Napster and iTunes Super Bowl Ads Tank

By Richard Menta 2/07/05

A few days back I wrote about Napster's upcoming Super Bowl commercial as the start of a $30 million ad campaign to unseat Apple's iTunes' popularity. It looks like they didn't start very well as far as consumers tuning into the game were concerned.

When I picked up today's USA Today during lunch and turned to their money section I came across the paper's Super Bowl Ad Meter XVII, subtitled "How TV's most expensive commercials scored with viewers.

Richard Menta

Napster came in dead last, scoring a 4.37 or about half of what the top commercials scored.

When one invests in the Super Bowl the cost ($2.4 million) of the 30 second time slot is easily wasted without an intelligent, engaging commercial. Napster's commercial, which I personally found uninspired if not awkwardly conceptualized, failed on both counts. The audience that Napster played to seemed to feel the same way.

Not that Napster's competiton came away with a slam dunk either, but the two Pepsi/iTunes ads did fare better. The Gwen Stefani iTunes slot was the 10th worst rated commercial with a 5.31 rating. The second ad, the singing Pepsi bottles, was closer to the mark scoring clearly in the middle with a score of 6.01.

Two slots above that was the commercial for Olympus' new m:robe MR-500i, the first Personal Media Player (MPEG-4 video and digital music portable) to get such royal advertising treatment. Many portable device manufacturers are adding video capabilities to the mix as a market differentiator to pull business away from the iPod. The score for the Olympus commercial was a 6.19.

So, did these companies get their money's worth? Olympus maybe, though the commercial was selling it more as a camera than as a PMP. As for Napster the spot will still generate business, but the other $27+ million they have targeted for marketing this year needs to be more effective.

Fox has posted most of the Super Bowl ads if you wish to make your own opinions.

The Olympus m:robe MR-500i Digital Music/Video Player is available on Amazon

Other MP3 stories:
Movie Industry Sues File Traders Again
The Digital Media Winners of 2004
The Digital Media Losers of 2004

Back to