Better Marketing with Teasers for Super Bowl XLVII?

– By Kristina Lee


Who doesn’t like a good tease?  Over 5 million YouTube viewers of Kate Upton washing the new Mercedes CLA in slow motion, that’s who. Watching the latest “tease,” pun intended, from Mercedes Benz, where the Sports Illustrated model shamelessly flaunts her body in front of the camera for a quick minute, makes it easy to figure out why. Oh, did I mention, that sprinkling throughout the video are shots of the car itself too?

Regardless of whether or not the car itself is memorable, the teaser has not only been watched by countless sports fans, but also caught the attention of the Parents Television Council claiming it to be a “step back for feminism.” The latter could be a debate best saved for a future blog post, but either way, the teaser is enjoying sky-rocketing views well before the full commercial airs during the game.

When it comes to the super bowl, we are finding that commercials traditionally meant to air on the day of the championship game have started to pop up well before the big event.  Each year, not only does the most watched American broadcast generate buzz around the teams who make it to the finals, but the notorious super bowl commercials themselves also share the limelight.

As Todd Wasserman has promptly reported, last year YouTube’s research indicated that the ads uploaded online before the game enjoyed an average of 9 million views over the 1.3 million views of those that didn’t. While this trend has not been embraced by all who have bought ad space for the super bowl, many are finding a middle ground, they’re called teasers.

The marketers from Mercedes, Budlight and Volkswagen, just to name a few, hire the best creative teams who are tasked to put together a “kick-ass,” memorable commercial. Shock value and extreme (sometimes borderline vulgar) humor tend to dominate the commercials that are aired and get viewed by millions.

While the numbers don’t lie, and if we look strictly at views, these commercials have hit the ball out of the park. However, does racking up numbers mean better marketing? What about the actual message, which in the case of Mercedes, should have been about the car? Comments that dominate the YouTube video page already prove that the car’s assets were totally overshadowed by Kate Upton’s assets.  On the same breath, many might just be anticipating the full commercial when it airs on game day. Some would even argue that Mercedes achieved its goal in generating buzz around the car. Teasers in general tend to hook us, and while sacrificing a certain element of surprise, especially through social media, they do garner a lot of free publicity.

What are your thoughts on teasers? Are they effective in almost every campaign? If you’re not a diehard football fan, will your channel surfing be interrupted by tuning in to watch the commercials?  Is cheap publicity the way to go?

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