With all the attention surrounding the Super Bowl each year, it’s a hard task for brands to live up to the hype and make sure they spend their $4m dollars worth of a slot, wisely – especially with the whole of America tuned in and the jackals of the advertising world ready to pounce and expose any shortcomings.
Now the dust has settled on this year’s ad bonanza, given the game was a bit of a damp squib with the Denver Bronco’s hardly turning up – did the ads live up to the hype?
Well yes and no. Budweiser (pictured, below, far left) probably led the way with its schmaltzy ‘Puppy Love’ #bestbuds effort that got 36,423653 views on Youtube. This was feelgood at its best. While Bank Of America’s effort (pictured, below, middle) with U2 premiering their new single ‘Invisible’ just did not hack it.
Jaguar tapped into the fact that Brits always play movie villains, but concentrated on that to bring the attributes of the villains to the car. This meant that the cars were being presented as more focused and precise, always one step ahead and obsessed with power. This was all delivered with that intelligent British wit and style – and with over 8.5 million YouTube views, the spot has proved very popular with the masses too.
Radio Shack injected a nice bit of nostalgia and humour into its store refit effort, ‘Phone Call’. In essence, this was a call from the Eighties asking for their store back and featured characters from the past including; Chewbacca, Hulk Hogan and even Cliff Clavin from Cheers, dismantling the store. It is a shame that the morph to the new store did not have the same humourous pays off.
Notable others included:
Volkswagen ‘Wings’ (above, far right) continues with its insights around kids, this time featuring a surly teenager who tops her dad’s assertion that VW engineers grow wings every time one of their cars exceeds 100,000 miles – by saying ‘yeah and when they reach 200,000 miles a rainbow comes out of their ‘butts’. Charming but not as likeable as Darth Vader from 2013.
Audi ‘Doberhuahua’ is frankly just bonkers. It’s disturbing to look at, but ultimately gets across Audi’s point that you don’t need to compromise to get what you want. On the other hand, Coke’s #AmericaisBeautiful ticked all the right boxes and certainly had the feel good patriotic factor.
Arguably, however, this year’s best ad did not even feature during the Super Bowl. Newcastle Brown Ale (left) hijacked the Super Bowl ad fest by breaking its contribution (technically a great viral campaign) a week earlier. Featuring Anna Kendrick making fun of the extortionate cost of buying a slot during America’s biggest sporting event, the ad bleeped out any mention of the Super Bowl making the ad a bit raunchy as well. If Americans did not know about ‘Newkie Brown’ before, I’m sure they do now.
JC Penny’s ‘drunken’ tweets efforts got in on the act too after seemingly incomprehensible tweets were sent out – with brands like Coor’s tweeting ‘Drink Responsibly’ – until JC Penny revealed that they were coming from someone using mittens. It subsequently apologised, saying it thought “it was going to be cold at the game” – this ad cost the company nothing, so I think the ROI would be pretty good.
It all goes to show that you can spend a lot less to get noticed during Super Bowl. One Direction’s Niall Horan may well have stolen the limelight from all those big brands with his tweet announcing the band’s forthcoming gig at the Super Bowl stadium this summer. The tweet garnered over 80,000 instant retweets – not bad when you consider H&M’S effort with David Beckham’s #covered #uncovered getting a marginally higher 81,426 retweets.
With over 35 plus ads to review it’s hard to say if it was a vintage year or not – a bit like the game I suppose.
Mike Cavers is executive creative director at the GIG at DST
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