As we slowly crawl out of one of the most devastating recessions in recent history, this year’s Super Bowl may have acted as a bellwether for our economic recovery. It signaled that a. consumers have regained some buying power b. automakers are recovering and c. advertising is back.
Automakers have been deathly quiet over the past few years, understandably more concerned with improving their balance sheets than creating entertaining advertisements. But there was a dramatic shift during this year’s Super Bowl, with nine different automotive companies dominating the evening. Chrysler, who almost completely disappeared from advertising in recent years, was seen throughout the night, spending close to 9 million dollars on an ad starring rap artist, Eminem. The advertisements themselves ranged from family fun, like Volkswagen’s adorable Darth Vader commercial, to Chrysler’s Glee advertisement, which succeeded in converting a few more “gleeks”. Overall, advertisements were noisy and filled with special affects, working hard to take advantage of the new economic climate. Two years ago, no one was buying cars, now automakers are so confident in consumer power, they are willing to embark on a new advertising path that includes spending big bucks to shout encouragingly at their target market.
While automakers were taking a big back seat over the past few years, advertising suffered. But with automakers back on track, so is advertising. According to our STRATA systems, we’ve already seen advertising purchases up by 15% in 2011, which should continue throughout the year. Now that major ad buyers are back on board, advertising can take a deep breath and focus on merging powerful new elements, like social media, into their campaigns.
By now, we are all familiar with the “loser” Super Bowl advertisers, we’re looking at you, Groupon and Sketchers; but the chances that these companies were willing to take with advertising speak volumes for the economy. The creative departments may need some retooling, but advertisers were trying to speak directly to consumer’s wallets this year and effectively drag them back to the mall to purchase essential and non-essential goods.
As a member of the advertising community, I feel confident that the recent Super Bowl is the start of a new age for our industry, and the economy as a whole.