Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Watching Just For The Ads?
February 5, 2010, 1:53 PM
Filed under: Books in General, Economics, Marketing | Tags: , , , , ,

It would be odd if I let the week go by without mentioning the event that’s taking place this Sunday evening. We’ve all heard that you can’t call the event by it’s real name for fear of legal action. Most people throw out the generic term “the big game,” and I’ll take the same course of action in this post.

In the United States, this is one of the few remaining shared media experiences that we have each year. I’m sure sociologists have devoted many books to examining the impact of the big game on social interaction. There are plenty of people who view the big game as a holiday in the same vein as Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve or Independence Day. The actual game is an excuse to get together and share food, beverages and friendship.

From a business perspective, we look at the big game as the single biggest “captive” audience for television advertising each year. The game’s reputation for outlandish or groundbreaking advertising led to as many people watching the game specifically for the advertising as for the action on the gridiron. Are you one of those who will tune in on Sunday “just for the ads”?

If so, I want you to do me a favor. The next day when you’re talking with friends or co-workers about the ads you watched the night before, think a little bit about which ones were your favorites. Then I want you to think about why these were your favorites and whether or not you’ll buy the product that appeared in the ad. At nearly $3 million for 30 seconds, the companies that bought the commercial time are certainly hoping for a return on their investment.

The ads you like and whether or not they translate into you purchasing a product may not be related at all. This was examined in detail by author Martin Lindstrom in his book Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy. I don’t need to spend $3 million to tell you that this summary could open you eyes about advertising and the actual brain functions that trigger our buying impulse.

Enjoy the big game, but after it’s over, check out what Lindstrom has to say. It might surprise you!


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