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Q&A with Saatchi & Saatchi’s Linda Daubson

Linda Daubson is Director Global Business Affairs at Saatchi & Saatchi. She has decades of experience guiding major brands in all areas of commercial production and working with Talent on set. Here she shares some thoughts on Super Bowl ads.

As a Business Affairs Executive working with Talent, do you think you watch Super Bowl ads differently than those who don’t work in the industry?
Yes, I always look at the ads and think, how much was that celebrity paid? How was that material licensed? Who was the Business Affairs lead on that job? Usually I’m in awe when a project has so many licenses and intellectual property clearance.

What do you think about brands leaking their Super Bowl spots in advance of the game?
Call me old-fashioned, but I truly do not like it.  I loved the element of surprise that we had years ago. Now everything is on the air before the Super Bowl and talked about so much in advance. I think to see it the first time on the Super Bowl is so much more exciting.

Are you more inclined to pay attention if a celebrity is featured?
Sometimes yes, I enjoy seeing a celebrity but advertising that is engaging and funny can sometimes capture your attention more than a celebrity.

Do you focus on one screen during the broadcast or do you like to know how people are responding on social media to the game and the ads?
I am completely focused on the screen for the afternoon unless a client is running a social media promotion. I worked with a client two years ago and everything was about social media during the Super Bowl so my eyes were on both screens (TV and phone).

Do you think Super Bowl ads are the place and time to be adventurous and take risks, or is it best to stick with what has worked traditionally?
I definitely think it is the time to take a risk, be different and stand out. It is your brand but it is also entertainment and you want to get noticed.