Another Super Bowl Quickfire, You Say? Sure, Why Not

By Kiran Aditham 

We’re sure to have post-Super Bowl thoughts as well, but in the meantime, read below on what Teddy Stoecklein, group creative director at Portland, Maine-based VIA Agency, has to say about big game advertising.

Who has the most anticipated spot in this year’s Super Bowl?

First, let me tell you who doesn’t. The idea of Doritos crashing the Super Bowl with user-generated spots has lost its orange, finger-staining luster. We all know those bags are half air. And Bud Light’s “Superstitious” campaign, void of the whiffle ball-to-the-groin humor—which, sadly, always resonates with the average viewer and gets them top honors—will probably not make the top 10.

My two most anticipated spots are from perennial Super Bowl powerhouses Budweiser and Volkswagen. What’s more American, or Dutch rather, than Budweiser’s Clydesdales (see touching 2013 Super Bowl spot below)? I was hoping they’d return to their glory days when they did things like play football in front of a couple of cowboys or engage in a snowball fight. Unfortunately, I saw the spot posted online. It’s not funny at all. Instead it’s just a long, albeit charming, story to get you to name a baby Clydesdale through Twitter. Hopefully you won’t miss the game-winning touchdown when you’re busy tweeting “Buddy” or “Suds” to #clydesdales.

Second to this is a spot from VW that is already kicking up a lot of dust. Apparently a white guy overcome with happiness can’t speak with a Jamaican accent. Or is it a Trinidadian accent? I mean no offense either way. But the hullabaloo is what intrigues me most. Is it racist? Let’s see what 130 million people think. I suspect most of them can relate to needing a little “island time.” Yah-man … enjoy da game and da ads, now. Get happy.

Is the ever-increasing Super Bowl ad cost really worth what’s now $4 million a spot?
Is a spot worth $4 million? This is kind of like trying to justify the cost of joining a private country club by dividing it by the number of rounds of golf you’d play. If you have to do the math, you can’t afford it. But if you can afford it—and you produce a spot that is well liked, talked about, tweeted about, etc.—then go for it. Will you sell enough widgets to justify the cost? No. Can you make an impression with 130 million viewers all at once, and perhaps be top of mind when they’re in the market next? Yes.

Is there an advantage or disadvantage to releasing ads to social media ahead of time?

Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer the surprise of seeing a spot for the first time during the big game. I remember not wanting to take a pee break for fear of missing something. Nevertheless, there is a big advantage to releasing your spot online before the game. That advantage is called “recall.” Let’s face it, 30 seconds, even 60, can go by pretty fast. It can often take a few viewings to “get it.” So if a viewer has seen a spot a few times before the big game, they’re more likely to remember it, digest it and play it back in their heads or to a friend. As much as I don’t want to peek, it’s an advantage to do so.

Favorite Super Bowl Spot of All Time?
I grew up in Pittsburgh. Nothing can unseat Coca-Cola’s 1979 Mean Joe Green spot from the top of my list. Not even Troy Polamalu’s gems.