When the ads are this big, this expensive and this inventive, why should companies only save them for the game on Sunday? With a full queue of the best ads available online, we took advantage of their digital generosity last Friday to kick off Greteman Group’s unofficial three-day Super Bowl weekend.
Our group came together to share snacks and laughs as we watched this year’s crop of ads. After watching spots that tried to leave a mark with humor or social messaging, one question stood out for us:
Is an animated dancing, washing Mr. Clean hot or creepy?
Whether the venerable brand icon scrubbed, scoured and slid into our hearts was in the eye of the beholder. “Those pants! Gross!” one person said.
Where we all agreed – it was funny.
Landing the Jokes
Also getting high marks from our group in the jokes department was the robe-clad, guacamole-loving secret society selling Avocados from Mexico.
“Kyle, are you streaming this?” and “Is that not cool?” delivered the funny for us, as well as the appearance of Jon Lovitz subliminally hawking the tasty green party favorites.
We also liked Pepsi and Tostitos’ “Party Pooper/Party Planner” campaigns, and Ford’s “Stuck” ad, although all of them could’ve been shorter.
And Melissa McCarthy’s Kia spots cement her status as one of the funniest comedians working today.
What about the brands that took a chance with the messaging of the moment? We thought the twin ads featuring immigrants certainly left a mark – with the visuals of 84 Lumber’s to-be-continued spot painting a more powerful message than Budweiser’s story of German founder Adolphus Busch. Whether the messages were well-received by the whole country, both brands succeeded in generating a conversation that keeps them in the front of peoples’ minds.
A “message” ad that resonated for us was Audi’s “Daughter” spot, highlighting gender pay inequality. The girl racing her cart downhill against the boys spoke to the moms, dads and young people of our proudly woman-owned business.
Visually, we loved the elegance and modernity of Lexus’ “Man and Machine” ad, which combined amazing dance moves with the luxury car.
The Coen brothers’ much-hyped Mercedes ad played well with fans of their work and some of our seasoned colleagues. But how well would Peter Fonda or “Easy Rider” resonate with young people? Who knows. “Who cares? They’re not the ones buying the cars,” one of our team said. Always know your audience.
The actual gameday ads on Sunday from Tide and Snickers worked much better than the teaser spots they produced beforehand.
The biggest miss? That was easy for us. The drawn-out, overly action-centric Jason Statham-starring ad for Wix.com drew raspberries. It wasn’t clear how any of the punching, kicking or exploding had anything to do with website creation. Maybe this was another installment in the Transporter or the Fast and the Furious franchises and we just didn’t get the message.
“I think I just watched a terrible action film – and two crummy sequels – in the span of two minutes,” our developer said.
Maybe save the millions of dollars next time, Wix.