Ad Wars VII – Super Bowl Advertising in Action

By: Marissa Burkett, Staff Writer

Michael Allen, MBA ’15, was the victor in last Tuesday’s Ad Wars VII, an annual Super Bowl event hosted by the Thunderbird Marketing Association (TMA) and taught by Professor Rick Baer.

Professor Baer presented advertising frameworks from his past marketing communications  classes and asked participants to judge five Super Bowl advertisements to determine which tactics companies attempted to use and whether or not they were successful.

The frameworks aimed to analyze the purpose behind the ad (e.g. heighten brand awareness, create a category need, etc.) as well as what messages the ad tried to use to effectively communicate that purpose. The five ads from this year’s Super Bowl were: Dodge, Mophie, CocaCola, Discover, and Squarespace.

Ad Wars boasted a very high turnout, over 30 people. Some students came to learn about marketing goals, some were encouraged by the $50 prize, and some just came for the pizza. But either way, I think that everyone walked away from the event with a new eye for advertising. According to Allen, “I really like how Professor Baer uses frameworks because marketing, and especially advertising is seen as so creative and artistic that it is seems to be too subjective to be analyzed and that is not the case at all.  He provides a good framework to look at something and say, ‘This is what’s happening and this is how I can measure why it’s effective or not.’”

And what was Allen’s favorite ad of the night?  “My favorite ad was Dodge, from the ones that we saw.  It didn’t only use good marketing but conveyed a century of heritage while keeping it fresh and young. The Mophie ad, however, was a fail.”

Allen is currently looking for internships in the advertising field.



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