Super Bowl Advertising, Commercials, and Marketing Trends Observed and Lessons Learned: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2002

Call me crazy, but I have this thing for figuring out lessons stemming from the hoop-la surrounding the Super Bowl each year. Here it is 2009 and there’s at least one “lessons” article nearly every year since 2002. Can you remember what happened ad / marketing-wise each year? Here’s a rundown:

2002 (Super Bowl XXXVI) was less than five months after 9/11 (September 11, 2001). Our nation’s mood was respectfully patriotic, and that was reflected heavily in the game’s theme. Also, wireless was a gleam in AT&T’s eye and “dot coms” were discovering the power of Super Bowl advertising. Traditional marketing lessons were plentiful.

2004 (Super Bowl XXXVIII): Companies were discovering the power of interaction, so online rankings of Super Bowl commercials were popular that year. This led to speculation about entertainment value versus effectiveness of ads aired by various big-money advertisers.

2005 (Super Bowl XXXIX): One of my favorite advertisers (Tabasco) was back with a new take on a 1995 format.

2006 (Super Bowl XL): By 2006, integrating URLs into television commercials was the norm. Advertisers and sponsors had started cross-media campaigns, sending viewers to Websites to see more footage and to interact.

2007 (Super Bowl XLI): By 2007, broadband access was predominant enough that the Internet was a staple in popular culture. Consequently, for the first time ever, the general public was able to get in on the action by helping to determine the commercials they would see on game day. They could pitch, write, and produce Super Bowl ad spots, while fans voted on which spot(s) would air.

2008 (Super Bowl XLII) — Part 1: Last year, I focused on helping small businesses figure out ways they could learn from the activity of advertisers, networks, sponsors, NFL, Arizona Cardinals, City of Phoenix, half-time entertainers, and any other businesses involved with the Super Bowl.

2008 (Super Bowl XLII) — Part 2: Part 2 from last year is a run-down of new technological twists on text messaging and extensions of customer involvement.

Until now, the pieces above were located in’s Marketing & Management section, where we house much of the small business management, marketing, and strategy articles. It’s time they got their own place in the spotlight. Feel free to browse through this Super Bowl section, and leave any comments you may have under the Super Bowl topic of my Marketing Strategy Thoughts blog.

Bobette Kyle