Monday, February 03, 2014

Super Bowl ad fumbles and themes

+ Last nights Super Bowl was a blow out, at least in terms of the game. The ads? Not so much. Some shared themes and tactics by brands came through.


A good 'ol Super Bowl creative standby...bears. Nearly as expected as dogs these days.

  • Chobani
  • Beats Music
  • CarMax

Borrowed Interest

Rather than focusing on their own unique points, brands have piggybacked on other things. Not like it's new this year though.

  • Bank of America with U2 and RED
  • Chrysler and Bob Dylan
  • T-Mobile - Tim Tebow - the only upside on this one is that it was at least connected to the celebrity in some way. But the thought of him as an OBGyn increases the creepy factor.
  • SodaStream and Scarlett Johansson
  • Toyota and Muppets
  • Kia and The Matrix
  • Okios and Full House
  • Microsoft
  • Honda and Bruce Willis

America & Patriotism

Nothing's more American than football and the Super Bowl so these brands felt it was the perfect place to tout their ties to the American spirit. Strategy was showing through a bit much on some of these.

  • WeatherTech made in America
  • Coca-Cola America The Beautiful
  • Chrysler and Bob Dylan with the opening line "Is there anything more American than America?" Sounds like it came straight out of the brief.

Attempts at Epic Copywriting

Anthemic spots are nothing new to the Super Bowl. In fact there have been some decent ones in years past.

  • Jeep - Restless
  • Are you among the restless many? Each tick of the old clock a reminder, that stillness is what actually kills us. When the walls close in, do you climb out? When the road ends, do you go on? Restlessness starts with an itch. And ends in progress. It is your ambition refusing to be bottled up. Begging for a little blue sky time. Genetics have a voice that you can only deny so long. They scream GO. RUN. ACT. FIND. DARE. Where you go when you have the itch is free will. How you get there, is why we made the new Cherokee.
  • Chrysler - Bob Dylan
  • Is there anything more American than America? 'Cause you can't import original. You can't fake true cool. You can't duplicate legacy. Because what Detroit created was the first and became the inspiration to the rest of the world. Yeah, Detroit made cars and cars made America. Making the best, making the finest takes conviction. And you can't import the heart and soul of every man and woman working on the line. You can search the world over for the finer things. But you won't find a match for the American road and the creatures that live on it. Because we believe in the zoom and the roar and the thrust. And when it's made here, it's made with the one thing you can't import from anywhere else. American Pride. So let Germany brew your beer. Let Switzerland make your watch. Let Asia make your phone. We will build your car.
  • Maserati
  • The world is full of giants. We have always been here. Lumbering in the school yards. Limping through the alleys. We had to learn how to deal with them. How to overcome them. We were small, but fast. Remember? We were like a wind, appearing out of nowhere. We knew that being clever was more important than being the biggest kid in the neighborhood. As long as we keep our heads down, as long as we work hard, trust what we feel in our guts, our hearts. Then we're ready! We wait until they get sleepy, wait until they get so big they can barely move. Then we walk out of the shadows. Quietly walk of the dark. And strike.
  • Microsoft - Empowering
  • What is technology? What can it do? How far can we go? Technology has the power to unite us. It inspires us. Technology has taken us places we've only dreamed. It gives hope to the hopeless. And it has given voice to the voiceless.

Most uncomfortable ads of the evening

Title says it all.

  • Butterfinger encouraging threesomes
  • Okios with Bob Saget getting familiar with John Stamos

Brands that could have spent money better

It seems a lot of brands decided on the PR strategy of having an ad in the Super Bowl vs. actually doing a Super Bowl-worthy spot. Which is a pity because it's really a waste of dollars that could have been spent more wisely and creatively.

  • Budweiser new bottle spot
  • WeatherTech
  • Squarespace
  • Sonos
  • Beats Music

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