Finding the most super ad of all

If you work in advertising, this Sunday is the "Super Bowl of" … well, it's the Super Bowl, and that is about as big as it gets for football, live television viewership and advertising.

Since ad agency Chiat/Day broke the mold in 1984 with "1984" - a commercial for Apple Computer introducing the Macintosh, the Super Bowl has become a showcase for creative ads that strive to be remembered.

"That set the bar. That was the epitome of a successful Super Bowl ad," says Jennifer Hammond, a 1985 graduate of the University of South Carolina's journalism school with a degree in advertising.

What made that ad such a success, says Hammond - a management supervisor for Los Angeles based advertising agency David&Goliath - was the boost to a burgeoning brand name and actual sales of the product being advertised.

"Not only was it unique and a different type of creative advertising, it also propelled Apple to be the success it is now and sold a huge amount of the product," Hammond says. "Obviously you want awareness from your ads, but when it impacts the bottom line, when it impacts sales, that's really a success.

"That ad was the full package."

Hammond is based in Atlanta, working exclusively with David&Goliath automotive client, Kia, which has been a Super Bowl advertiser for six years.

"With the Super Bowl being one of the biggest stages in the world, it's the perfect platform for Kia to launch new products and expose people to its brand," she says.

This year's Kia ad will feature action-film star Pierce Brosnan driving a Kia Sorento and will poke a little fun at over-the-top action sequences in movies and TV commercials.

Judging the effectiveness of those ads is the business of journalism professor Bonnie Drewniany's "Super Bowl of Advertising" course.

This weekend, her students will watch the big game live and rate the ads. An online poll is available for alumni and others to register their votes for best ad. The commercial deemed the best is given the Cocky Award and its creators are invited to Drewniany's class to discuss the ad's creation.

Other working ad execs, including Hammond, have come to visit the class.

"I'm looking forward to having Jennifer talk to my class and share behind-the-scenes stories about Kia's commercial," Drewniany says. "Who knows? She may be here to accept the Cocky Award for best Super Bowl commercial!

"USC alumnus John Baker received the Cocky Award five years ago for a Budweiser commercial starring Conan O'Brien. I'd love to keep the Cocky Award in the USC family."

Hammond, who grew up in Columbia and is one of several family members to attend UofSC, says Drewniany's class seemed shocked by the number of jobs she has had in the advertising business.

She started with the agency that created the Apple ad just as it was staffing up for a new account - Nissan.

Since then, she has worked with a number of automotive clients, including Acura, BMW and, for the past 11 years, Kia.

"When an agency loses business, you have to go somewhere else, or your client changes," Hammond says. "That's pretty typical for the agency business. But I love my job every day."

Learn more

Bonnie Drewniany's Super Bowl of Advertising class will rate the effectiveness of this year's ads during the big game and offer fans a chance to vote in an online poll. Check out the Cocky's Super Ad Poll website for details.

David&Goliath has created some memorable Super Bowl ads for Kia over the years. Here are some recent ones: 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011.

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