Monster up, SoBe down: Grading Super Bowl ads

Alexandra Finkel

While one-third of America tuned in Sunday night to catch the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Super Bowl win over the Arizona Cardinals, two Kellogg School of Management professors and their marketing students were more interested in whether Anheuser-Busch’s five commercials would be worth the $15 million the company spent.

About 45 MBA students gathered in the Allen Center for the fifth annual Super Bowl Advertising Review hosted by Professors Tim Calkins and Derek Rucker. Since its official inception in 2005, the Kellogg event has become a must for all graduate marketing students, even eliciting a wait list this past year. Students graded nearly 50 commercials this year based on ADPLAN, Kellogg’s framework criteria which includes attention, distinction, positioning, linkage, amplification and net equity.

“We’re all about experiential learning,” Calkins said. “At the heart of it is giving students the opportunity to evaluate advertisements in real time and apply the framework we teach in class.”

Using ADPLAN, the students found the most successful commercial was by, an ad which showed two adjoining corporate offices