Kellogg School of Management Ranks Google Best, Focus on the Family and U.S. Census Ads Worst in Super Bowl XLIV

Panel notes three auto advertisers were back in a big way, ranking in the top five

Feb 07, 2010, 23:59 ET from Kellogg School of Management

EVANSTON, Ill., Feb. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The score is final and the points are tallied – for both the Super Bowl and for the Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review.  Google earned top marks for its "How to Impress a French Woman" ad, winning the sixth annual, ever-popular Review.  

"This year's Super Bowl featured several effective ads, making the Review an exciting learning experience for the students," said Clinical Professor of Marketing Tim Calkins, who leads the event. "The overarching goal for Super Bowl advertisers is a successful ad that resonates with their target audience.  Based on our framework, Google really embraced the key elements of a winning Super Bowl commercial with both its sentimental and practical execution."

Google earned the title of champion from the Review panel, which was comprised of MBA students from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.  Google edged out fellow "A" grade advertisers including Denny's, Audi, Volkswagen, Dodge and Snickers. With three auto spots scoring in the top five, automakers surprised viewers by creating memorable ads that broke through the clutter.

With the pre-game buzz surrounding Focus on the Family for its anti-abortion sentiment and U.S. Census, which used government dollars, the panel thought the ads fell flat and didn't live up to the strategic framework. Other advertisers that received low marks from the panel included Honda and Bridgestone.

Associate Professor of Marketing Derek Rucker, who also leads the Review, noted, "Companies now need to leverage the buzz to increase their ROI.  Turning the advertising into consumer action is the next step and the best companies know that.  The marketing departments will be working overtime for that reason."

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 faculty, instructs viewers to grade ads based on Attention, Distinction, Positioning, Linkage, Amplification and Net equity.

About the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University

The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University was founded in 1908 and is widely recognized as a global leader in management education. The school, located just outside of Chicago, is home to a renowned, research-based faculty and MBA students from around the globe. The Kellogg School's academic portfolio includes the Full-Time, Part-Time and Executive MBA Programs, the Ph.D. Program, and the executive degree and certificate Executive Education Programs. The school offers two joint-degree programs: the JD-MBA and the MMM (MBA-MEM). Additionally, the Kellogg School of Management offers an Executive MBA Program in Miami and has alliances with business schools in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Canada. To learn more, please visit

To learn more about the Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review, please visit

More Information

To schedule an interview or learn more about Professor Calkins, Professor Rucker and the Kellogg

School Super Bowl Advertising Review, contact Aaron Mays or Molly Lynch at the contact information below.


Aaron Mays

Molly Lynch

Kellogg School of Management

Mobile: 773-505-9719

Mobile:  773-344-2331

SOURCE Kellogg School of Management