sealPurdue News

January 23, 2003

Marketing prof: Super Bowl ads aren't super

A Purdue University marketing professor says while the year's last gridiron contest also is the Super Bowl of advertising, companies need to take an edgier, riskier approach to rise above the four hours of clutter for viewers.

"A 30-second Super Bowl ad costs $2.5 million," says James Oakley, assistant professor of marketing in the Krannert School of Management. "That means only the biggest companies can afford the cost, and they tend to run-of-the mill approaches."

Oakley says if the companies are playing on the biggest stage, they must take a unique creative approach to be remembered by Super Bowl XXXVII television viewers.

The best Super Bowl ad of all time? Oakley's favorite is the long, futuristic Apple Macintosh ad in the 1984 Super Bowl. "It only showed once," he says. "It's now only seen at film festivals and at film schools."

Oakley can discuss Super Bowl TV ads before the event and this year's contenders after the trophy has been presented.

CONTACT: Oakley, (765) 494-4445,

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: A publication-quality photograph of James Oakley is available at