WFoA Contributes to Knowledge@Wharton Piece on Violent Ads

An article published by Knowledge@Wharton on the amount of violence in this year’s Super Bowl ads quoted both Professor Jerry Wind and WFoA Executive Director Catharine Hays.

The article grapples with the question of balancing advertisers’ imperatives to grab viewers’ attention with the need to present responsible images that won’t harm viewers or brand image.

“It is definitely true that [ads] feel a strong need to cut through clutter in order to be heard above the din,” Hays observes. “Hence, shock factor.” However, Hays feels that, ultimately, advertisers and brands will shun violence and feel an obligation to have a net positive impact on culture and society.

Wind noted that “for the fear appeal to be effective, you have to show the resolution. If you show a terrible car accident, you have to show how a certain tire is the solution.”

WFoA research assistants who helped with this year’s Super Bowl Tweet Meet also contributed insights to the article. Interestingly, although advertisers have relied on violence more heavily in past, this year’s ads were less violent overall. Moreover, none of top 10 ads at this year’s Super Bowl featured violent images. However, is there something to be said for violent ads that hinge their success upon people’s desire to watch a game that revolves around men tackling eachother?

Examine both sides of the coin by reading the full article here, which also features quotes by fellow Wharton marketing professors Jonah Berger and Pinar Yildirim.

Catharine Hays Quoted in Portland Oregonian Article on Coca-Cola Super Bowl Spot

A story on Coca-Cola’s “It’s Beautiful” tv spot in the February 7th edition of the Portland Oregonian quoted WFoA Executive Director Catharine Hays.

“In this age of social media,” Hays says in the article, “one of the things we’re seeing is how brands need to embrace that they have a personality,  they have a way of talking about themselves and thinking about themselves that’s authentic.”

The spot, which aired during the Super Bowl, drew both praise and criticism for its multi-lingual version of “America the Beautiful;” The Oregonian’s article, written by Allan Brettman, was pegged to Coca-Cola’s planned broadcast of a 90-second version of the spot for the 2014 Winter Olympics opening ceremonies. The full  article is available at this link.

WFoA to Analyze Super Bowl Ads on Sirius Radio Debut February 5

The heat of buffalo-wing sauce may be fading from America’s lips, but questions about the Super Bowl and its ads linger:  What effect did social media have on this year’s ads and on viewers’ perceptions of them? What did advertisers do differently this year, and what tactics and techniques paid off? What happens to second-half ad placements when the game is a blowout?

Tune in when the Wharton Future of Advertising Program makes its debut on Business Radio Powered by Wharton, SiriusXM Satellite Radio Channel 111 this Wednesday, February 5 from 5pm to 7pm. On Marketing Matters, Professor Jerry Wind and WFoA Executive Director Catharine Hays will analyze the Super Bowl ads with special guests:

  • Roel de Vries, Nissan’s Global Head of Marketing, Communications and Brand Strategy;
  • Rob Norman, Chief Digital Officer Global of GroupM;
  • Matthew McCarthy, Senior Marketing Director, Axe.

Listeners can  join the discussion during the show by calling in at  1-844-Wharton (1-844-942-7866).

The Wharton Future of Advertising Project will air programs monthly on Marketing Matters, a weekly call-in show airing on Wednesdays from 5pm to 7pm on Sirius XM Channel 111, Business Radio powered by Wharton. Programs will be rebroadcast throughout the month. Full channel information available here: