Bayer, the sole pharma firm to take the $2.5 million plunge and advertise in the Super Bowl with a spot for its OTC analgesic Aleve, scored a ‘C’ in a Kellogg School of Management survey of the evening’s ads.
The spot, featuring Leonard Nimoy, placed ahead of a spot by Westin and just behind Toyota in the middle of the pack. Tim Calkins, clinical associate professor of marketing, said the spot succeeded in conveying a clear benefit – something that most Super Bowl advertisers fail to do – but sacrificed some of the entertainment value needed to stand out in the process. “It was a little flat,” said Calkins. “In the Super Bowl, where you really have to break through creatively, it didn’t have the punch that others did.” Calkins said some survey participants also questioned whether a spot positioning the drug to older sufferers should have been placed at such great cost in a game whose viewers skew younger.
However, Calkins noted that non-traditional spots can break through the clutter, as did a Dove spot looking at girls’ self esteem in this year’s game. The Dove ad was this year’s top-ranked in the Kellogg School survey, while Nationwide came in last.
Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management assembles a panel of marketing majors and faculty for the annual ratings, which Calkins stressed emphasize a spot’s agility at advancing business objectives rather than creative artistry.
GlaxoSmithKline sat out the Super Bowl but is today launching a disease-education spot on asthma featuring Steelers star Jerome “The Bus” Bettis.