Why Did You Spend $5 Million on the Superbowl Again?

Superbowl Monday brings out America’s platoon of ad critics, who discuss which ad had the best joke, the cutest baby/animal and strongest political point.  Rarely, however, do they discuss what the advertisers got for the trouble of spending a reported $5 million on a 30-second spot.

As of this morning, the product page for the Kia Niro has a module with still from the Melissa McCarthy ad that lets you watch it again.  Why not some information about environmental or nature causes such as the ones espoused by McCarthy in the ad?  The NFL page has no mention of the ad with the babies in it, which seems odd for an organization that’s struggling to promote youth football.  Bud’s immigration story ad features heavily on the brand’s home page today but has no follow-up, such as Adolphus Busch’s real story or Anheuser-Busch’s pioneering role in American brewing.

Let’s talk about one advertiser who got it right with, ironically, the most controversial ad of the night, 84 Lumber’s “Journey” ad.

If you see those folks from “Fear the Walking Dead,” you might want to vamoose

Never mind the controversy over whether people like my own grandparents and great grandparents should be let into this country (see my last post for more if you want to know what I think about that issue).  For the purposes of this discussion, pay attention to three things:

  1. The call to action at the end of the ad to continue watching on a landing page, Journey84.com.
  2. The final title: “THE WILL TO SUCCEED IS ALWAYS WORKING HERE”
  3. The follow-up call to action on the landing page itself, below the videos:

You can bet the HR team loved the $5 million bump in their recruiting budget

Even with a recent bump in housing starts, 84 Lumber didn’t spend need to $5 million to recruit new workers.  They want to build a brand around inclusion.  More specifically, they probably want to appeal to Latinos in the building trades, documented or not.  Home Depot (one of whose founders also owns the Atlanta Falcons) has done this quietly for years by tolerating labor shape-ups in their parking lots and selling Mexican-made Coca Cola.

That said, they realized that a Superbowl ad would bring lots of attention and decided to take advantage of that attention for something immediate and measurable.  For their $5 million, 84 Lumber will get a tide of applicants named Martinez and Rodriguez and probably Jones and Patel and Kim as well.  Nice work.

My name is (not) Dorothea Lange and I approve this message

One thought on “Why Did You Spend $5 Million on the Superbowl Again?

  1. Pingback: Free Advice for the ACLU | Plannerben | Anecdata

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