Superbowl Ad Analysis

The Super Bowl is the ultimate advertising opportunity. It reaches a mass audience, reducing the costs of personal selling and distribution. “Super Bowl XLV on Sunday had a record estimated average viewership of 111 million, according to Nielsen, meaning that several of the commercials are among the most-watched ads in the history of advertising.” The N.F.L. gets a free spot or two during every game, donated by the network broadcasting the Super Bowl, but beyond that there are several hours of potential commercial prime airtime for national advertisers.


The Kia Optima “One Epic Ride” ad was shown during the broadcast of the 2011 Superbowl. The commercial depicts the car being apprehended by through a number of extraordinary means. Throughout the course of the commercial, bandits, poseidon, and saucer-piloting aliens steal the car from each other until the Kia Optima is finally transported to an ancient mezzo-american civilization. Trough the use of characters and scenes alluding to epic and fantastic myths and movies themes embedded in popular culture Kia implies that the 2011 Optima holds the same grandiosity and extraordinary power as the forces depicted in the commercial.
This Kia commercial is an example of consumer advertising in that it is targeted at people buying goods and services for personal use (Dominick, 2011, p. 342). This ads attempts to directly influence the viewer to purchase this particular car, the Kia Optima. The target audience of this ad is probably 30-50 year old Americans. It may be especially targeted toward consumers who are fans of action/adventure films noting that the cinematography in the ad is reminiscent of this style. This ad is also a selective demand ad because it aims to sell a particular brand, Kia, and even more specifically it focuses on their optima model. Kia funded this advertising campaign in order to aid in the promotion of the the 2011 Optima. By airing this ad during the Superbowl, one of the most viewed television events of the year, Kia hoped to reach a mass audience.


The more people that view the ad each time it is shown the more cost efficient the ad is. Kia’s outreach to a mass audience nation wide illustrates that Kia is a national advertiser, as opposed to a retail advertiser. By airing this advertisement during the 2011 Superbowl, Kia has undeniably made an impression on a massive audience.

PepsiCo, in cooperation with their sister company Doritos, has launched a new and intriguing ad campaign for this past NFL Super Bowl. As well as the initial design of the campaign, the residual effects of this campaign are a new phenomenon in the realm of social media. PepsiCo is a Fortune 500 American global corporation. In 1965 the corporation merged with Frio-Lay, giving PepsiCo control of the Doritos brand corn based snack chip. Within North America PepsiCo is the largest net grossing corporation (according to

Helen Leggatt of the New York Times explains that Doritos issued an ad challenge to consumers in the run up to the Super Bowl as part of a carefully crafted marketing campaign. The result? Two million hits on the challenge microsite, three-quarters of a million unique users, 2 million video views and around a billion page impressions. Viral Advertising, through outlets like Facebook and Twitter, is becoming more essential to these national corporations as an advertising tactic. Companies create compelling messages so that potential consumers willingly and spontaneously share them with others. With social media, viral marketing has never been so easy. These concise and entertaining commercial media spread like wildfire throughout the internet. Not only is the media message more effective through social medias, but because the content is consumer create, the consumer has a more vested interest in rating and watching these commercials.
Rather than pulling from popular culture, as many of the other of the Super Bowl ads did, the PepsiCo Super Bowl ads resorted to crude humor and slapstick violence. The first-place finish for “Pug Attack” meant that its creator, JR Burningham, a would-be filmmaker, won $1 million in the Crash the Super Bowl contest, along with a chance to direct a spot for Doritos or Pepsi Max. In the ad, a man teases his girlfriend’s pug, which is locked out doors, until the pug knocks the door inwards onto the man and steals his Doritos. “This was not a corporate philanthropy effort,” said Shiv Singh, head of digital for PepsiCo Beverages America. “This was using brand dollars with the belief that when you use these brand dollars to have consumers share ideas to change the world, the consumers will win, the brand will win, and the community will win. That was a big bet. No one has done it on this scale before.”

DORITOS_NACHO_CHEESE__Flavored_Tortilla_Chips.gif pepsico.jpg

These two advertsing capmaigns are different in very important ways. Though they both are national corportations advertising at a mass scale, there are new advertising techniques at play. PepsiCO has donned a more user friendly and integrated social approach in order to allow their user created content to be viraly marketed across social networks. This advertising spot contest, rather than being of a philaphropic sort, is an attempt to encourage consumers to participate in the marketing through those social medias. Though KIA’s commercial is entertaining and captured the massive audience of the Super bowl, we will see, over time, and as social networks continue to develop, that ad campaigns similar to that of PepsiCO’s will continue to be more successful. The residual and encirculating power of information over the internet, coupled with the consumer’s promotion of those ads, will ultimatel be more powerful – despite the cash prizes rewarded to the contest winners.

Videos of our Ads

Kia - One Epic Ride

Doritos - Pug Attack

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