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Not So Super…Bowl Ads

by CRAFT | Media / Digital

Here at CRAFT, the general consensus seems to be that Chrysler Group’s “Farmer” ad (Ram Trucks) was the most memorable ad of this year’s Super Bowl.

It was unlike every other ad that ran on Sunday night. There were no sexual innuendos. No celebrity brand endorsements. No reference to popular culture. And shockingly enough, no Twitter hashtag.

The question begs to be answered: What made this ad stand out in a myriad sea of Super Bowl commercials produced solely to spike our entertainment pulses? It’s quite simple really. Chrysler followed one of the de facto rules of ad placement: leave the consumer wanting more by creating an authentic and genuine emotional experience.

This rule did not seem to resonate with the countless mediocre ads that aired in between the unforgettable Baltimore Ravens/San Francisco 49ers matchup of Super Bowl XLVII.

From Coca Cola’s epic head scratcher Coke Chase, to GoDaddy’s painstaking attempt at relevancy (Perfect Match), the narrative just wasn’t there this year.

Eric Deggans, of the Tampa Bay Times, sums up best what was on the mind of millions of viewers the morning after the big game. “When the game-halting emergency of a 35-minute power outage brings more excitement than half the commercials at the Super Bowl, you know there’s something seriously wrong.”

Going forward, brands and their ad agencies should consider the following when creating content for future Super Bowl spots (to truly get the best bang for their buck):

  • Am I pushing a product or a way of life?

Chrysler Group isn’t just selling Ram Trucks with its ad this year. It’s selling American exceptionalism. It’s bringing us a closer look into family values. Work ethic. And Integrity. Giving us that unwavering feeling that there is a “farmer in all of us.” Chrysler does an exceptional job in making the case for the lifestyle they are pushing in the ad. The Ram Truck just so happens to be a by-product of it all.

  • Will the consumer recognize my uniqueness?

Doritos has cornered the market when it comes to gut-wrenching humor in their Super Bowl ads. As a brand, they don’t take themselves too seriously. They understand that their core audience only expects a good laugh from them—with the exception of a unique twist. This was accomplished with 2013’s Goat 4 Sale.

  • Am I relying on brand loyalty just to get by?

Coca Cola is by far one of thee most recognized brand names and successful consumer packaged good in the world today. But in this year’s Super Bowl, it’s Coke Chase ad just reeked of laziness. Where was the taste test feel? Where was the inner urge that you couldn’t live without knowing Coca Cola’s secret recipe? Falling into complacency is unacceptable when you are a major player such as Coca Cola and you are being watched on the world’s biggest stage.

At CRAFT, we strive to make ads that are not only creative, but create an authentic and genuine experience that humanizes an issue, a candidate, or brand. No two ads should evoke the same emotion.

Brian Donahue, one of CRAFT’s founding partners, holds a keen philosophy that part of our responsibility as content creators is to form “unique propositions” with consumers. Traditional advertising and the same old rehashed concepts will no longer cut it. The name of the game now is either evoke emotion or be forgotten.

The Super Bowl ads of this year will be mentioned around the office water cooler, on social media sites, and in the carpool lane for about a week a so. Maybe.

The question is, with ads costing upward of $4 million, what will consumers really take away from the 30-second spots placed this year?