Another day, another pre-released Super Bowl ad. The latest attempt at pre-game buzz comes from Toyota. Their spot will promote Toyota’s newly redesigned 2014 Highlander SUV. In it, actor Terry Crews (of Old Spice fame) picks of a gang of rambunctious Muppets after the puppet group’s tour bus breaks down. The spot will co-promote Disney’s upcoming film, “Muppets Most Wanted.”
Remember when we said the pre-released ads were being released so fast that we were going to start showing two pre-releases per blog entry? That’s kind of true. Only instead of two in this entry, we’re going to give you three. Enjoy.
Jaguar – “Good to be Bad”
As car ads go, this one is pretty sweet, even if the cars cost twice as much as most Americans are willing to spend. We feel a little bad that, of the three U.K. actors in the spot, we only recognize Ben Kingsley, but that’s okay. We’ll just assume the other two guys are really popular in Britain. Sort of like the Seth Rogan and Jonah Hill of the U.K. … only not as funny.
Kia – “The Truth”
“Matrix” fans are going to either love this one or hate it. We’re guessing they’ll love it, because it’s a pretty cool spot. In it, Lawrence Fishburne returns as Morpheus to give a couple a “red key or blue key” choice between two cars. They choose the red key, and the rest is history. The ad below is 90 seconds, which means Kia will have to trim 30 seconds for the Big Game. We’re guessing they’ll cut a lot of Morpheus’ singing, which is shame because that’s the best part.
Dannon Oikos – “The Spill”
If “Matrix” fans love the Kia spot, “Full House” fans (and there are some out there), will love this one, which features John Stamos reuniting with Full House buddies Dave Coulier and Bob Sagat. More Dave and Bob would have been better, because the flirtatious yogurt-eating is just kind of weird and a little gross.
In the 10 years that Pavone has been doing SpotBowl, we’ve worked pretty much independently to bring the site to life each year. That is, until now. In case you haven’t noticed from revamped SpotBowl logo on the header above, SpotBowl XI is presented by Adrants.
Since we’re a website about Super Bowl advertising, Adrants is one of the best media partners we could hope for. That’s because it’s one of the best marketing and advertising blogs on the Internet. At the helm of Adrants is Steve Hall, a man who’s done time in media, account management and agency new business development, and has worked with clients including Reebok, Monster.com, Tyco and Marshmallow Fluff. (How awesome is Marshmallow Fluff?)
Steve recently took a break from writing some of the web’s snarkiest advertising commentary to sit down with us for an up-close-and-personal interview about — you guessed it — Super Bowl ads.
1. At $4 million for a 30-second ad, is it worth it?
Any sane person would say it’s not worth it. However, year after year, Super Bowl after Super Bowl, marketers continue to pay. While one could say they’re all just a bunch of idiotic lemmings marching off a cliff, one also has to assume there are some smarts involved in making that $4 million decision. And, over the years, if you look at some research, some spots do pay off just like any other spot running any other time of the year. Like anything in advertising, it’s a gamble.
2. What the secret to a good Super Bowl ad?
The proverbial hat trick includes small animals, women in bikinis and stupid human tricks. But there really is no formula. Just like in non-Super Bowl advertising, the end goal is to connect with your audience in a way that compels them to buy your product. But just because everyone loves this spot or that spot from year to year, it’s not a forgone conclusion that those much-loved spots will actually sell anything.
3. GoDaddy claims to be “cleaning up their act” with their Super Bowl ads, which means no more scantily-clad women. Is that a long overdue strategy or should they stick with the same formula?
It’s long overdue. They’ve become a parody of themselves. This is not to say scantily clad women in Super Bowl spots will never be seen again but, for GoDaddy, they have milked this one to death. Anything would be a welcome change from their tired, cleavage-in-the-face approach from years past.
4. Who really “gets it” when it comes to making good Super Bowl ads?
No one. It’s a calculated guess much like all other forms of advertising. Though I’d venture to say that much of the time during Super Bowl common sense and adherence to time-tested advertising strategies get thrown out the window in favor of some of the stupidest antics ever seen.
5. Admit it, you miss the Bud Bowl.
6. What’s your favorite Super Bowl ad of all time?
7. Doritos seems to score every year with their “Crash the Super Bowl” fan-made commercial contest. Should ad agencies be concerned? Are fan-made ads the wave of the future?
Well these ads are hardly fan made any more. Most come from professional creatives. That said, when you put a Super Bowl ad out to bid…for free…and are able to choose from hundreds of submissions, you’re bound to end up with something better than a one shot deal from an agency. Mathematics simply favor this approach.
8. Any spots in this year’s game that you’re really looking forward to?
Apple. If they actually run one as some have surmised.
The pre-released ads are coming fast and furious, so we’re going to offer two per blog entry, starting with this entry.
Chobani – “Ransacked”
First up is Chobani’s third quarter ad starring a great a big ol’ bear in search of some all natural food in a small town grocery store. But guess what? It’s apparently pretty hard to find all natural goods in grocery stores these days. What does the bear do and does he ever find the all natural snack he’s looking for? Watch the ad below to find out.
Audi – “Doberhuahua”
Next up is Audi’s off-the-wall spot featuring a couple who compromise on their choice of dog by breeding a Doberman and a Chihuahua to create a freakishly big-headed “Doberhuahua.” The dog wrecks havoc everywhere it goes and, in the process, it makes for a pretty entertaining Super Bowl ad. SpotBowl media partner Adrants says the spot has “Super Bowl success written all over it.” We agree. Of all the car ads we’ve seen this year, this one is by far the best.
You know, I had such high hopes for SodaStream’s Super Bowl ad. And why shouldn’t I? Here’s a list of ingredients SodaStream had at its disposal:
- Cool/fun/interesting product? Check.
- Willingness to create an ad that’s a little edgy and confront competitors (Coke and Pepsi) head on? Check.
- A-list celebrity willing to shill the product? Check.
- One of the advertising industry’s biggest rock stars and creative minds (Alex Bogusky) at the helm of your ad? Check, check and CHECK.
SodaStream had ALL OF THOSE THINGS, so why is their recently-released Super Bowl ad starring Scarlett Johansson so bad? Is it ScarJo’s monotone and wooden performance? Maybe, but they had to know she’d deliver that from the get go. Is it the weird, infomercial look and feel of the first half of the ad? Is it the awkward attempt to make the ad “go viral” with some cliched second-half tactics (seductive dress, slow-motion sipping, wind machine, Isaac Hayes-like voiceover)?
It’s actually all of those things. But what’s most disappointing about the ad is that THIS is the work of Alex Bogusky. Those who aren’t in the ad industry probably don’t know or care who that is, and that’s okay. But if I were to name some of the work from his former ad agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, you’d recognize his creative genius. Bogusky is one of the masterminds behind Burger King’s creepy King ads, the very cool Mini Cooper campaign, and TheTruth.com’s anti-smoking ads.
Yeah, that’s Alex Bogusky. Back in his heyday, at least. He left the ad agency game in 2010 and he’s now a champion of the environment and the “consumer revolution.” You can see a few of those messages in the SodaStream ad below. (Note: It’s the “banned” version which contains the jab at Coke and Pepsi at the very end.) Also below is Bogusky’s classic “Wake Up with the King” commercial for BK. Feel free to compare and contrast. Well, contrast, at least. There’s really no comparison.