Drumroll: Super Bowl Commercial Verdicts

At Dooley & Associates, our team has some strong opinions about the commercials on last night's big Super Bowl game. The game day ads are much like watching the championship of marketing for creative gurus like us. We can all admit that there's nothing quite like seeing 4.5 million dollars spent on a 30-second advertising spot and imagining the creative energy behind the message. Some advertisers nail it on the head and others leave us wondering... will that ad sell anything? Still, other ads simply reinforce an iconic brand and message... can we say Clydesdales?!

The bottom line is that companies investing in Super Bowl advertising use very creative ploys to market themselves and plant their brand in the viewing audience's collective memory. The creatives behind these messages are the best at what they do. They know their audience and they have great confidence they can craft a message that is appropriate, memorable and will stand out from the competition.

Sometimes they succeed and other times, well, you be the judge.

Here are our picks for 2015:

Jen: ALWAYS

Always CommercialAlways, #LikeAGirl, might just be my favorite because adolescence was my least favorite time of life based on of my nonexistent confidence. As I age, I now know I’m unstoppable and can only imagine where I might be today if I had the same attitude earlier in life. I can easily get behind any company that wants to empower young females.

As a marketer my heart jumped for joy when I started to hear the commercial that I had already watched on social media. First, Always recognized ladies watch the Super Bowl!  Second, they took a product that most men are too embarrassed to buy in a store and put their message in front of the largest male audience of the year. As a company they invested $4.5 million on a commercial designed to create loyal fans by empowering their audience. Bravo!

John: JEEP

Jeep CommercialThe stuff in our lives is as natural as, well, nature. Everything we touch, feel, smell, taste, and hear, came from the Earth. Humans have imagined, created, and discovered all of that stuff.

A brand is the human aggregate of ideologies, symbols, ideas, feelings, technologies, knowledge - all brought together to be defined with color and shape. The companies and products they represent should be awe-inspiring to us all.

We have cheeseburgers in under 30 seconds. Vehicles that can transport us across a continent. Phones that connect us to people on the opposite side of the planet. Devices that can entertain us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Food. Transportation. Communication. Leisure. We - humans - have pioneered both the problem and the solution. Together, we have created the most awe inspiring experiment: our lives.  

Thank you, Jeep, for reminding us that we are in this together. That we succeed together. That we lose together. The history of humanity will not be viewed by the momentary success of one person or one team or one nation or one ideology. Our history will be viewed in the context of our togetherness. Jeep elevated their brand to not represent a demographic, but rather to represent togetherness. Well done.

Dora: AMERICAN FAMILY

American Family CommercialFrom a marketing perspective, there were several commercials that stood out to me this year for their clever and impactful messaging. But since I can only pick one, the art nerd in me has to go with the American Family #DreamFearlessly spot. Any student who has ever studied American art history has seen the painting Nighthawks, by Edward Hopper.

When the camera zoomed out and I saw the entire painting captured in this scene, I was delighted and immediately had to share an image of the painting with my non-art nerd friends.

From a messaging standpoint, this commercial really is all about the American dream. It was positive, uplifting, and it gave five unknown performers the chance to pursue their dreams on the biggest stage ever: in front of over 100 million viewers.

Derek: ESURANCE

Esurance CommercialThere were a  number of commercials this year that caught my attention. However, my favorite was the Esurance commercial featuring Bryan Cranston aka Walter White. Being a huge fan of Breaking Bad I thought it was great that they brought back that character. I have a slight obsession with Breaking Bad, so this one was a no brainer for me.

It was funny but also got across the point that the company was trying to convey – to only pay for the type and amount of insurance that you want or need. Obviously, we live in a world and a time where everyone is always trying to get the most for their money. Esurance was pushing that and showing that is exactly what they can offer you with an insurance company.

Beatrice: WEIGHT WATCHERS

Weight Watchers CommercialIt was a hard pick between Weight Watchers and Coca Cola. Both commercials highlighted major issues in our society that seem to have been accepted as the norm. Weight Watchers won me over with their humorous undertones and clever execution on a serious societal problem.

With the many advances in our food industry, we now have many food options but the sheer amount of choices that are unhealthy yet made to appear otherwise is staggering. We now encourage over eating as part of social events and even money management.

Influence, whether subtle or overt, will often affect a person's daily decisions. The influencer and the one being influenced should both take responsibility for their actions. I appreciate Weight Watcher’s for showcasing some of these influences, they deserve to treat themselves.

Janel: NO MORE

NFL NO MORE commercialNo More had a very powerful message. I know it was a message from the NFL, but domestic abuse/violence certainly is not contained to the NFL nor is it contained to adults. I cringe at the thought of any man or woman who is being tortured in their own home, but the thought of a child of any age, being hurt by the adults they love UNCONDITIONALLY makes my heart fill with sadness.

I feel this was money well spent and I hope a Child, Woman or Man somewhere is a bit safer today because of it!

Ron: CHEVY

Chevy CommercialThere was one that caught my eye: the Chevy truck, “What if your TV went out?” commercial. I could see all the fans in Seattle and Boston going berserk. Thought that was clever and memorable. None of you youngsters probably remember the show “Outer Limits” but it started out with something like that “We have control of your television set”.

Juwan: CARNIVAL CORPORATION

Carnival CommercialThe approach that Carnival took with their commercial was a very clever way to present a call to action: “Coming Back to the Sea.” It was presented in a more serious, almost dramatic tone, rather than in a satirical manner (like most commercials that aired), which is one of the reasons it stuck out so much to me.

If someone were to tell me that in the midst of all of the Super Bowl hype, the commercial they enjoyed most was about going on cruises, I would think they missed the other commercials. But that is why this commercial is so great; because in the midst of all of the Super Bowl hype, Carnival Corporation was able to stop everything and make me want to look up cruise ship ticket prices!

Tim: There were commercials?

To me it was your run of non-edgy Dorito’s, pre-boxed “This Land is Your Land”/”America the Beautiful”/”Star Spangled Banner” for something that forgoes creativity for the easy patriotism points, the lost dog (haven’t we seen this before?) and, you know...the foot fungus ad (what was that?) and Nationwide’s dead kid.

It did succeed in bringing up conversations of the “Golden Age” of Super Bowl ads. You know, waaaaaay back in the 90s. Budweiser was probably the “King” with such memorable ads as the Bud Bowl, Budweiser Frogs (with Frankie & Louie), the Clydesdales, “Wasssup” guys, and whatever else they made during that stretch. Terry Tate Office Linebacker roamed the halls for Reebok, Jordan vs. Bird for McDonalds (“nothing but net”), and of course, the case study, 1984 from Apple.

I didn’t feel much from what I saw, maybe I’ve just been fed too much for too long. Do I suddenly believe McDonald’s is selling love, or the NFL really felt this strongly about domestic violence without being caught sweeping the Ray Rice case under the rug? Important topics? Yes, but I feel intent plays a role.

Does anyone remember any of these two weeks from now? This is just me, but I really think we need to go a different direction on Super Bowl Sunday. Maybe the hype has just become too much?

 

If the big game inspired your company or organization to prioritize your marketing in 2015 we would love to discuss how we might be able to quarterback those efforts. Contact us today!