It seems like ages ago we were harping about the poor showing of B2B advertisements during Super Bowl XLV. While there are plenty of talking heads out there commenting on the B2C ads, almost nobody talks about the scarce B2B ads. As this prestigious event unites Americans of all stripes, we glue ourselves to the sofa to catch the ads most people ignore…
This year more than ever, the many popular B2C brands “leaked” their commercials to create some buzz. It is our take that B2B organizations did not think they had the creativity or the clout to foster a word-of-mouth campaign prior to the big event. And what this year’s herd of Super Bowl ads tells us is that the days of herding cats is long gone.
We don’t think the GoDaddy.com ad was really geared towards B2B, although the organization indeed sells domains to businesses. Nor do we think the Careerbuilder.com ad. although designed for professionals who wish to improve their career, was truly B2B in the context of our blog analysis for the past few years.
The only advertisement run during the Super Bowl that came close to being B2B was one of two ads by the same company. General Electric ran those two ads and they were more for branding than for promoting one of their many products or services.
GE’s first ad was the one that could actually be classified as related to B2B. It mentioned their design and manufacturing of turbines. But the storyline ended up in a consumer like message of why GE helps beer drinkers. Oh well…
While we are disappointed in the almost complete absence of B2B commercials this time around, we understand that businesses may no longer see the wisdom in running broadcast ads to the Super Bowl audience. After all, many business buyers are doing research on the Internet, the planning of television ads may be considered obsolete in this day of mature content marketing theory and lead nurturing. The branding that GE exercised may carry other objectives than just the marketing of steam turbines for electricity.
Does this mean that B2B television commercials are dead? No, we’re not ready to proclaim that just yet, but it appears true more than ever that consumer products automobiles, beer, soft drinks, and movies have better staying power in this expensive arena.