Published: Jan. 23, 2014

GM, Snyder returning to Super Bowl ad wars

Contact(s): Tom Oswald Media Communications office: (517) 432-0920 cell: (517) 281-7129, Robert Kolt Advertising, Public Relations and Retailing office: 517-355-2314 cell: 517-881-4446, Jef Richards Advertising, Public Relations and Retailing office: (517) 355-2314

Two of Michigan’s most prominent names will be returning to the Super Bowl television commercial battle this year.

General Motors Co., which chose to sit out last year’s game, and Gov. Rick Snyder, who launched his successful gubernatorial run with a Super Bowl buy in 2010, have purchased spots that will run national and in state, respectively.

“GM sat out last year and made a rather big show of it,” said Robert Kolt, a Michigan State University instructor of advertising and public relations who tracks and analyzes the high-profile Super Bowl ads. “But now they are re-thinking that strategy as they see all of the other car companies airing commercials.”

It’s estimated that a 30-second commercial during the game will cost advertisers around $4 million.

Paying a bit less for his ads this year will be Snyder, whose commercials will be aired only in Michigan.

“Let’s not forget that his ‘one tough nerd’ ad launched his political career,” Kolt said. “It’s a good strategy.”

What makes a good TV commercial?

“The ones that seem to work the best are the ones that are funny, offer some genuine surprise or are heart tugging,” said Jef Richards, chairperson of MSU’s Department of Advertising and Public Relations. “That triad has one common element: It rewards the audience for watching. You get a laugh, or something to talk about, or just something to feel.”

Richards said most of the high-priced commercials are relative failures because people watch them and “get nothing in return.”

For the 17th consecutive year, MSU advertising faculty will gather on Super Bowl Sunday to watch and rate the ads.

Using a five-point grading scale, the voting faculty members will rate each commercial on creativity, production and overall quality.

Last year’s winner was a Tide detergent ad that featured a stain on a shirt that resembled former football player Joe Montana.

This year’s Super Bowl is Feb. 2, featuring the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos. Kickoff is 6:25 p.m. on FOX.


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