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### Students Opt for Super Bowl Ads Over Taylor Swift Performance

This year, a multitude of marketing students at Northwestern University will gather in an auditorium to witness the highly anticipated Super Bowl event. However, their primary focus will not be on the game’s outcome or celebrity mentions but rather on the commercials.

In its 20th iteration, this event places a strong emphasis on experiential learning by engaging students in real-time ad ranking. Following the commercials, companies will receive a letter grade ranging from A to D. (Kellogg boasts the 5th position in the country, as per Fortune’s ranking.)


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Tim Calkins and Derek Rucker, esteemed marketing professors at the university, host this captivating ad review event. Calkins emphasizes that unlike casual viewers who seek entertainment value, the primary focus of this event is to evaluate the effectiveness of the ads in building brands and driving business outcomes.

During the previous year, Google Pixel’s advertisement emerged as the top performer, while companies like Doritos garnered high ratings. Conversely, brands such as M&M’s faced challenges. Rucker notes that companies, regardless of their grades, often reach out post-event to express either satisfaction or a commitment to improve in the future.

Creating a Super Bowl ad entails significant investment and meticulous planning involving numerous stakeholders. Calkins anticipates a trend towards safer advertising approaches this year, with a shift towards light-hearted humor and broad messaging to avoid controversy.

The evaluation criteria encompass attention, distinction, positioning, linkage, amplification, and net equity. Assessing the ads in real-time adds a layer of immediacy and excitement to the process.

Nikki Pangilinan, a Kellogg alum who participated in the 2022 event, reflects on the enduring impact of the skills acquired during the ad review. As an associate brand manager, she continues to apply the strategic frameworks learned during the Super Bowl ad review in her daily work.

Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers command a median salary of $138,730, with a projected 6% growth in the field over the next decade, according to the .