Despite the prevelance of online ads and social media, the Superbowl still ranks as the biggest opportunity for advertisers to get in front of a captive audience.
The process for selecting spokespeople for their brands is complicated and involves a variety of metrics, including social media followers, audience demographics, and algorithms.
As The New York Times reported, companies and ad agencies use a variety of scores and calculations, including Q Scores, the Klear Score, the Aspire authenticity score, and E-Score polls.
Despite the availability of all this data, many ad makers and companies ignore metrics in favor of gut instinct.
Steven Levitt, the president of the Q Scores Company, told the Times that,
A lot of decisions are not based on data. They’re based on creative appeal, or the strength of an executive to outshoot and overpower subordinates and say, ‘No, I think this is the way to go.’
Take a moment to let this sink in:
With millions — if not billions — of dollars at stake, and despite the availability of metrics and data that can help them choose a spokesperson, many companies prefer to make these decisions based on gut instinct. They trust their intuition.
This approach stands in stark contrast to the common advice to track metrics and check data before making decisions.
So what do these advertisers and brands know that you haven’t been told?
When it comes to creative decisions, and indeed most investment decisions, the numbers from last week, or even from today, don’t predict the future.
The fallacy in relying on metrics is based on a false belief that what worked last month or last week or even today will work tomorrow.
This belief leads to advice that tells you if a tweet or a blog post received good traffic to double down on that topic. In fact, there’s no guarantee that today’s top interest will still be relevant tomorrow.
You simply can’t predict human behavior and interests.
Nobody likes to admit that they don’t know what will work — especially when the stakes are so high.
As a way out of this uncertainty, many turn to numbers. Survey results are real. Data is tangible.
But numbers are an illusion.
If surveys and data could predict what will be successful, every movie would be a box office success, every television show would be a hit, every record album would be a winner.
Obviously, that’s not the case.
The truth is that nobody knows what will work.
If you’re looking at yesterday’s numbers, you’ll always be behind the curve on where the market is going.
If you want to lead to the next place, it’s important to lean to listen to your intuition and find certainty in your gut instinct.