It’s t-minus three days to game day and we are preparing for our annual Super Bowl Search Marketing Scorecard, in which we’ll rank advertisers for their strategy (or lack thereof) in cross-channel marketing that integrates their TV and online efforts surrounding the biggest ad day of the year.
To get ready to tackle this year’s ads, we’ve spent a lot of time reviewing the performance of last year’s advertisers (here’s the 2007 Scorecard). By and large, they were failures, and last year’s biggest losers were GM, Izod, and Doritos. The automobile industry blew it big-time, despite their slick ads, and many advertisers still didn’t really understand how to best utilize the web to actually engage people, as revealed by their landing pages.
In 2007, our winners may not have had the best TV ads or the biggest names – in fact, a couple of them were downright cheesy – but they really understood how to get a return on their TV ad-buy, by running targeted paid search ads and optimizing their landing pages.
Big Question for Doritos: Will You Fumble Again?
Last year’s fumble by Doritos was especially bittersweet to note. After all, the company arguably had more promising pre-game buzz going than anyone, thanks to their Crash the Super Bowl user-generated video contest, whose winner was determined by peer votes and got aired during the game. A clever concept, it produced a very memorable commercial that ended up being a favorite for many viewers. But though Doritos got good mileage for their ad, they could have made it much bigger if they’d had a search campaign pointing users to the video, and if their landing page wasn’t so confusing.
This year, Doritos is going for round 2 of Crash the Super Bowl, but with a twist that hooks up one winning musician with an ad spot and a record deal. The winner will be revealed on Sunday, and one contestant, Kina Grannis, got herself to the final round with smart Digg-bait that added to Doritos’ buzz. But the company’s Crash the Super Bowl landing page is still Flash-intensive and not user-friendly. And their pre-game SEO and paid search efforts leave a lot to be desired. A Google search for “doritos super bowl ad” shows top results from last year’s contest, and not only has Doritos not paid any attention to optimizing against that this year, it also isn’t running any paid search to drive traffic to the correct pages. Check out the screenshot below (click to enlarge it):
Will Doritos recover by Sunday and make it to our list of winners this year? It’s not looking good yet, but we’ll have to wait and see.