful productions, then a team leader spent 15 seconds throwing a random hashtag on it. Maybe it is time to evaluate exactly how much trust we place into our social media strategies, who we are trusting with our marketing decisions, and what influences their decisions. This was a waste of colossal opportunities.

 

So here is your reminder: the scope of possibilities beyond relying on the slim chance that a hashtag goes viral is amazing, and should be engaged to the fullest. Don’t be afraid to spend $50k on a domain name that doubles the impact of your $6 million ad placement.


That's just smart math.


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and The Ugly...

This year's biggest losers have to be the companies that have been grossly impacted by the sweeping changes made by YouTube through their compliance actions, post agreements reached with the FTC related to the protection of children's privacy. This now includes heavy restrictions on any content marked as directed at kids within their content system, resulting in a number of direct penalties and publishing limitations that can have massive effects on distribution possibilities. For example, not allowing playlist inclusion or direct embedding means thousands of media reporters and organizations across the world could not give equal reporting to several of the ads participating in the event. In cases where YouTube was the primary publishing medium for the corresponding promotional videos, they had no option to even list and include some great media productions within their list of all the commercials that aired. It is a great example whereby as a nation, we cannot give up our capacity to be free thinking problem solvers using logic towards legislative overreach.

15 LESSONS FOR 2020 AND BEYOND...

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Smarter Engagements

Customized Interactions

Intuitive Integration

Technology provides countless ways to enhance reach and positive engagement value. Look for smarter ways to stimulate deeper relationships using the vast degree of resources and web technologies that exist.

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Intuitive Integration

Customized Interactions

Intuitive Integration

A smart domain name is a worthwhile investment when it contributes to overall messaging power to enhance conversion and participation rates. Don't underestimate the added reach capacity of a great name.

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Customized Interactions

Customized Interactions

Customized Interactions

Creativity and innovation can go a long way in forming strategic paths to guide and transform consumer interaction for future benefit. A wise strategy should go well beyond just dumping interest into hashtags.

#1 - Paramount Pictures - Top Gun: Maverick

Big budget productions deserve more imagination and creativity when it comes to guiding loyal fans in new directions. Especially in cases where amazing visuals, virtual environment creation, and flight interaction could cause interest to soar. For all of the genius in Hollywood, there is a staggering lack of creative integration of domains that add additional value and intrigue to the emotion that is created.


Our Choice:  www.readyforspeed.com

#2 - Coca-Cola Energy - Show Up

We've all been there, and to see Coca-Cola join the ever expanding energy drink market is a treat in itself. The major flake out here though wasn't just in Jonah Hill having a low energy moment, but all of the lost opportunities between both Hill and legendary Martin Scorsese as it builds to the anti-climatic fizzle that came in the end. One could get the impression that the ad was almost free.


Our Choice:  www.raisemyenergy.com

#3 - Mike Bloomberg - George

What a touching testimony for every soul in America. This is not a political issue, but a heart-wrenching reality that continues to go unsolved in our country. Politics can often cause logical solutions to be polarized against two unnecessary extremes, and common sense consensus becomes the casualty. This issue is too great for a catch-all domain name, and reflects a time when a key interest truly deserves its own energy to inspire real change.


Our Choice:  www.actforthefuture.com

#4 - Little Caesars - Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

Many shared opinions on this one, but the sub 100k views on YouTube in our last check, versus Alexa weighing in at a mighty 60 million plus, is probably all the measurement standard you need to know. We know the nation loves pizza, and there were fun creative elements in the ad. But maybe the best thing since sliced bread deserved adding a clever domain to maximize delivery adoption?


Our Choice:  www.sendmypizza.com

Our Choice:  www.sendyourpizza.com

#5 - Turkish Airlines - Step on Earth

In the face of so much coverage on what is wrong, I found the incredible imagery and optimism from Turkish Airlines take on our world to be a refreshing treat. The untouched promise for a starting traveler. The capacity to discover both the beauty and majestic nature of our beautiful home. Art deserves better than the lazy stroke of hashtag integration. New ending: Learn more about Earth at...


Our Choice:  www.unleashtheworld.com

#6 - Disney - Mulan

We don’t want to seem to have prejudice against Hollywood and their movie making machine, but we are passionate about trailers, great stories, and the work that goes into making them successful. There is a massive gap between what can and is being done, as agencies throw hashtags or integrate the word movie into a name with no thought. Great movies deserve names that truly add to the experience.


Our Choice:  www.iamtheblade.com

#7 - Discover - No We Don't Charge Annual Fees

Anyone serious enough to spend millions to tell a nation of football fans for 15 seconds that their credit card has no yearly fees attached to it, must be in it to win it right? We agree, which is exactly why that extra step that needed to be taken is still as important for tomorrow as it was for game day. Or they may wake up one morning to find a competitor even more determined than they are.


Our Choice:  www.skipthefees.com

Our Choice:  www.avoidthefees.com

#8 - Snickers - Fix the World

Apart from being my favorite candy bar, this was a brilliant commercial for humanity, inspiring a little more love for one another in a world that often seems disconnected. Which would be hard to tell given the overall trend numbers, placing even hummus at three times the popularity at this point. It would appear that savviness for guiding secondary market actions also fell in the hole. Let's inspire!


Our Choice:  www.doitbigger.com

#9 - Avocados From Mexico - Avocado Shopping Network

The first thought after asking yourself why, should likely be that companies selling avocados must be making far too much money. Reflecting on a noted absence, maybe post acquiring all of the pistachios in the world, they make their way to monopolize all future consumer goods. But we are good sports, so recommend they go all in and upgrade the tag and save the world at the same time. You can do it!


Our Choice:  www.justbuygreen.com

#10 - Quibi - The Bank Heist

It takes real confidence to come out the gate with your own proclaimed brand synonym, let alone a path that simultaneously sees the promise of a future service and a forward launch date that offers no update mechanism for evolution. Now nearly twelve million YouTube views later, we recommend you always start as early as you can in capturing grass roots momentum that can be converted.


Our Choice:  www.gettheupdate.com

#11 - Google - Remember Loretta

There is a lot to say about this one, least not the emotional hit it took on millions as it caused a lifetime of instant reflections, and struck a note at the essence of existence and what it means to have lived. If Google has a weak link, it can be in assuming market position equates to universal application adoption. But whatever their game strategy, we are moved, and thought this name encapsulates it all.


Our Choice:  www.caretoremember.com

#12 - Facebook - Get Ready to Rock

I’m not even going to address the irony of suggesting that the company that nearly took domain names off the map for several years in the first place, due to their alternative form of organizational sharing and publishing, should be using a smart name to maximize their reach potential. But these groups look cool, and expanding a massive list of conceptual groups for niche recognition is an awesome idea.


Our Choice:  www.meetyourgroup.com

#13 - Michelob Ultra - Pure Gold and the 6 for 6 Pack

The transmutation of consumption into positive change can be tough to pull off, but this was a great concept, and one of only a few commercials that ultimately used a domain anchor to contribute to emotional engagement, memory recollection, and positive brand extension. Even with the redirect. Just in case you need another consumption strategy, we are all about positive transformations.


Our Choice:  www.enjoyadrink.com

#14 - Pepsi - Zero Sugar. Done Right

And the world said all at once... how can they get away with that? Paint it black indeed is the motto, and it would seem that a $200 billion dollar market cap buys a lot of flexibility for competitive brand use. If they really want to upstage their rivals though, we recommend setting their sights on option two below. Like us - they always have the option to choose both!


Our Choice:  www.getthedrink.com

Our Choice:  www.officialdrink.com

#15 - Olay - Make Space for Women

"We have the opposite of a problem", declares Busy Philipps, and what beautiful words to guide our future expectations. We included this one as it is a great example of how to effectively integrate Twitter marketing to inspire others, and it marks a stark comparison to most other commercial entries. Plus it lets us highlight two amazing campaign themes.


Our Choice:  www.todayinspace.com

Our Choice:  www.spaceforus.com

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