Another Super Bowl has come and gone, which means another round of Super Bowl ads has come and gone as well. As you probably know, companies spend obscene amounts of money so you can view their brilliant and clever ads during this TV spectacle.
This year, an ad from Groupon and an ad from HomeAway have given people something to complain about for being too offensive. Both companies have since apologized, and are altering their ads to be less offensive.
But enough on the negatives, as a professional in the advertising industry, it’s always interesting to try to determine which companies were the winners of the Super Bowl advertising wise. Which multi hundred million dollar ads do you remember?
Don, Mitch, Heather, Chris and Tom’s favorite was Volkswagon’s mini Darth Vader commercial. For those of you who may not remember the commercial, it featured a child in a Darth Vader costume trying (and failing) to use the force on a variety of things, from the family dog, to a plate with a sandwich on it. The tiny Darth Vader eventually stumbles upon a VW Passat in his driveway, and with a little assistance from his father, turns the car on with the force.
Here’s what Don, Mitch, Heather, Chris and Tom had to say about the commercial.
Don: “Loved the simplicity – from both message and production. This was not an expensive commercial to produce. I love commercials that utilize great yet simple creative as opposed to over-the-top budgets and production to communicate their message. The simpler ones are usually remembered more and cost a fraction to produce.”
Mitch: “I could see my son doing the same thing. Plus you remembered the product and why they actually ran the commercial. It didn’t rely on a kick in the crotch or slapstick humor. Just very well done.”
Heather: “It was just smart for that brand. It appealed to a large demographic. Moms, Dads, Star Wars fans and everyone else who ever had a large imagination as a child…it touched many hearts.”
Chris: “I could relate to it. That is my kid and especially my nephew. My nephew goes around in costume all the time (including a Vader costume). He even tries to use the force on automatic doors at the grocery store.
The subtle humor was on target. Like when his mother passed the sandwich to him as if it was the “force” and the kid just shrugged his shoulders as if to say “give me a break mom, I knew that was you and not the “real” force”.
I also liked that the commercial had no voice over. I love commercials that don’t need any supporting copy or message.”
Tom: “Traditionally VW has made very smart ads for their various products. This was no exception. This ad was funny and cute without being raunchy or involving some sort of animated animal or outrageous scenario.
Everyone can relate to childhood imagination and it is hard for anyone not to pay attention when they hear Darth Vader’s Imperial March. I felt that this ad was more about brand awareness and loyalty than introducing a new car. It did not list any features or benefits about the product.
It spoke to it’s demographic which is probably parents in their mid thirties, upper middle class. People in this generation grew up with Star Wars and now they are passing it down to their children, much like other brands you adopt from your parents, the brand of car you buy is also considered.”
Josh’s favorite was Audi’s Release the Hounds commercial. This ad featured two men escaping from a luxury prison and one chose a Mercedes as his getaway car, while the other chose an Audi.
Here are Josh’s thoughts:
“The ad perfectly positions Audi against its competitors (in this case Mercedes) and encourages consumers to “escape the confines of old luxury.” The ad was highly entertaining, but more importantly, it was effective in communicating the key message of the campaign: “Luxury Has Progressed.”
My (Jeremy) personal favorite was the Bud Light dog sitter commercial. Bud Light usually puts out humorous ads, and this commercial didn’t disappoint. A guy dog sitting a bunch of smart dogs puts them to work as servers and entertainers for a party he hosts. Being a 23-year-old male, comedy goes a long way in advertisements to me, and seeing a bunch of dogs serving drinks while walking around on their hind legs was enough to get me laughing for a few minutes.
So there you have it, our favorite Super Bowl ads. It would appear our office agrees with the “experts” in that VW’s mini Darth Vader commercial was the best of the crop this year.
What was your favorite Super Bowl commercial this year? Let us know in the comments section.