UT Austin College of Communication Organizes Live Super Bowl Ad Rating Panel

Feb. 1, 2013

AUSTIN, Texas — During this Sunday's Super Bowl, advertising professors from The University of Texas at Austin College of Communication will live tweet critiques of Super Bowl ads.

Professor Neal Burns (@berryboy316), Assistant Professor Kevin Thomas (@kevin_d_thomas), Assistant Professor Angeline Close (@angelineclose) and Assistant Professor Robert Lewis (@robertjoellewis) will share their thoughts under #SBAdJudge.

"For many, not only those teaching and practicing advertising, the ads on the Super Bowl have become a major reason for watching," Burns said. "And social network technology lets us all participate in a meaningful and fulfilling way."

The professors will comment on a group of ads by eight well-known and frequent Super Bowl advertisers (Audi, Budweiser, Coke, Frito-Lay, Go Daddy, Volkswagen, Paramount Pictures and M&M's) and two or three first-time Super Bowl advertisers.

They will assess ads on qualities such as the presence of a strong emotional hook, the likelihood that a viewer would ask his or her friends to view the ad and the likelihood that a viewer would want to see the ad again.

Burns pointed out that social media campaigns and conversations enhance the return on investment for Super Bowl ads.

"Agencies are well aware of the impact and extension that these online communities give the Super Bowl ads, and they are able to measure the frequency of comments and viewers' sentiments," Burns said.

Burns is a former senior partner and director of research and account planning at Minneapolis-based ad agency Carmichael Lynch. He is founder and director of the master's-level Texas Account Planning program, which is designed to allow students to observe, interpret and integrate consumer insights into the advertising creative process. He also has served as director of the college's Center for Brand Research since 2002.

Thomas' research focuses on the socio-cultural effects of marketing communication and consumer behavior. His primary research interest pertains to understanding the relationship among marketing communication, consumption practices and notions of self and community. His work has appeared in the Journal of Organizational Change Management and the Journal of Management, Spirituality & Religion.

Close conducts consumer research. Her areas of expertise are event marketing/sponsorship, online consumer behavior and branding. Her research has been featured on CBS and in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, New Scientist, the St. Petersburg Times and the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Close serves as president of the American Marketing Association's Consumer Behavior Special Interest Group. She also serves in various leadership roles for the Association for Consumer Research, the Society for Marketing Advances and the Academy of Marketing Science.

Lewis researches how media satisfy and violate basic human motivations, as well as the role of these motivations in determining audiences. A central focus of his research is to understand the psychology of media appeal, but he also hopes this research will lead to a comprehensive understanding of how the media strengthen, influence and maintain individual and group values. His work has appeared in outlets such as the International Journal of Arts & Technology, Mass Communication & Society and the Journal of Communication.

For more information, contact: Laura Byerley, Moody College of Communication, 512 471 2182;  Neal Burns, Department of Advertising, Moody College of Communication, 512-471-1101.