Tag Archives: super bowl

Rainbow Connection


In the last few months, I’ve been surprised at the number of marketing bloggers posting about Kermit the Spokesfrog…herehere…and here.

They’re outraged that Kermit is pushing the new Ford Hybrid. (remember the Super Bowl spot?) I’ve commented in each of these posts that this is nothing new. The muppets shill everything.

–They’ve been in several Pizza Hut campaigns….(I assume Miss Piggy requested a pizza with no ham or sausage)
–Kermit and Piggy have also advertised the Grand Slam breakfast at Denny’s (again the ham and sausage comment)
–The Cookie Monster has been in a “Got Milk” ad, natch.
–There are more that I can’t think of

All of these happened BEFORE Kermit did the Ford spot. (although they did happen after they went out of Henson control) I’d rather see Kermit’s spokesfrog power used to sell cleaner vehicles than to sell cholesterol laden food.

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Not So Super Ads

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.

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Super Hooha

The Super Bowl ad hooha already started…only this time it’s even worse. Now there’s buzz ABOUT the buzz ABOUT buzz around the ads.

GoDaddy.com (which BTW is a great company…I use them for my own and my client’s domain business) had a press conference recently with founder Bob Parsons to talk about what they were going to do with their controversial Super Bowl spots this year. (Get the complete story here.)

This year’s ads on ABC will go for around $2.6 million…which is actually up a little from last year’s record high price. I will make a prediction that that’s as high as they will go. Several perennial advertisers are already sitting this year’s game out including Frito Lay, McDonald’s, and Visa. There are even rumours that Super Bowl mainstay Anheuser-Busch is rethinking plans to be a part of the 2007 game. The reason?…the ROI is not there….Basic Advertising 101

Even so, you’ll still hear a lot about the ads this year. The Super Bowl is one of the only times that advertising itself is a news story. You’ll hear how companies rally their entire year’s ad budget and resources around this one moment. What you probably won’t hear is that the 2006 is the tipping point for the downfall of Super Bowl advertising….and another nail in the coffin for the TV ad industry as a whole.

Using the Super Bowl as an example of how traditional TV advertising is still healthy is like looking at all the people taking carriage rides around Central Park and remarking on how America’s horse and buggy industry is as strong as ever.

The Super Bowl Ad Blitz is a unique and weird animal and should be thought of in those terms.

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