Monthly Archives: January 2011

Are Superbowl ads the best use of businesses’ money?

Marketing strategy is changing. At least seven advertisers from 2010’s Superbowl will not return: Papa John’s, Intel, Monster, Dr. Pepper, Denny’s, Universal Orlando and KGB. Are they fools for pulling out? Or are they making the right decision?

USA Today posted an article recently  discussing the aforementioned companies’ situation. The $1-3 million price tag for this year’s ad slots seems absurd. Surprisingly, however, it’s been incredibly competitive. The media space sold out in October!

Superbowl ad space has always been contention for debate. It draws an ungodly amount of eye balls and gets almost as much publicity as the Superbowl itself. It seems like a no-brainer to want to be the “talked-about” commercial for that particular year.

Some companies disagree. With such large amounts of funds available to spend on marketing, it seems the money might be better used in other, more interactive markets. Just take a look at Pepsi. Last year, they didn’t produce a single commercial for the Superbowl. They decided instead to spend the money on digital media. The PR announcement alone did more for them than so many other companies’ entire marketing efforts.

With the saturation of social media and mobile, it seems plausible that the money could be better spent. Papa John’s has ingeniously offered to give everyone in America (more specifically those who sign up for their loyalty program) a free pizza if the game next Sunday goes into overtime.

People love viral, guerrilla and other alternative ads. The affordability of social media is ridiculous. I wonder if those dollars could be used for something better. What do you think?

Authors: Marina Kaljaj and Eric Swenson


Staff Meeting Goes Digital in 2011

Vanguard Direct kicked off 2011 with our annual staff meeting on January 7, 2011. The recurring theme this year was the integration of technology.

For the first time, our President and fearless leader, Bob O’Connell, ditched the index cards and used his iPad to give his annual staff presentation. In the past, Bob would prepare for presentations using more traditional means (index cards, notepads). Determined to take the lead in the hot topic of conversation, Bob utilized technology in his preparations. He not only found it engaging, but found it to be an excellent way to save time and resources. Bob declared that “[Using the iPad is] more efficient to type up the notes in a PowerPoint, easier to use to present, and easier to share that presentation afterwards.” Tom Caska, who was snowed in that day, attended remotely by video-calling into the staff meeting via Skype. Utilizing Skype for conference calling will be more prevalent in 2011. Bob admitted to being a creature of habit, and that he had difficulty at first switching from a paper driven mode to paperless. As a company, we must engage in these changes to remain leaders in order to stay ahead of the booming technology industry. Bob notes that we are “Moving on and forward… for the good.” Vanguard Direct has grown significantly in our technology department and technology practices… we will even be getting our first iPhone App approval this month from Apple! So much has changed in just one year and we remain loyal consultants and strategists to our clients to keep them ahead of the game. Our office has benefited from the use of technology in both our personal and work lives.


How have you used technology to make your life better?

Authors: Stephanie Huston and Dustin Hill