By CRT/tanaka’s Brand Group
Many of us watched last night’s game in eager anticipation of the latest innovations in the ad industry and a showcase of what its brilliant creative minds are capable of. And, overall, we were a bit underwhelmed by what we saw.
There were some bright spots in the line-up, however – and the mid-game power outage gave some of them the chance to shine even brighter.
Here’s a round-up of our impressions:
– Jeep & Dodge: On the Right Track. We like how Chrysler is working to shape its brands around anthemic stories that resonate with target customers. Jeep’s focus on supporting our troops and Ram’s ode to our country’s farmers were both artfully done, touching and emotional. Their weakness was that both spots left us thinking they were promoting some wonderful non-profit, so when the brand was not revealed until the end of the spots, it was a bit of a letdown. Introducing the brand earlier would have softened the blow. We’ll be interested to see if the Dodge ad makes a difference for Ram sales in big farming states.
– Pistachios Are Still Crackin’. Gangnam Style belonged in this Super Bowl and we’re glad one of our favorite snacks made it happen. By doing so, cracking open pistachios — one of the least attractive characteristics of the product — became fun. Smart.
– Budweiser Black Crown Missed the Mark. These spots were a testament to how little Budweiser seems to understand the target they were trying to reach. When they placed a brewmaster at the head of the long table at which all the spot’s subjects were sitting, it became apparent they were talking to a craft beer drinking crowd, but that’s the only way you would have known. The spot’s subjects wore expensive clothing, danced on bars, and hung out in egregiously hip locations. Did Budweiser ask themselves how the target they were trying to speak to drinks craft beer or where they drink it? Did they ask what activities the target likes to engage in as they are drinking said beers? Did they ask how much money their target makes or why they drink craft brews in the first place? We’re guessing that, no, they did not. Craft beer drinkers do not drink craft beer because they are “loud, savvy, and famous.” They don’t drink craft beer “to match our night.” They drink craft beer because it’s unique, it’s delicious, and it has a story — three things that Budweiser Black Crown decidedly does not have going for it. We applaud Budweiser for identifying areas in the market where they are losing ground and taking steps to remedy that, but the crowd they were trying to reach places great value on authenticity and Bud attempted to reach them through spots that were smug and disingenuous.
– Go Daddy Has Jumped the Shark. We were already TIRED of Go Daddy’s ads and then they took it just a step too far with that interminable close-up kiss. No one needed to see that.
– The “Much Ado About Nothing” Award goes to Volkswagen’s “Get Happy” ad. This commercial caused a stir even before it aired on the Super Bowl, with the media speculating about whether the ad was racist. It features a white guy from Minnesota so happy with his VW Beetle that he speaks in a Jamaican accent. Tim Mahoney, chief product and marketing office at Volkswagen of America said the company consulted with 100 Jamaicans and used a dialect coach to ensure the accuracy of the actors’ accents. And even Wykeham McNeill, Jamaica’s tourism minister endorsed that ad, saying, “this is a very creative commercial, which truly taps into the tremendous appeal that brand Jamaica and its hospitable people have globally.” We agree that the ad isn’t racist. But in the end, it wasn’t very interesting either.
– What Exactly is Samsung’s Next Big Thing? Samsung’s The Next Big Thing commercial featuring Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd did a semi-good job of weaving its brand and slogan throughout the spot. But while their discussion is engaging, relevant and funny, it left us wondering exactly which product Samsung was trying to sell, and what that product brings to the market.
– TIDE Floats to the Top. It’s not easy to make a funny commercial about a detergent, but since we didn’t know until the very last moment that the ad was actually for TIDE, (the late reveal of brands in ads seemed to be theme), it evoked a lot of laughter. Well done TIDE, but the competition was not mind-blowing this year.
If we were not blown away by the work showcased in Super Bowl 47, we can at least say that we had a great time watching and critiquing. Congratulations to every agency and brand whose spots were part of one of the largest media events of the year. Regardless of the ads that may not have hit the mark, we are lucky to work in an industry that values brotherhood, a hardworking America, ridiculous dance moves, and just going for that kiss.
Image credits: Dodge, Samsung, Wonderful Pistachios