This week we witnessed the advertising event with a bit of sport thrown in that is the Superbowl. From nipple slips, to epic splits and smash hits, it’s an event that rarely disappoints for talking points. No surprise then it’s big business; big viewing figures (100 million+ a year), big ad spends (circa $5 million per 30 seconds) and of course big celeb appearances. Here’s 5 things I think we can learn from this year’s ads:
#1. Advertising fuels pop culture, pop culture fuels advertising
The reminder that across borders, race and religion we all speak the common language of popular culture. For all the negatives said of advertising, we can all be proud to be part of an industry that spreads this language. Ads from Doritos and Tide highlighted this best. Tide in particular, which could have really smashed it with some clever spot placement!
#2. It’s time for a good laugh.
2017 has its fair share of doom and gloom. So this year more brands took a break from activism and blasting Trump, instead providing light hearted respite. Tourism Australia and Mexican Avocadoswere a welcome reminder of the value of humour to brands.
#3. Great power. Great responsibility.
I’ve always believed that advertisers have a responsibility to reflect how society could be, rather than what it is. This year Toyota, Coke and SquareSpace championed individuality, with positive messages to just be you. In times of increasing understanding of mental health issues this deserves a nod.
#4. Power of talent
Practically every ad in the super bowl features top talent. These two examples highlight why sometimes top talent is essential. For SquareSpace it’s the deadpan performance of Keanu Reeves in the ad and his ability to do his own stunts that makes the idea. Verizon’s cleverly used Justin Timberlake for their VO for ad bought first in break after his half-time performance (research shows this type of integration works well).
#5. Blockbuster epics
Sometimes a big idea needs a big budget. The use of entertainment partnerships with these campaigns shows a good use of a generous spend, at a time when more audiences are expecting to be entertained by brands. Intuit using theirs to partner with Pixar for a 4 minute extravaganza and Lexus tying up with Black Panther.
Ketan Lad | Creative Media Director