View Point: Super Bowl Andrew Ladden, Madras “Of course, great work trumps everything. No pun intended.”

In a few words, can you tell us who you are and what your job title is?
Andrew Ladden, Chief Creative Officer, Madras Global.

The current price for a 30 second slot is over $5 million. In your opinion is the spend worth it?
If your total ad budget is $5 million, then no, it’s a stupid buy. You’re not going to pull an “Apple 1984.” That happens once in a generation. And today, there are literally millions of things you can do with $5 million that will move the needle a ton. But, if this media buy is just a part of your much bigger plan, then yes, it can be great for your brand and it can start all kinds of ongoing conversations. Of course, the work better be amazing. If it’s not amazing, you’re setting a lot of your money on fire.

Is there a demographic you believe Super Bowl advertisers have failed to target or a business sector that is underrepresented?
Everyone watches the game. It is omni-demographic. My guess is that women are not addressed in an intelligent manner. Ads tend to be “guy humor” or “tear jerkers.” But I think a traditional, female brand with a big budget could make an impact with some media here. You don’t expect it, so just being there will get it noticed. Plus it would provide some creative inspiration for the spot itself.

Who do you think is the ‘brand to watch’ at this year’s Super Bowl?
Brands are wisely making the game part of a larger content moment. Their spots are part of a longer conversation. But whoever takes it to the next stage, and converts all that content into an opportunity for real commerce, will win the game.

Do you think advertisers can benefit from taking a political/social stance in the Super Bowl?
No. It’s becoming cliché. Of course, great work trumps everything. No pun intended.

Are there any fumbled opportunities that come to mind when you think of past Super Bowl advertising?
I remember watching with baited breath as a major brand revealed their new tag line at the Super Bowl. And they teased it for weeks leading up to the game. Then they ran the spot and everyone thought “who cares?” It’s a case of making the advertising the story, rather than the brand itself. That never works.

Eagles or Patriots?
I’m from New York. No good outcome.

What is your favorite Super Bowl ad of all time?
From my adult life: Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit” with Eminem. Still gets me choked up every time I see it.

From my childhood: Coke’s Mean Joe Green ad. “Thanks, Mean Joe!” Come on, that was amazing.

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