I saw two things this week that reminded me why I’m so happy I stopped working for an advertising agency.

First, I watched the CBS TV special celebrating Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials. The featured ads cost hundreds of thousands of dollars each to produce, and millions to air. While I loved the creativity and humor of the spots, it was obvious the agencies that created them were making entertainment – not marketing.

Worse yet, the commercial voted #1 was from a Doritos fan with no advertising experience. He made the spot for $300.

Doritos has been using homemade commercials for the past several years and they are always voted fan favorites. If cheesy chip-eating average Joes can produce content comparable to the best and brightest in ad land, how do clients justify paying egregious agency fees to produce spots more likely to win ad agency awards than boost their business?

If cheesy chip-eating average Joes can produce content comparable to the best and brightest in ad land, how do clients justify paying egregious agency fees to produce spots more likely to win ad agency awards than boost their business?

Which brings me to the next thing I saw…

AdWeek ran a feature article this week touting that Anheuser-Busch has spent $149 million on Super Bowl ads since 2009. The whole theme of the AdWeek article was essentially, “Good job Anhesuer,-Busch. You guys are awesome. Thanks for spending so much money fueling the ad industry”.

What about the beer industry?

How is this ridiculously large sum of money paying off for Anhueser-Busch? The short answer is: I don’t know. However, I did some research and found that their market share has declined for four of their marquee brands from 2010-2012:

How can the ad industry celebrate this type of performance?

$149 million is a huge amount of money that could have been used to engage customers, capture data, fuel word of mouth, entice trial, and reward loyalty in far greater ways than flash-in-the-pan Super Bowl TV commercials.

Business owners need better solutions that drive bottom line results, not funnier ads.

Fortunately engagement agencies understand that. And I happen to know a really good one.

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