What’s that old adage: If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you jump off too? Okay, no cliff jumping today but I am going to do my best lemming impersonation and weigh in on the Super Bowl ads. Hey, everybody’s doing it!
Now, I have to admit I didn’t actually watch the Super Bowl. Even though a number of websites promised me live coverage, the thought of a 12:30 a.m. kickoff just wasn’t working me. If I haven’t managed to stay up for a 1 a.m. Bruins game yet, then football isn’t making the cut. This is one big drawback of being 4,000 miles to the east of the action. In other words, I’m cheating a little here and using web postings of the leaked ads to get on my soapbox.
I was saying to someone not long ago, from a business perspective, I find it fascinating how far and how fast McDonald’s has fallen. Literally, just months ago, investing pundits were still expounding that McDonald’s was a stock market juggernaut and deserved your dollars. Fortunately, I wasn’t buying it. It mere weeks they have suddenly been tarred as an out-of-touch dinosaur and had their CEO walked. Let’s be clear, I’m not rooting for them, since, after all, they serve industrial crap that could kill you. But I am going to give them props for their Super Bowl spot. I never really got the Lovin’ It campaign (and the numbers say the public didn’t either), but this iteration is much closer to a feel good. McDonald’s hard challenge now is to enact the paying with love theme in-store for the next couple of weeks for a true public feel good and PR win. It’s a huge gamble to think that tens of thousands of front-line, underpaid staff will play nice and back up the campaign. I’m not sure I’m hopeful of the ending that’s coming here.
Bud’s lost puppy was the latest entry in the long series of heart-tugging animal ads by the brewer. After so many, these ads should be worn out and have exhausted the sentimentality, and this one definitely swings a long way in that direction. But, I have to admit, I still like them. And with most of America falling in the dog lovers camp, I know I’m not alone. It’s almost impossible not to win with this. I’m not convinced it will sell any beer, but happy to have seen it.
BMW’s spot with Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel was well written and fun, although the mention of twerking at the end swung it waaaay too far to the creepy side. Funny thing is, if the car is as good as suggested, seems like it could sell itself better than any celeb. Dove’s dad ad was also another heart-tugger, but I’m still a sucker for those.
The Lexus Feel Some Noise ad felt like they don’t have a clue who is the market for the vehicle. The demo and the music just doesn’t in-sync, at least to how I see it. That said, the Lexus RC ad was cool and the car looked incredible. In the same vein, Toyota’s How Great I Am was inspirational and interesting. I wonder if the link to the car/brand is strong enough to make a difference, but I’m 100% behind ads with such positivity and diversity. Props to them.
Eat24’s ad with Snoop Dog and Gilbert Gottfried was silly and fun. These are two characters easy to dislike, but this ad will work. Web traffic will come and it’ll resonate as money well spent for a young brand. And I loved Newcastle poking fun at advertising with its Band of Brands spot. Look for this to get tried again with a fresh twist. Wix also had a very funny and creative spot with the unique businesses of former athletes. That’s also a nice win for a young brand.
I couldn’t be more tired of people who are famous just for being famous, so as much as I like how T-Mobile keeps shaking up the messy cell industry, I personally would avoid the brand solely for a horrible ad featuring someone not worth naming.
The snickers ad was kind of fun, retro and memorable, but it’s tough to see how it ups the brand. I give it a near-miss. Grubhub’s knockout burrito undoubtedly had most guys laughing out loud. How can that be anything but a victory? Guarantee this will get lots of follow up views online. And the Avocados from Mexico spot might have been the most creative slant of any ad I saw, and pretty cool. A plus for them. I’m not sure I get the economics of industry ads like this, but when you think about the long-term success of campaigns such as Got Milk, it’s tough to argue with their existence. Could this be the start of another legacy?
GoDaddy has gone from ads guaranteed to offend half the population to one of the most sedate ads in the mix. Oh, and by the way, this ad will probably still offend half the population since it seems to say that work is more important than life. Signal from the ref: wide and to the right.
I have just one word for the Fiat Blue Pill ad: hysterical. This is what advertising creativity is all about, making an ad everyone remembers. Among insurance companies, even if they had made a lousy ad, Esurance would still win by including Walter White thanks to all the fans hungry for more Breaking Bad. But it wasn’t lousy, it’s a great ad in a messy category where it’s all about oddball ads and not the product. Oh, and Nationwide with a ad talking about dying kids. Do I need to say more? Who possibly thought this was a good idea?
I enjoyed seeing a nice story in the Microsoft Brilliant Bus ad. The world needs a lot more stories like this filling the airwaves. The hard part is, I don’t think consumers buy that Microsoft is empowering people, so there’s a bit of a disconnect here. And was anyone else creeped out by the Dreaming With Jeff spot? I don’t want to go there. Ever.
RANDOM THOUGHTS: I read a remarkable story online the other day about the president of Uruguay picking up a hitchhiker in his beat-up old car. They call him the poor president because he donates 90% of his salary and lives like an ordinary guy, refusing the presidential palace and its perks. I think he’s my new hero. He even has a three-legged dog! Imagine what kind of world we would live in if all politicians had such a strong sense of self-sacrifice and community-building. Imagine, indeed…