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HyperBowl 2018 – Second Quarter

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For the last few years, 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.  Next up is our Vice President of Creative, Dennis Bonifer.

I pulled a bit of a lucky draw with the second quarter. Thanks to the two minute warning and a couple of additional time outs it seemed like there were more commercials than in the previous quarter. We watched from a friend’s crowded neighborhood party so viewing or actually listening wasn’t ideal. So I went back to rematch a few that stood out to me. Which brings up and interesting side note, not everyone watched the Super Bowl at  large parties but how many spots were missed due to the environmental conditions – side conversations, background noise, etc… $5M (not counting production and agency fees) is a ton of money.

I cringed at the thought of all of the spots that were missed due to party noise. It reminded me of an article I had read last week on DigiDay.comWhat a $5.2 million Super Bowl ad can buy in digital media”  The piece brings up several great points. Is that type of spend really justifiable? How many potential advertisers sat out and decided to reach their consumers differently (sorry Mercedes?) It makes me wonder if we have a tipping point for the Super Bowl? I’m sure there’s an article (or dozen) written every year but at some point it has to happen, right? 

Yet I digress, now on to the spots that stood out to me. Admittedly Tide’s “It’s Another a Tide Ad” got lost in the party noise when I initially saw it. I could tell there were a bunch of mismatched scenes put together and I recognized David Harbour from Stranger Things but that was about it. However when I went back and re-watched this morning, it may have been one of my favorite commercials of the night. Poking fun at and spoofing other ads certainly isn’t anything new, but I thought wrapping things up and planting the seed of doubt that every spot thereafter could be a Tide commercial was great. The concept was only strengthened by their later appearance in the seemingly Old Spice commercial (which I liked too. As a viewer you never know when it was going to be a Tide commercial and kept the brand in the back of your mind. Plus, I loved David Harbour  as the pitchman. He felt genuine, like an old friend from college, but had just enough of a twinkle of sarcasm in his eyes to pull off the joke.

Along the same line, I liked Australia’s Tourism ad too. After being set-up with a few movie sequel trailers during the game, I completely fell for the gag. The casting, the plot, the timing as the first commercial coming at the two minute warning all felt legit. During the first few seconds I kept thinking to myself that the movie seemed destined as a 2018 Razzie Award winner. But, I couldn’t stop watching, just wanting to see just how bad it could get. The whole time without me realizing what was really going on they did a great job of showcasing the beaches, eco-tourism and culture of Australia but in an unexpected way. If you would have told me beforehand Danny McBride was going to see me on Australia, I would have ben skeptical, but for me it worked. plus, the Paul Hogan cameo hit right between the eyes and my love for late 80’s nostalgia.

The final commercial that stood out to me was Avocados from Mexico. I thought it was just weird enough to stand out and garner some attention during the break. Not to mention, I got a kick out of the completely random Chris Elliot cameo – I’ve been a fan of his since his early David Letterman days. But, going beyond the off-the-wall premise, it did a good job of reminding people that avocados are more than just guac and after re-watching it this morning (and actually getting to hear the dialogue) I thought the line “we sealed the bad out and keeping the good in” subtly highlighted another product benefit. Entertainment , selling points and Chris Elliot. Win, win, win.

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