Most marketing blogs the day after the Super Bowl are sharing the same disappointment at the ads and how universally average they were. Meanwhile, some of the best campaigns of the Super Bowl season were efforts launched online or that had a significant online component, but the fact remains that many Super Bowl ads simply didn't work this year. Here's my list not just of the best and worst ads, but some lessons I think any marketer can learn from why the worst ones failed.
Why don't we accept falling — even if it's a failure — as part of the ride?
One caller raised the fascinating issue of forgiveness, raising the legitimate concern that punishing failures like what happened with BP in the Gulf would lead inevitably to people denying responsibility, blaming others, and seeking to hide their failures. She highlighted the importance of allowing people to communicate bad news without fear, as well as learn from their failures. She advocated a culture of openness and forgiveness that would contribute to learning.
How does a great brand like Toyota, built over decades, lose its way so quickly? For that matter, how did General Motors stumble? And how about Kmart, Washington Mutual and Circuit City suddenly become irrelevant? One day these companies were global leaders. The next, seemingly, they were flat on their backs, bleeding years of brand building and future sales and profits.
Last year, Palm had the hottest handset not named iPhone. The Pre was the company's long-awaited Hail Mary -- or at least its best shot to revive the once-storied brand and reclaim a bit of the hand-held market Palm created. Today, the Pre is not selling and nor is its cheaper, lower-end model, the Pixi. The company's stock plunged 30% on a fateful day last month as two analysts cut their price targets to zero and Morgan Joseph & Co. analyst Ilya Grozovsky called Palm "essentially in an accelerating death spiral."
I have been putting a lot of thought into why some people succeed and others fail. It’s easy to put success down to luck or natural talent, but while there will always be an element of that, it does not seem to be “the answer”. There seem to be some ingredients that a lot of folks miss. Education is important, but not in the formal qualification sense but more in the continuously learning sense. We tend though to focus just on the knowledge, there is a gap there that needs to be filled and that is where I think the big gains are made.
The Apple iPad, hitting stores April 3, is one of the most-hyped products in technology history. There is talk that it could revolutionize computing and media. But when it comes to new products, great expectations can doom products that don't measure up to them.
General Motors said on Wednesday that it would shut down Hummer, the brand of big sport utility vehicles that became synonymous with the term gas guzzler, after a deal to sell it to a Chinese manufacturer fell apart.
"To build a global medium as central to people's lives as the telephone or television ... and even more valuable." This was Steve Case's vision in the early 1990s, and everyone wanted to be a part of it. The company he founded, American Online, was one of the nation's most admired. By turning Internet access into a home utility, AOL became one of the nation's most admired brands and workplaces. It was the Google or the Facebook of its time. Then something happened.
A decade ago, America Online merged with Time Warner in a deal valued at a stunning $350 billion. It was then, and is now, the largest merger in American business history. The Internet, it was believed, was soon to vaporize mainstream media business models on the spot. America Online’s frothy stock price made it worth twice as much as Time Warner’s with less than half the cash flow.
In my last post I identified three things that can turn leaders into laggards: the practical difficulties of sustaining above-average performance, the natural obsolescence of once-vital strategies, and the corrosive impact of discontinuous change. Now let me add a fourth: success corrupts.