Before the luster totally wears off, let us roll out our last two quickfire Super Bowl ad Q+As today. First up, we hear from Andrea Spiegel, managing director, New York, at Project: Worldwide agency Partners + Napier. Later this afternoon, we’ll get some thoughts from Andre Woolary, who holds the rather niftytitle of digital synthesis director at kbs+ unit The Media Kitchen. Hope you all enjoyed the wide variety of commentary from industry folks regarding Super Bowl advertising over the last week. Now, on with the show.
What were your favorite and most disappointing ads?
Overall I thought the quality of spots this year was significantly better than recent years. There were many more good and very good efforts in both the funny and emotional camps. It’s hard to pick my favorites – there was a lot to choose from…
I loved Audi’s “Prom” spot – great storytelling about bravery that so many people can relate to. Dodge RAM’s tribute to farmers gets the tug-at-the-heartstrings award (more than the Budweiser “Brotherhood” spot, which I wanted to love with the “Landslide” track, but it crossed the corny line). I also really like Taco Bell’s “Viva Young.” Tide’s “Miracle Stain” spot was very clever – funny, memorable and relevant to the game and the brand. The E*TRADE baby continues to delight. The new Samsung spot has grown on me – the writing and performances are terrific – but it feels like an ad for marketers more than Samsung fans. Lastly, Kia gave a good showing. Probably too many spots, but “Space Babies” was a highlight.
A brand that is trying to make a major comeback, Lincoln, did not make the meaningful splash I would have expected. The Super Bowl is an opportunity to make your biggest statement of the year and Lincoln didn’t do it in a breakthrough way. I wanted to like the new Bud Light work (who doesn’t like Stevie Wonder?) but it didn’t stand up to the competition, like Doritos.
Is the ever-increasing Super Bowl ad cost really worth what’s now $4 million a spot?
It continues to be a reality of supply and demand. Look how quickly inventory went this year. But it puts more pressure on marketers to leverage the buy as much as they can. I loved the anticipation and surprise of Super Bowl spots past – before you were able to view them ahead of the game – but I understand the need to make those dollars work as hard as they can. If you can successfully launch a real idea on this big stage and meaningfully sustain it, it can be worth it. Otherwise, we can think of a lot of more effective ways to spend $4M.
How important are the digital tie-ins to the TV spots, i.e., mobile and social? Is value increasing?
Extremely important – it is all a part of making these work as hard as they can. With two and three screens being the norm during special occasion viewing like this, you have to be firing on all cylinders and make everything as shareable as possible. Adding hashtags is not enough.
What did you think about the Pepsi/Beyoncé crowdsourced halftime show promo?
Simple and fun, but not at all groundbreaking. Beyoncé was awesome.
Is there an advantage or disadvantage to releasing ads to social media ahead of time?
As much as I miss the mystery of seeing the ads for the first time during the big game, having a pre- and post-game strategy is a must to maximize investment. There is, of course, a risk of negative buzz around the idea, but the potential rewards outweigh the risks. The best case scenario is launching with an amazing teaser around the idea, and saving the actual work for the big game.
Your favorite/least favorite Super Bowl ads ever?
My recent favorites are Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit,” and last year’s follow-up, “Half Time in America.” I will always love the classics, like Coke’s “Mean Joe Green” and the older Bridgestone spots, like “Reply All” and “The Scream” (but sadly, no one remembers anything about Bridgestone). We fell in love with the E*TRADE baby on Super Bowl Sundays.