Super Bowl 2018: Chris Tussing, Merge

"I think it’s great for a brand to take on a fight, and stand for something meaningful."


Chris Tussing
Chief Marketing Officer & President Merge
In a few words, can you tell us who you are and what your job title is?
Chris Tussing,
Chief Marketing Officer, MERGE
President, MERGE | Chicago
The current price for a 30 second slot is over $5 million. In your opinion is the spend worth it?
Not always, but when looking for high visibility among a broad audience, you can’t top it.
Is there a demographic you believe Super Bowl advertisers have failed to target or a business sector that is underrepresented?
It seems counterintuitive to target a particular demographic when you’re paying $5 million to reach such a broad audience. I can’t think of the last time a bank was in the game.
Who do you think is the ‘brand to watch’ at this year’s Super Bowl?
Amazon echo, I think the idea of Alexa losing her voice is intriguing.
Do you think advertisers can benefit from taking a political/social stance in the Super Bowl?
Sure, I think it’s great for a brand to take on a fight, and stand for something meaningful. But it needs to be authentic to the brand’s strategy. In the end, taking a social or political POV will cause some backlash, as there are people who believe strongly in each side.. If their cause is tied to their brand POV, there’s no way it can be considered disingenuous.
Are there any fumbled opportunities that come to mind when you think of past Super Bowl advertising?
I think the industry has fumbled by releasing the spots ahead of time. Part of the magic of the game is the anticipation of seeing how good the commercials will be. If they’ve all been out and already seen, doesn’t some of the power and impact of the $5 million spend get diminished? I think so. I’d rather that brands think of creative ways to tease where they are going with pre-game content strategies and allow the airing of the spot in the game to be the big reveal.
Eagles or Patriots?
Eagles. I almost always root for the underdog. Plus, I went to USC, so would love to see receiver Nelson Agholor take the win. Fight On!
What is your favorite Super Bowl ad of all time?
How do you not say Apple’s 1984? Epic. Game changing. And so true to what that brand was, and still is, really about.


Chris Tussing
Chief Marketing Officer & President Merge