This coming Sunday is one of the biggest days in the advertising industry. Over the 50+ years that the American football Super Bowl championship has been played, the advertising during the game has achieved legendary status. Companies like Coca Cola, Hyundai, Amazon and others spend tens of millions of U.S. dollars buying ad spots during the game, and major news organizations–some of them global–cover the ads even if they don’t the game. Having at least one (and sometimes several) ads during the Super Bowl has become “table stakes” for major brands.
With a new battery of ads awaiting their first airing on Sunday, word comes that Skittles, the candy brand, is taking a very different approach using an anti-advertising message and the actor Michael C. Hall to attract attention. The messaging is clever precisely because it gets one’s attention, something hard to do amid all the other very well done ads (puppies and Clydesdales have something of the same effect). You can read an Ad Age item about the idea here.
What the Skittles spot shows more than anything is the extreme difficulty of being heard amid all the noise, regardless of the media channel for your messaging. Whether print, digital, email, direct mail (amazingly this still happens!), or outdoor, finding ever more creative and must-watch/listen/read ways of reaching prospective buyers is exactly the subject about which marketing, communications and admissions should obsess.