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Super Bowl XLVII lights go out… will it affect the Mercedes brand?

Posted by Dale Berkebile on Mon, Feb 04, 2013

One brand will be remembered from Super Bowl XLVII and it isn't due to Super Bowl Commercials.

Mercedes Benz Superdome

Super Bowl XLVII logo

Yes, last night was Super Bowl XLVII, and an interesting one at that. It was fun seeing the 49ers come back after being down 20+ points in the first half. The half-time show comes on and Beyoncé looked great (well if you like to watch her shake her body). Sadly she was lip syncing the songs or at least it looked that way. Now, I am not a huge sports fan and honestly, I could not care who won last night. I did watch most of the game at a friends house though and the one thing I found most interesting though was I was not overly impressed with the commercials. Isn't this the big day for all ads? Were these big ads overshadowed? Hmmm…

Over the last few years, Brandwise promoted a few commercials we thought were good. Nothing really grabbed me this year. The one thing that did grab me was the fact that the Super Bowl was in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Sadly after Beyoncé's performance all the lights went out. Then some of them came back on, well half of them. So we were ready to get back to the game and found we were unable to do so due to issues with the lights.

Mercedes Superdome in dark

Wow if you paid all that money for your tickets and had to sit in the dark for a bit and then your half of the stadium was kind of dark… you might get pretty pissed off. You might even wonder who is at fault for such a thing? Well I had a quick flashback to Katrina and everyone living in the Superdome, and the following horrors that went with it. Scary thought right? Yeah! Then I flashed back to the beginning of the game or at least where I started watching the game and remembered the Superdome roof with the Mercedes-Benz logo on it.

Now I am not sure if anyone at the game last night thought about or blamed Mercedes-Benz for this 34 minute power outage or not, but they are the first people who came to my mind. Think about this…

  • how much money is spent to get the super bowl in your city?
  • how much money is actually spent putting on the super bowl?
  • how much money does it cost to power the lights in a stadium like this?
  • how many people are watching the game?
  • how much did spectators pay to get tickets, food and drinks at the game?
  • why was there no redundant power supply or backup generators to cover the most popular US sporting event each year?
  • after the disaster of Katrina, why wasn't this handled better?
  • and lastly, what does it cost to get your brand name tied to the stadium?

Ok, we are talking about a lot of money for all the above questions. Here is the REAL branding question… who's name is most known from last nights event? Is it the teams? Is it Beyoncé? Is it one of the commercial advertisers? OR IS IT Mercedes-Benz?

How do you think this affects the Mercedes-Benz brand? Does this make you trust their products or is this a chink in their armor? Ok, granted this may not be Mercedes-Benz's fault, but they are the most prominent name tied to the stadium and there is a good chance some people will blame them and think this is what can be expected from a foreign car company (even if it is merged with Chrysler to form DaimlerChrysler AG until 2007). Anyhow, the real culprit is the Entergy Corporation, it was their equipment. I am not sure if anyone heard anything about Entergy though since their name isn't on the stadium as is Mercedes-Benz.

So what do you think? Who will take the fall for this? Will it be Mercedes-Benz? Does that fact that they brand the Superdome hinder their brand? Does it make you think differently about who you partner up with? How quickly can a perfect reputation be soiled by something like this? What are your thoughts on how this affected the Mercedes-Benz brand?

Has this silly incident changed the Super Bowl? I got tired and quit watching the game and I'd bet the same was true for others. The 49ers did have a change of heart coming back after an hour or more of break until the lights were back on. Has this changed the outcome of the game even if the 49ers still lost? Would the Ravens have stomped them into the ground and kept their 21+ lead and just add to it in the last half had they played right after halftime? Who knows, but there certainly will be some people looking to cash in on this problem. Share your thoughts below. How did this make you feel? Had you thought about Mercedes-Benz when things first happened? That is the power of branding, both good and bad.

Tags: Marketing, Advertising, Branding

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