Kellogg | Mr. Chief Product Officer
GMAT 740, GPA 77.53% (First Class with Distinction, Dean's List Candidate)
Chicago Booth | Mr. Needy Spartan
GMAT 740, GPA 3.6
INSEAD | Ms. Low GPA, Big Ambitions
GRE 2.64, GPA 2.64
Stanford GSB | Mr. Energy Focus
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
MIT Sloan | Mr. Low GPA Over Achiever
GMAT 700, GPA 2.5
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. Aspiring Consultant
GMAT 690, GPA 3.68
NYU Stern | Ms. Art World
GRE 322, GPA 3.3
NYU Stern | Mr. Hail Mary 740
GMAT 740, GPA 2.94
Stanford GSB | Mr. Big Tech Engineer
GRE 332, GPA 3.95
IU Kelley | Ms. Biracial Single Mommy
, GPA 2.5/3.67 Grad
Berkeley Haas | Ms. 10 Years Experience
GMAT To be taken, GPA 3.1
Yale | Mr. Army Infantry Officer
GMAT 730, GPA 2.83
Yale | Ms. Social Impact AKS
GRE 315, GPA 7.56
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Kellogg | Mr. Bird Watcher
GRE 333, GPA 2.9
Harvard | Mr. Relationship Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Political Consultant
GRE 337, GPA 3.85
MIT Sloan | Mr. Refinery Engineer
GMAT 700- will retake, GPA 3.87
Said Business School | Mr. Across The Pond
GMAT 680, GPA 2.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. Singing Banking Lawyer
GMAT 720, GPA 110-point scale. Got 110/110 with honors
Stanford GSB | Mr. Corp Finance
GMAT 740, GPA 3.75
Kellogg | Mr. Marketing Maven
GRE 325, GPA 7.6/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Vroom Vroom
GMAT 760, GPA 2.88
N U Singapore | Ms. Biomanager
GMAT 520, GPA 2.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. Health Nerd
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
Wharton | Mr. Army & Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. 360 Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4

Kellogg MBAs: The Best & Worst Super Bowl Ads

Every Super Bowl for the past nine years, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School scrambles a bunch of its MBAs to sit down and watch–not the game but rather the high-priced commercials and to grade them.

This year it was 58 MBA students who did the judging and the winner was Tide, a P&G brand that earned top marks for its witty and quite clever “miracle stain” ad. Also scoring grades of A in the Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review were M&M’s, Best Buy, Axe, Wonderful Pistachios and Jeep, while BlackBerry and Lincoln ranked at the bottom of the review.

BREAKING THROUGH THE CLUTTER OF A MASSIVE NUMBER OF ADS AND A GAME

“Tide really broke through the clutter with a very engaging spot,” said Tim Calkins, the marketing professor who leads the event with a panel of students from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. “At Kellogg, our Review evaluates the ads based on strategic execution and the potential to build brands. Tide, M&M’s and Best Buy all did a terrific job connecting engaging spots to product benefits.

This year’s Super Bowl featured several long ads with elaborate stories. The Jeep and Samsung spots did well, earning an A and B grade, respectively, while Dodge finished in the middle of the pack. Another leader was Budweiser’s 60-second Clydesdale promotion, although Anheuser-Busch’s Bud Light and Budweiser Black Crown ads did not fare well, pulling the company’s overall ranking down.

BLACKBERRY, LINCOLN, CENTURY 21, CALVIN KLEIN AND GO DADDY FLUNK THE REVIEW

BlackBerry finished at the bottom of the ranking due to weak branding and the lack of a compelling benefit. Other advertisers receiving low scores included Century 21, Calvin Klein, Subway, Lincoln and Go Daddy.

“We’ve come to expect Go Daddy to fare poorly in the annual Review, but were surprised at the Lincoln and BlackBerry ads,” said Derek D. Rucker, an associate professor of marketing who also leads the Review. “Both companies have been struggling as of late and really needed to score a touchdown with their Super Bowl spots. Unfortunately, both fell flat and failed to give consumers a compelling reason to care about their brands.”

Unlike other popularity-based reviews, the Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review uses a strategic academic framework known as ADPLAN.  The acronym, developed by Kellogg School faculty, instructs viewers to grade ads based on Attention, Distinction, Positioning, Linkage, Amplification and Net equity.

“This was a solid year for Super Bowl advertisers, though we didn’t necessarily see any breakthrough spots that will be memorable for years to come,” said John Felton, one of 58 Kellogg MBA students who participated on the Ad Review panel.

 

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.