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Who Really Won the Super Bowl?

Who Really Won the Super Bowl?

February 19, 2008

So who won the Super Bowl? Not the game. The ads!

Who won the battle for the best ads during the biggest television event of the year? Listen to the columnists and pundits drone on about who had the cutest, funniest and most clever ads and you'd think advertising is about winning a popularity contest.

Marketing and advertising have nothing to do with entertainment. The only reason an advertiser tries to make the ad funny or cute is to win a self-promotional award. That's it. Nothing more.

The job of marketing and advertising is to encourage your hungry fish to take an action. It doesn't have to be funny, cute or entertaining. It just has to be compelling enough that it meets a need so a hungry fish says, 'I want that!'

And that's where most advertisers lost, and I mean lost big. It wasn't even close.

Advertisers spent $2.7 million for 30 seconds of airtime to reach 90 million viewers ' obviously it's a huge investment and it never ceases to amaze me how willing companies are to just throw away their money.

Most of them may as well just have taken that money and used it as confetti at the end of the game because they will never get a return on their investment. Only 6% of the advertisers included a call to action in their commercials, according to Reprise Media, Inc. Did everyone skip the class in Marketing 101 in which the professor talked about the most important ingredient of any ad or marketing piece is to actually ask the prospect to do something?

To make matters worse, 74% of the advertisers continued this alarming trend by not including a call to action on their websites! But most of them did buy placements on the search engines, but once the prospects got to their website they were left directionless.

So nearly all the advertisers spent millions of dollars on airtime alone but didn't bother to tell viewers what to do. And advertisers spent even more money on ads on the search engines to direct them to a website that didn't have a call to action either!

Except one.

Ironically, it was also named the worst Super Bowl ad for the second straight year. I'm talking about SalesGenie.com. Critics called the ads from SaleGenie.com 'cheesy ' dull ' boring' and some even referred to it as 'mildly offensive.' But they did score where it mattered most. They included a call to action that most people still remember today: Call today and get 100 free sales leads and improve your sales.

The critics blasted SalesGenie last year for its boring ads, yet it's one of the few that generated a positive ROI. Based on its initial investment of $3 million per ad, the company made 25,000 sales averaging $2,160 per year for a total of $54 million! Why? Because they followed the number one rule in marketing and advertising that everyone else seemed to miss ' they included a call to action!

They also very smartly included the same call to action on their website so they can convert their prospects into buyers.

Although you may not be spending $3 million on your ads, you must include a call to action in your message. Even if it's a 30-cent flyer you printed at your local print shop, you should have a call to action.

What do you want your prospects to do? Call? Go to a website? Email you? Come into the store? If you've managed to grab their attention don't leave them wondering what to do next. Tell them what they should do next. Give them a direction.

Unfortunately, most marketing is done with what I call a weak compass with a weak magnet. But a strong compass has a strong magnetic pull. Most standard advertising is filled with ads we saw in the Super Bowl that have a weak compass. As we've seen, this is a huge mistake.

A better method of marketing is what's called direct marketing. It's a different way of thinking. It's what the SalesGenie ads did very effectively. Direct marketing always has a call to action and gives your hungry fish an opportunity to say, 'yes.'

That's why SalesGenie's ads brought in $54 million. They used their ads to build a relationship using a very simple, but powerful 4-step direct marketing strategy.

1. Offer irresistible bait: Increase your sales with SalesGenie.
2. Include a call to action: Call or go to the website and get 100 free sales leads.
3. Get a small 'yes': Sign up for the 100 sales leads.
4. Covert the leads into sales: Earn more with more leads.

It may not win any awards or be hailed by critics as creating the most entertaining ads. But with the money you earn from your direct marketing, you can buy plenty of seats at the next Super Bowl and not even worry about watching the ads on TV.

Taking you from where you are to where you want to get to,

Jon