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Most Super Bowl Ads Aimed at Males; Most Money Spent by Females

by Gerry Myers  |  
February 17, 2009

Super Bowl game? Super! The ads? Not so much...

Many advertisers justify their Super Bowl ad spending in such a tough economy by reasoning that spending $3 million dollars for a 30-second spot to reach 100 million viewers is cost effective—only $.03 per person.

However, if the marketing creators had taken into account the diverse viewing audience and fashioned ads that would resonate with them, the ROI would most likely be greater.

Since advertisers seem to miss the mark every year, you have to question the wisdom of many of the more than 40 spots, not counting the movie trailers and network shows.

A few basic thoughts advertisers should consider for the 2010 Super Bowl:

  • Who watches the Super Bowl? Approximately 100 million viewers, with more than 40 percent of them women.
  • Who spends the most money as a consumer? Women spend approximately 85 percent; men spend only 15 percent.
  • Who focuses more on the game—and who on the commercials? Though many women love football, and a lot of men enjoy seeing the new commercials, women focus more on the commercials... and men more on the game.

The 2009 Super Bowl commercials were far below my expectations.

Most were extremely male-oriented, and many for only a young demographic. Few women were used in the commercials—and when they were, such as Danica Patrick, they portrayed sex rather than substance. Both commercials were on my worse-commercial spots list for their blatant sexism and unoriginal ideas.

Another I found just plain mean was the Teleflora "rude" spot, depicting flowers received by a female office worker that insulted her in front of her coworkers.

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Gerry Myers is CEO, president, and cofounder of Advisory Link ( She is co-author of Leading the Way to Success and specializes in marketing and selling more effectively to women.

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  • by Stephen Denny Mon Feb 23, 2009 via web


    I'm confused by what appears to be an Academy Awards criteria for what is clearly marketing content.

    Marketers aren't paid to entertain - they're paid to make sure that more stuff gets sold. Your post may explain how you, personally, *feel* about the creative merits of the ads, but what matters is what *happened* to the incremental sales lift after these ads ran.

    The brands that win in the Super Bowl are the ones that sell more stuff as a result - and is a perennial winner. Whether you *like* their ads or not is secondary to the fact that they work: a 110% increase in domain registrations following the Super Bowl pays for a lot of advertising. Sales Genie (last year and the year before) produced ridiculous ads from a creative standpoint (last year they managed to insult both Indians and Chinese viewers - pretty impressive) that were tremendously successful.

    As marketers, let's focus on what matters to marketers: results. clearly gets it. Their ads work. Let's all promise to leave the analysis of poignant storytelling to the Hollywood blogs.

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