Each year for the past 7, we’ve divided up the Super Bowl and taken a look at the best and worst executions on the world’s largest/most expensive ad stage. Dennis gives us the low-down on the second quarter.
I went into the SuperBowl blind. I didn’t read any of the hype. I stayed away from the spoiler Tweets. I didn’t watch any of the sneak previews on YouTube. I wanted to be surprised and to see everything with fresh eyes. That’s part of the fun right?
Overall I thought the spots were about what we’ve come to expect from the SuperBowl. There were a few that surprised me; several that disappointed (I’m talking to you Bud hidden cameras;) and quite a few that just added to the spectacle that is the SuperBowl.
My focus was on the 2nd quarter, and the three that stood out to me were GoDaddy, Weather Tech and Volkswagon.
I thought GoDaddy was unexpected. They’ve had so much bad press with their past SuperBowl spots, it was great to see them do something that felt more genuine. It clearly spoke to the entrepreneur in all of us and was more on target with who their core audience most likely is. Their message was solid, “Follow your dreams. Become your own boss. We can help.” It wasn’t overly produced. It wasn’t full of supermodels. Yet, it still had a twist and a ballsy ending without being too over the top. I loved the casting of John Tuturro. He’s a big name, but you can still relate to him. He’s quirky, but cool. He’s a little nerdy without being stereotypical. Good stuff.
Weather Tech was part of the “proud to be American” theme that ran through many of the spots last night. It too felt unexpected, but for different reasons. When I think of Weather Tech, I think about their infomercial-style direct response spots that I’ve seen during the 6 a.m. morning news. I never would have expected them to make a buy durning the SuperBowl. Was it the best and most creative spot during the SuperBowl? Definitely not. But their message of “America can still make great products” came through loud and clear and it stood out to me compared to some of the other bigger budgeted spots that played on the same theme. However, afterwards I kept wondering, “how many car mats are they going to have to sell to pay for this?”
When the Volkswagon spot started I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. The idea seemed a little silly, although I thought the “It’s a Wonderful Life” inspiration had potential. As they kept throwing in more and more sight gags, I thought it got progressively funnier. I have to admit the two engineers at the urinals made me laugh like a 13 year-old and who doesn’t love a good “rainbow out of the butt” joke? To me, what made it so successful, was that even though it was a bit wacky, it still got the point across that VW makes great cars that will last. They just found a way to tell it in a fun and entertaining way.
In the 1920s, a company called Burma Shave — producers of brushless shaving cream — started putting signs up that delighted and educated drivers. These