I try not to fall into the trap of thinking the Super Bowl is the Holy Grail of Advertising…cause it’s not. What it is…for the most part…is a good example of where companies go wrong in advertising….trying to entertain the agency and the client instead of selling the product.
Super Bowl ad strategists try very hard to make a memorable ad that has “buzz” the next day around the water cooler. (Who still has water coolers?)
Most of them succeed on that angle…by either being very good…or very bad. The problem is that they concentrate so hard on being clever…they forget to sell the product…or even to name the brand. If I’m paying millions of dollars for ad placement and creation, I’d like to see it move product…or at least reinforce a brand strategy.
While watching the Super Bowl last night I was struck at how many of the ads fell into this trap…Here are a few specific comments on some of the more noticeable ads…
For all the pre-buzz, I didn’t care for the Whopperettes (when the people in my living room saw the girl with the “burger tutu”, there was an audible
“yuck”. It was quite disgusting…not the response you want to invoke when you’re trying to sell burgers.)
FedEx Caveman was both clever and somewhat pressed the product.
The phrase “Brown and Bubbly” does NOT make me want to drink a Diet Pepsi…Plus I really don’t like Jay Mohr.
Aleve’s “Live Long and Prosper” was one of the best ads of the night. You remember the cleverness of the ad…and you also remember that Aleve apparently quickly absorbs into Mr Spock’s green Vulcan blood.
As usual, most of the Bud and Bud Light commercials were entertaining with a few flops. It was a little disturbing that the most family friendly spot of the night (the baby Clydesdale pulling the wagon) was a beer commercial.
The “We’re Awkwardly Showing You That We’re Multi-Cultural” Award goes to the Toyota Hybrid spot where the father is bi-lingually telling his son how a hybrid works.
I thought 2 of the funniest ads were for Ameriquest with the guy killing the fly with the electro-shock paddles and the lady accidentally falling on the guy in the plane. But these spots are the best example of an entertaining ad with no marketing message. What does this have to do with mortgages and why shouldn’t I judge? If after 2 attempts, I don’t get it…you fail.
CareerBuilder phones it in. If you don’t have a creative idea…use monkeys.
Instead of going mulit-cultural to explain a hybrid car, Ford goes Muppet with Kermit explaining that it’s easy being green. I liked this one. I’m just glad Bill Ford didn’t come out and start solemnly talking to Kermit about job cuts.
GoDaddy got all its press before the game. The actual ad stank.
The Hummer spot with the giant monster and the robot was the most disturbing and worst spot of the game.
The next step? They’re going to put 10 blades on a razor.
Sprint knows that anytime you play the Benny Hill music and run around…people laugh.
MacGyver uses a Mastercard.
I really hope the new Outback Steakhouse “spokes-bloke” goes away quickly. Outback wasted their money.
The best spots of the night…using BOTH criteria…1) good creative AND 2) actually selling a product.
1) Aleve’s Live Long and Prosper
2) MasterCard’s MacGyver
3) Ford’s Kermit Hybrid.
tags:: Super Bowl Ads – marketing – advertising