Camp professionals can learn much from this year's Super Bowl XXXIV but not necessarily about the sports skills or the sportsmanship. There was far more to analyze in the strategies, the playmaking, and the utilization of resources — not among the coaches and the players but among the advertisers.
Let's explore some observations that have relevance to camp marketing.
Marketing Is Still Valuable
#1: The marketplace is not becoming numb to marketing overall, and marketing efforts are not losing their value.
Superbowl XXXIV attracted more viewers than its predecessor did a year earlier — and achieved this in a year when neither team was from one of the nation's largest cities. Why the still-growing audience? Several marketing experts claim that heightened interest in the commercials themselves — rather than the usually-ho-hum game — is continuing to build the annual audiences for the spectacle. In short, whether you like it or not, advertising has not gone out of style.
Take Time to Craft Your Message
#2: Many of the high-stakes advertisers were neophytes who plunged in ill-prepared — and executed belly flops.
A bevy of brand-new advertisers, principally dot-coms that thought the name of the game was to attract attention by any means whatsoever, bought airtime. They had the part about attracting attention right, but then too many rushed into the creative process carelessly. They failed to go for attention that was relevant to the product and, thus, would lead viewers to form a relationship between the message and the sponsor.
Build Name Recognition
#3: Too many of these new advertisers came out of nowhere, planted a single message, and expected to walk away with significant returns on their multimillion-dollar investment.
In an Adweek survey, 13.1 percent of viewers remembered no dot-com commercials whatsoever. The only two e-commerce advertisers that registered significant recall were E-Trade and Pets.com. There is value in continuity. Pets.com scored highly, not merely because its sock puppet spokes-thing is clever, but because its message had been seen before. Theirs was indeed a new commercial but it capitalized on previously built impressions of an ongoing campaign. Instead of doing something brand new simply because this was the Super Bowl, Pets.com took its property and simply took it to a higher level. It worked.
Appeal to a Broad Audience
#4: As a total group, Super Bowl advertisers recognized that the audience is larger than just men and, for the first time, some bought time to appeal primarily to women.
It's not a simple market out there. Both men and women watch the Super Bowl. Thus, Tropicana, Bud Light, and Oxygen Media bought in where they have not previously. Even though viewers may be gorging on six-foot submarine sandwiches, nachos, and beer, they have feelings, too. Thus, viewers saw public service announcements from the U.S. Census and the National Heart Savers Association.
What Can Camp Professionals Learn from This?
Taking Time to Craft the Message
It seemed like many of