When it comes to Super Bowl ads you can always count on seeing several things: Celebrities, special effects, babies, animals, sexy girls and dudes getting hit in crotch. This year I expect nothing to be much different.
What is different this year is that you can watch most of the ads BEFORE the game. This could lead to one of many things for advertisers. It could play off big as millions watch and start discussing your brand and ad before the game. It could lead to anger and protests about your ads, which isn't always bad. Or it could lead to a whole lot of nothing.
Even in a social media obsessed world, success still comes down to producing a Super Bowl ad that is engaging, relevant, on message. And if it has a Visual Hammer too? Touchdown!
Out of the ads released here is a quick run-down of my thoughts:
One of the best ads I have seen in a long time. Touching, powerful, memorable and on message. The Clydesdale visual hammer always is a winner. Budweiser is the King of Beers and King of the Super Bowl. Keep the tissues handy. A crowd pleaser everybody will love.
Audi - Visual Hammer - Headlights
Audi just keeps getting better and better. This year they bring us a new verbal nail "Bravery defines us" that perfectly syncs with the brand. Dad gives his dateless son the keys to his Audi to drive to the prom. Driving the Audi gives him a boost of confidence to kiss the girl of his dreams. Speaks not just to a universal message but one that is consistent with the brand. And as usual, the headlights hammer the brand message visually.
Staying consistent especially with a concept that works is always a good idea. Doritos once again brings us the "Crash the Superbowl" contest where viewers vote ahead of time which ads win and gets broadcast. This year brings a solid slate of winners. What makes this all work is that Doritos has a solid visual hammer for any director to work with. Combine the hammer with the brand's fun attitude and bingo, another Super Bowl success.
Coca-Cola - Visual Hammer - Contour bottle
This ad has generated some negative PR, and I agree the Arab/camel do lose out in this race a bit too early but with that said there is nothing truly offensive here. Just a big budget, classic Super Bowl ad that entertains and showcases the most iconic visual hammer in the world.
Go Daddy is a Super Bowl regular. That is a good strategy. Go Daddy got our attention with sexy girls. That was a good strategy. But now it is time to do more. Now is the time to have a brand strategy too. Instead they have Danica Patrick stand by while a hot model makes out with a dorky guy making us all very uncomfortable. The last thing it makes me thing about is a URL. And URLs are a BIG DEAL! Finding the right URL is one of the most important things for brands and business these days. There is plenty they could have done here but didn't. One headline I saw on the Go Daddy site recently was great, I wish they had used this theme instead: "Score Your Domain."
Way too many celebrities. Way over produced. And way under priced. The message? Now the loser kid next door can afford a Mercedes. Mercedes now under $30,000! We have taken all the prestige out of our Mercedes brand and all that is left is this silly ad.
Instead of showcasing another classic visual hammer - the VW Beetle - this ridiculous ad uses a white guy from Minnesota speaking in a Jamaican accent. For most of the ad, you have no idea what is going on. Even at the end, it makes little sense and isn't that funny. VM makes you so happy everybody gets a Jamaican accent? Is there pot in the glove compartment?
Affordable, fashionable Kia is a hit with consumers. This ad has some stunning visual effects and tells the classic story of how to answer every parents most dreaded question "Where do babies come from." The ending is a twist that shows off the car's new voice activated infotainment system. The feature isn't connected to the brand the way Siri is to iPhone. Last year's VW Darth Vader ad faced the same problem, fantastic ad but who remembers it was for VW? Not many. Consumers will remember the Space babies and forget the Kia. What Kia needs is a visual hammer that communicates an idea. Space Babies isn't it.
I'll be watching Sunday! And be back next week with a post-game round up. What was your favorite hammer?