Curating Super Bowl Spots: Smart Move, Toyota

Most people would agree that few things exemplify branded entertainment like Super Bowl ads. Budweiser’s “Best Buds” spot was the undisputed champion of this year’s commercial offerings, garnering over 44 million views on YouTube. Toyota’s Terry Crews/Muppets ad’s eight million views seem meager in comparison. However, some might argue that Toyota actually went home with a bigger piece of the pie than many of the other brands vying for visibility.

The Gravity Six Alliance survey claims that between 54-57% of the Super Bowl audience tunes in as much or more for the ads than for the game. Toyota, clearly cognizant of this, made a smart move by partnering with Hulu to present “Hulu Adzone” (a curated collection of the Super Bowl’s best ads). The “entertainment” is streamed on a page splashed with well-integrated Toyota logos and repeatedly interrupted by Terry Crews chanting, “Let’s Go Places”. Whether you’re watching Audi’s ‘Doberhuahua’ go buck wild or simpering at Budweiser’s “Best Buds” ad, Toyota stays front and center.

The implications of this strategy are crucial. Splashy, entertaining, humorous, and shocking ads are great for grabbing eyeballs, but remembering the ad and remembering the brand are two distinctly different things. Most of the Super Bowl spots (including Toyota’s) were entertaining videos with a brand logo tacked on at the end. This format makes for poor brand-content association. Around 50 brands bought airtime during the sporting extravaganza, yet the average respondent to a survey for Bloomberg BusinessWeek only retained five brand names. That’s a pitiful 10% recollection rate.

It’s not just about creating great content, or even having people remember your content, but about keeping your brand name in the forefront of consumer consciousness—and Toyota did just that.

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