Archives For Super Bowl ads

Tonight is the first big live TV event in the US since last week’s Super Bowl. Are advertisers on stand-by, waiting for something to jump on, like an electricity malfunction?

Here’s a quick video asking you to predict the future. The “blackout ads” that appeard in social media as a result of the Super Bowl blunder paved new advertising ground. Advertisers took advantage of a one-of-a-kind opportunity to instantly connect with customers in ways that they haven’t before. These kinds of ads are going to happen again, most likely during the awards show season. So, this video asks, what is this new ad format going to be called from here on out?

Here is my annual day after the Super Bowl interview WISC – TV. It’s always great to talk about the ads with Mark and Susan. Thanks folks. And hey, I like horses. They’re our friends. But I’m not loving the Clydesdale ad. Check it out.

What were your favorite and least favorite ads?

Fifty five ads, up to $4 million a pop for airtime, watched by 111 million viewers, plus all the internet traffic before and during the game made for a big night. But it was a small bit of engagement that took Tide and Oreo to the top for me.
The big lesson for advertisers and businesses out there: we’re NOT in the business of advertising! We’re in the business of engaging with customers.
All in all, the best of the best ads were better than in the past, but there were more flat-out duds than I remember in recent years (including Wonderful Pistachio, Blackberry, E-Trade, PepsiNext).
This is the year pre-game ads we’re supposed to be the big story. Before the game, VW and Budweiser got great traction and numbers with Get Happy and the Clydesdales, and other brands eked out teasers. So as the game played out, it looked like it would become a battle between the Surprise ads that we saw during the game for the first time (like Ram, and Tide) vs. the Hyped ad that we already saw online.
But then there was a plot twist, just when you thought there were no new Super Bowl ad formats.
Drumroll please…the blackout! Within 5 minutes Walgreens tweeted “We do carry candles.” Boom. Then Oreo and Tide released social media based ads that lit up the internet. THIS was the big lesson for advertisers – we are in an era when we can use tools like never before to ENGAGE with customers, in real time, not just yell at them with our message. Big lesson. We’re on for our customers 24/7.
My favorite TV ads during the game.
1. “Miracle Stain” for Tide. Classic Super Bowl ad: over the top premise, great comedy, a celeb, and a great ending story twist. If people start talking about Miracle Stains this week and beyond, the win will be even bigger.
2. Oreo. Hilarious Super Bowl slapstick for this first time Super Bowl advertiser. Great comedy.
Other great ads –
“Farmer” for Ram. A brilliant ad. But it was stolen from But Ram will give “up to” a million bucks to, so the theft is…uh…okay. So wha-wha, the creators can’t be feeling tooooo awesome about not being able to come up with a great original idea, but America totally loved it. It was a great idea that really stopped viewers. This was my favorite ad because it was just so different by taking the courage to really say something: “We owe farmers, our classic American underdogs, a huge debt.” Man, I wanted this to be the best ad, but if it’s stolen, nope. Dang!
“Get Happy” for VW. Sells something, it’s funny, and will get cultural buzz around the water cooler, mon.
Bleeeeeeechhhhhhhhhh –
Clydesdales for Budweiser. USA Today’s winner. I really disliked the ad because it doesn’t sell beer, it’s totally ridiculous and not in a hilarious SuperBowl way, and sure enough, America loved it. We are total suckers for the animal ads and the sentimental “awwwww” story. The ending’s “name the baby horse” schtick was totally horsey to me, but good for fan engagement.
The ultimate winners –
Tide and Oreo, for very strong ads that actually sold something, AND for engaging with customers real in real time by creating those ads that integrated their products with the blackout. Brilliant. They engaged. THAT is what great advertising in 2013 is all about.

Clydesdales What?

February 3, 2013 — Leave a comment

Wow Budweiser! “Landslide” what? Are you selling something what? Then a name-the-baby contest what? Terrifically bad, but it’ll score well, that’s what.

Oreo, Tide and Walgreens are all taking advantage of the world’s most awkward power outage with some smart advertising.Walgreens

TideBlackout OreoBlackout

Walgreens just put this on Twitter. Brilliant. Walgreens

It was blah as an ad, but brilliant as a business strategy: introduce a new product with the first ad position in the Super Bowl. Big idea. Although stealing share from great craft beers, like we have here in Wisconsin, will be a lonnnnnnnnnng uphill climb for a company whose flagship brew is bad beer. Good luck with that In-Bev! We’ll see if Black Crown will be around for the next Super Bowl.

The M&M’s ad was fun. I bet Meat Loaf is laughing. Seems like the more lame the song is, the more funny the ad can be.

Audi and Mercedes must use the same research. They’re both pandering to the high school reverse-asperation phenomena reserved for brands like Axe. Bad form for such prestigious brands.

Remember when Christmas ads and promotions started a couple of weeks before Christmas? Then year by year, the ads would start earlier and earlier. Soon we’ll have Christmas ads starting on July 5th.

Last year, Volkswagen got the Super Bowl advertising party started early, and got 10 million views of their great Darth Vader ad before game day. Despite that, Chrysler won in my opinion, with a strategy that included no pre-game teaser, hype, contest or social media engagement.

This year, more brands got the party started early as a way to justify spending $3.5 to $4.5 million. This is making two kinds of ads become part of our beloved cultural institution – The Surprise Ad and the The Hyped Ad. What’s better? Nobody knows until well after the Super Bowl.

But one thing’s for sure. Super Bowl ads were once relegated to game day. Then the started to stretch out well after game day. We are very much in “before” game day mode. But how long will the new “before” last?

At a record $4 million-plus, advertisers are way past counting on the element of surprise to make their ads a big deal on Super Bowl game day. Most brands are trying to get their money’s worth by starting the conversation early. Oreo already got their Super Bowl ad hype machine going. It began in October. Ads will be pre-released, there will be contests. Lincoln asked fans to contribute to their script via Twitter. Paramount’s ad for “Star Trek Into Darkness” will be enhanced if you download an app.

Advertising genius/dropout Alex Bogusky got great hype already for SodaStream by cleverly getting the ad banned. In Britian. For “denigration of the bottled drinks market.” But the ad strategy is brilliant, and SodaStream could be one of the biggest financial winners among Super Bowl advertisers. They likely lead in brand impressions at this point because of the ban.

CBS Chief Les Moonves called it “probably the biggest day of the year for this entire corporation.” Shyeah. Let’s see, $4 million times about 60 available ads = $240 million for CBS. Yes, that’s a good day.

I’ll be having another Super Bowl ad party here on at the Idea Bucket. Stay tuned. Meanwhile here’s an excellent scorecard summary on this year’s ads.

Was that selling something?