Sunday, February 5, was a big day for advertisers in America. The Super Bowl, the most watched show on TV, was aired that day. For the third year in a row, Super Bowl has set the record as the most watched television show in US history. Not just the game, the Super Bowl has become a showcase of some of the most remarkable advertisements, and people wait to see the commercials aired during this time as much as the game. After all, some of the most iconic ads have made their debut here. This year also witnessed some of the best ads and taught us a thing or two about what good ads are made of.

An estimated 111.3 million people watched the Super Bowl this year. The only other program that beat this record was Madonna’s show during halftime of the game. It was viewed by 114 million people . There seems to be something about ‘halftime’, for the most acclaimed commercial during the Super Bowl was Chrysler’s ‘It’s Halftime in America’. Aired during the game’s halftime, the commercial started by equating the game’s halftime with America’s halftime. Just as during halftimes, teams are discussing strategies to win the game; America also needs to find a way out of this mess that the country is in right now. The one city that is showing the way is Detroit. It lost everything with nearly all car companies going bust, but it did not give up and today, it is slowly but surely making a comeback. The Americans should do the same. After all, as the advertisement says, “This country cannot be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again and when we do, the world is going to hear the roar of our engines”. The commercial was so inspiring that in many places, people gave it a standing ovation.
The message was right, the time it was aired (during halftime) was right and the star of the commercial Clint Eastwood was just right too. He had starred in the much acclaimed film ‘Gran Torino’, which was set in Detroit City, making him the right choice for the commercial. Overall, it worked out to be the perfect package, which is why, out of the numerous ads aired during the game on Sunday, this one stood out. No blondes, no blokes, no stunning locales; just a plain simple message that touched people was what was responsible for its success. That is the power of a commercial. It makes a place for itself in your mind whether you want it or not. It’s much like ‘Jerry’, the cute little naughty mouse in the Tom & Jerry show, which we loved watching as children. If advertisements are ‘Jerrys’ then we are the ‘Toms’. Tom, like us, believes that Jerry cannot overpower him, just the way we as viewers believe that advertisements cannot influence us. But just as Jerry always wins, good ads always manage to make a place inside our subconscious mind and influence our buying behavior. How many times have you caught yourself singing the tunes ‘Har ek friend zaroori hota hai’ or ‘Hum mein hain Hero’? Good ads have the power to remain in our minds and our thoughts, and even change them.


If you can make someone laugh, it is the quickest way to bring down barriers and make a friend. A lot of advertisers use this trick. It is very effective, but it is also very risky; for if humor goes wrong, it can seriously offend people. This particular commercial managed to offend its competitor. Aired during the Super Bowl on Sunday, GM advertised for its Chevrolet Silverado. The commercial showed how the world would end in 2012 (according to the Mayan calendar) and only those who drove the Chevrolet Silverado had chances of survival, not the ones who drove a Ford. The advertisement showed how a man and his dog managed to survive the catastrophe because they were safe inside their Chevrolet. As he drives around, he meets his friends who also survived because they were inside their Chevrolets. However, one friend is missing, so he asks, “Where is Dave?” His friend answers, “Dave could not make it; he drove a Ford.” As expected, Ford did not take it lightly and its legal cell filed a complaint demanding that GM apologize and withdraw its ad from everywhere. GM, in return, said that the ads were over the top and in a fun filled manner, they tried to bring out the fact that their pick-up truck was dependable even in the most dangerous of circumstances. They believed in their claim and were ready to wait till the world ended to prove their point… and then apologize if needed. But till then, all people who were worried about the Mayan calendar prophecy coming true had better buy the Chevrolet Silverado!! Not only did Chevrolet get noticed and talked about, but Ford was left rubbing its hands for it had not aired any commercial during the Super Bowl and therefore could not make its presence felt.

The Super Bowl actually turned into a cheeky war zone where brands took a dig at their competitors. After all, not everyday do you get more than 100 million people to watch you. So Samsung continued to take a dig at Apple. Its positioning strategy is to be remembered as the ‘anti-Apple phone’. Apple, on the other hand, is known for its most iconic Super Bowl ads (remember the 1984 ad), but was conspicuous by its absence and Samsung had a field day advertising its phone as the ‘next big thing’. The oldest rivals Coke and Pepsi had a face-off too. While Pepsi played it safe with an interesting commercial featuring Elton John, Coke decided to poke Pepsi; albeit in a very pleasant, interesting and indirect manner.      Read More....

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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7/5/2012 06:35:07 pm

It is true that good advertisements do have an impact on viewers ... there are so many ads that we have hardly forget and enjoy watching them over and over again.

7/5/2012 06:36:30 pm

Good ads are always great to watch no matter how lengthy they are but there are some ads that make no sense and viewers can hardly tolerate such ads, no matter how short there are in duration.

7/5/2012 06:43:01 pm

Super bowl indeed has always been a huge event but Madonna's performance was simply superb....... to have so much energy at such an age is simply incredible.

Shamsher Singh Rawat
7/5/2012 06:49:01 pm

Awesome article rajita chaudhuri....your article are always great to read and goes on to show that you indeed are an expert when it comes to marketing and advertisement.

7/5/2012 07:01:47 pm

Now a days rarely do we find great and entertaining commercial......... it seems ad directors have lost the art.

7/5/2012 07:11:36 pm

Good and entertaining ads are always a treat to watch... with the kind of television shows that are aired daily, I prefer watching some real goods ads than watching the shows.

7/5/2012 07:15:02 pm

It is very true that good ads are a real entertainment and have some impact on the product's success in market...........! still remember some of the oldest that i enjoyed watching a lot as they gave us a good laugh.

7/5/2012 07:16:44 pm

Very true...... Indians love Emotions and Feelings and Ads that makes them smile or laugh have always been a big success.

7/5/2012 07:17:10 pm

Advertisements play vital role in any product's success........a good ad always leaves a lasting impact on the viewers.....many times a good advertisement is what prompts a customer to go for a particular brand than some other brand of the same product.

7/5/2012 07:18:32 pm

There are some great ads but sometimes they do turn negative often offending a personality or a rival brand, which i think is not the best thing to do.

7/5/2012 07:18:41 pm

Events such as the super boul or any other huge shows provide great opportunities for the big brands to make their presance felt in market by talking a big at is rivals ......these are perhaps the best time to promote any product......

7/5/2012 07:30:28 pm

I Remember some of the best advertisements that I have seen.....some really funny,making the entire family burst into laughter and some that touched us deeply,leaving a silent massage for its viewers.

9/5/2012 07:47:30 pm

i think you are right dear.


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