This Car Dealer’s Super Bowl Ad Congratulating the Wrong Team Was No Accident

Subaru of Muskegon is fine with the 'error'

Subaru of Muskegon

A car dealership in Michigan ran a congratulatory ad for the wrong Super Bowl team, but the owner says he’s happy about it.

Subaru of Muskegon bought time for a local TV ad during the Big Game at the last minute, without any creative ready to go. Instead, reports MLive, the marketer just aired a white screen featuring its logos and website, along with the text, “Congratulations Patriots!”

Naturally, viewers were quick to mock the dealer online, for what appeared to be an absurd error. On Monday, though, the marketer went on Facebook to correct the record, claiming it had to lock in the creative before Friday—and was just playing the odds, figuring the Pats would win.

And if they didn’t, they figured the ad would get some viral attention. (Mission accomplished.)

“Our owner, Scott Campbell, thought it would be a good idea to put ‘Congratulations Patriots,’ because they had the best chance at winning and even if they didn’t win we would be congratulating Patriots on a great season and get some buzz on social media over it,” says the post. “This was not intended to be a slam on the Patriots or minimize the Eagles’ win. This was a last minute calculated risk and Super Bowl commercials are all about getting attention for your brand and that’s exactly what we wanted to accomplish.”

It’s a deviously nonchalant way to troll for attention, with an after-the-fact explanation that’s just shy of a Gallic shrug, and the sort of irreverence that a larger brand couldn’t pull off. Nobody in Philadelphia is going to buy that it’s not a diss, of course—but for a local advertiser outside of Grand Rapids, that’s not really much of risk.

Besides, all the Eagles fans can rest assured that the real mistake in the ad might be that smiley-face logo.

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@GabrielBeltrone Gabriel Beltrone is a frequent contributor to Adweek.