Do Your B2B Ads Deserve to be Super?

January 9th, 2008 Posted by B2B Marketing 0 thoughts

The annual hype is starting to build. Sure, a few people may care about that football game they play between the commercials. But to many, the ads are the focus, causing plenty of anticipation, “leaked” plans, and public relations maneuvers.

Of course, most of that hoopla takes place in the B2C space. Over here in B2B, most of us are merely interested observers. With only a few exceptions (like FedEx) the Super Bowl audience doesn’t make sense for B2B companies and brands.

And that’s too bad. No, not because I’m jealous and wish I could do commercials with monkeys and Clydesdales in them. But because I think B2B marketers and their agencies would benefit from having to face that kind of creative scrutiny.

Certainly not all the commercials live up to the hype; many are downright stupid, in my opinion. But there’s no denying that companies who shell out $2.6 million for 30 seconds under that spotlight are determined to fill that time with an ad that will attract attention, generate buzz, and sell their product.

But check out a few B2B web sites, and flip through some trade magazines; you’ll be hard pressed to find work that really commands attention. That’s a bad thing, and a shameful waste.

It shouldn’t require an audience of 100 million beer drinkers to raise the bar and inspire heroic creative deeds. You ought to care just as much about the impact your advertising has on 27,000 facilities managers, or 113,000 distribution center executives, or whatever your target audience.

So here’s a challenge for all B2B companies and their agencies: next time an ad is due, don’t just stamp out another one “like we always do” because that’s what everyone expects.

Pretend, instead, that your next ad will be part of a big event, battling all your toughest competitors for the hearts and minds of your critical target audience. See if you can be the one whose ad grabs the attention, gets talked about at the coffee machine the next day, and generates the phone calls.

You may think that the imaginary situation I’ve just described is really nothing more than the next issue of your industry trade publication.

Hmm. Could be.

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