By Michelle Hinson—If you are anything like my public relations students at the University of Florida, you may have been underwhelmed by this year’s Super Bowl ads. I felt the same way (but I fell asleep early on and missed most of them). Then I saw the #KimsDataStash T-Mobile commercial. I saw it after the fact. But I saw it. And it spoke to me. If you missed it, Kim was being her narcissistic self and letting us know the mobile data we didn’t use could have been spent looking at her and her outfits.
Did it really take Kim Kardashian to make me realize all data is not created equal? No. But it was a good reminder. Some data points and data collection methods (AVEs, for example) are like Kim’s ass—in your face, over-inflated, and meaningless. But we love them because we love big and sexy.
But as Nationwide found out, we don’t always love “in your face.” Their “I Didn’t Grow Up Because I Died in an Accident” ad, while being the second most talked about, generated the most negative brand sentiment at over 77% according to Salesforce.com. A rep for the company stated the objective was not to sell insurance but to make parents aware of the dangers of having children or to #makesafehappen. Whatever that means.
After showing the ad to my PR strategy class and a lengthy discussion, no one could remember the #makesafehappen message. And unlike folks watching the Super Bowl, they had not been drinking. So, if Nationwide’s objective was to not sell insurance and not #makesafehappen, then they were the real winners, not the New England Patriots.
Which brings me to drinking. Not surprisingly, Budweiser had the highest share of voice and most positive brand sentiment of the night. Yet, the best they could do to entice the young hipster craft beer drinker to grab an ice cold Bud is to tell them: “Bud is brewed for drinking not dissecting?” Makes me want to run out and grab one. NOT. But you do have to love the Clydesdales. And the puppies. As GoDaddy discovered a tad too late.
I tell my students that public relations activities must be tied to business objectives. And the results must be measured and evaluated. Then they see the Super Bowl ads and the ridiculous amounts of money spent on them and they question my sage counsel. And I don’t blame them. But my cellphone minutes are about to expire and I really want to know what Kim is wearing today. ∞