“Does it make you uncomfortable when I use the word ‘dongle’?” – Amy Poehler for Best Buy
Amidst the rubble of empty pizza boxes and chicken wing bones, we’re left with a YouTube gallery of 73 30-second spots. That’s right, Brand Bowl XLVII is over. Unlike the actual Super Bowl, in which the Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers by three points – after a 34-minute blackout and Beyonce’s spirited halftime booty fest – there’s no clear winner among the commercials. It’s subliminal. It’s sexy. It’s subjective. Heck, it’s advertising.
So rather than provide you with exhaustive metrics and a quasi-definitive diagnostic, I’ll share some thoughts about which ads resonated across three categories: humor, pathos and personality.
Taco Bell’s “Viva Young” spot was spot on in the LOL category. With nods to Ron Howard’s 1985 movie ‘Cocoon,’ Taco Bell’s frisky geezers gamely plunge into the pool, literally cannon-balling into a fountain of youth, before their escapade leads them to a late-night splurge at The Bell. The Spanish version of Fun.’s “We Are Young” is the perfect anthem for their adventure. The movie’s Bernie Lefkowitz character is reborn as Bernie Greenblat for Taco Bell’s ‘Live Más’ homage. He’s a little rougher around the edges, but his spirit is the same. The spot blew up the Twitter feed and appealed across age and gender demos. It was a big fat win for lighthearted laughs and positive branding.
In the tear-jerker category, Budweiser’s “Brotherhood” stole the show. Set to Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide,” this King of Beers classic goes for the heartstrings and, like Taco Bell’s “Viva Young,” the commercial immediately connects with viewers who are already familiar with the soundtrack. Budweiser doesn’t have to set the tone; the song does it all by itself. Featuring a seven-day-old foal in the opening sequence and closing with a call-to-action to christen the baby Clydesdale is irresistible. With the requisite #clydesdales hashtag, this ad joined the 50 percent of Super Bowl commercials that mentioned Twitter, up from just eight mentions last year. In fact, Budweiser got more than 60,000 tweets, Facebook comments and other messages from fans wanting to name its Super Foal.
It’s worth noting that Budweiser’s evocative “Brotherhood” was directed by Jake Scott, whose father, Ridley Scott, directed Apple’s iconic “1984” Super Bowl ad.
The Miss Personality Award goes to Amy Poehler for her star turn in Best Buy’s “Asking Amy” commercial. Poehler uses her trademark rapid-fire delivery to poke fun at the cult of geek and makes Best Buy seem accessible to the technically challenged. Best Buy’s “blue shirt” patiently answers her endless queries and makes us all feel like maybe there really is no such thing as a stupid question.
There’s lots of buzz about Go Daddy’s supermodel slobber kiss. Gross. And Doritos’ “Goat For Sale.” Quirky fun. Century 21’s Heimlich maneuver. Blech. Calvin Klein’s Zoolander-with-cybertron-abs set Twitter hearts aflutter. And who doesn’t love a wolf puppy, but what was it advertising again? Quick … answer before you Google it! At the end of the Big Game, it’s all about stickiness, and I don’t mean the bottom of your guac bowl. Advertisers spent upwards of $4 million for each 30-second Super Bowl spot. Which brands got their money’s worth? What ad’s still stuck in your beer-buzzed brain? Or is it Sasha Fierce’s fuse-blowing halftime performance that’s sticking with you?
Image Credit: [great-ads.blogspot.com]