Every year, big-budget TV commercials make their appearance during the world's most watched TV event. With 40,000,000 households across the U.S. viewing the game between the Packers and Steelers, advertisers shelled out nearly $3,000,000 for a single 30 second spot. For marketers, the pressure is on to craft an ad that has both lasting power (or buzz) AND produces the desired result - product/awareness/benefit recall from consumers.
So which brands really got some bang for their bucks?
Let's take a look:
Doritos "House Sitting" - A very funny spot that tells us, "Things come to life with Doritos." A product capable of re-incarnation HAS to be good. This gets high marks for product placement, involvement, humor and recall. A
Pepsi Max's "Love Hurts" - The shock factor on this one helps the humor... a guilty pleasure to see the pain inflicted by his hovering wife. I can't help but note however, that if the racial roles were reversed, this spot would have never made it on the airwaves. The line "Zero calories. Maximum taste" clearly resonates. B+
Volkswagen's "The Force" - The most talked about spot (and wonderfully/wordlessly acted by a 6-year old boy in full Darth Vader garb) just cannot seem to muster the Force to animate the world around him... until he meets up with his dad's VW. A tour de force, if you will, on how a cleverly crafted 60 second spot can be "leaked" online (to date, over 16,000,000 views) prior to the Super Bowl, for everyone to view a 30 second TV spot in game (that's a savings of $3MM). This is how you do it - only thing is, the product benefit of push button start is rather weak and you'll never remember for which vehicle make. Great for overall VW recall, but not so great for the Passat. A+ PR | A VW | C recall
Snicker's "Not Yourself" - The very best spot of last year (Betty White) was remade featuring the winey-ness of Rosanne Barr and Richard Lewis. Only thing is, we know what's coming - and Richard Lewis isn't well-enough known. It was the shock of an old actress getting close-lined last year that made, pardon the pun, such an impact. This is funny, but not off the charts. Yet, the talk instantly recalls last year's spot as a comparison. I'm sure they thought it was a topper. It wasn't, not even close. But, do you recall that Snickers will pick you up? You bet. C+ Ad | A 1 year-old recall
Chrysler "Imported from Detroit" - The most expensive media buy of the night was this one. A full 2 minutes of cinematic beauty. An Eminem score, with Slim Shady behind the wheel adds to the authenticity. An instant classic on how to address the biggest fears of your potential consumers is to replace their current thoughts with new, more enduring ones. Will folks buy American again from a company that was on it's deathbed? Time will tell, but this is the bold punch in the mouth that should bring them out from a governmental shadow and into a re-birth of the Lee Iacocca era. A attitude | C- in game placement (Should have paid for the first spot after kick off)
Not sure you agree with these 5 picks? Check out USA Today's Ad Meter to see if your favorites made the list: AD METER.