Ad vs. Ad

Courtesy: Deepali Ramaiah
Courtesy: Deepali Ramaiah

Last Sunday saw the Denver Broncos pit themselves against (eventual winners) the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII. We, at Thunderbird, do our own take on the event by pitting the Super Bowl ads against each other in a popular campus event known as Ad Wars.

Hosted by the Thunderbird Marketing Association (TMA) and Prof. Rick Baer, Ad Wars entered its sixth year with AD WARS VI held last Wednesday at the Yount 100 auditorium. Ad Wars is a chance for students interested in marketing to learn about what makes advertising effective and helping them answer the popular interview question: “Tell me about a recent ad you saw and tell me why you liked it or thought it was effective?” All using the ads from the weekend’s Super Bowl, which provided great fodder for the event, with companies making ads that range from from $3.5 million to $7 million and going all out to vie for a captive audience.

With the event mainly aimed at 1st and 2nd tri students, Prof. Baer first introduced students to the 5 buckets of marketing communication and later touched upon the 6 elements that make up an effective advertising copy. He also enlightened students on the importance of the actual message in the ads, and the impact they have on the consumer watching the ad. The ultimate goal was for students to gain a solid foundation on understanding whether the companies were effective in achieving their communication goal.

Using all of the above, students then went to learn these concepts through ads that ran at the Super Bowl. To make it even more fun, after running through them, students competed on analyzing three commercials from Hyundai, Budweiser & GoDaddy to evaluate them on the MarComm brackets and elements.

Students at the event were highly enthusiastic about what they learnt, with several stating that they haven’t learned of these concepts despite taking many marketing classes and reading articles on ads run at the Super Bowl.

To read more about Prof. Baer’s analysis of the Super Bowl ads, see his Das Tor column this week at

The TMA promises to have several more fun sessions like this, so keep your eyes peeled for their communication!

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