Welcome to the Super Brew! Six AKHIA team members were cheering on their favorite teams during last night’s #SB48. Of course, we know the commercials are just as important, so they’ve chosen their favorite ads and let us know why. RadioShack’s spot won over many nostalgic hearts, but it had plenty of competition.
Ben Brugler: President
I liked RadioShack’s spot as both a marketer and consumer. As a consumer (and child of the 80s) I always loved going into RadioShack with my dad or grandpa. There were cool toys and gadgets to look at, and they always had the best remote control cars. As a marketer, I loved it because while RadioShack held a special place in my heart they were in need of a makeover. They still appeal to the tech-savvy audience but needed an update to match ‘the cool factor’ of today’s nerd. I also love it because it takes a good-natured swipe at itself. It’s a great update that not only sets the tone for a new brand but gives the company a chance to hit the reset button on some older campaigns that didn’t really resonate.
On a side note: My favorite commercial wasn’t really a commercial as much as a promo. Three words: Jack is back! (You know what I’m talking about…)
Patsie Dionise: Director, Content Development
As a long-time Browns fan, and considering I remember the fumble heard ’round the world, I wasn’t terribly upset to see the Broncos lose. (Not that I hold grudges or anything!) But, as far as the commercials went, Cheerios made me smile, Budweiser made me tear up (Clydesdales get me every time – add in a puppy and it’s all over), the Car Max slow clap made me laugh and, in the patriotism category, Chrysler and Weather-Tech (who?) went head to head.
I have to give it up to Radio Shack for doing a branding 180 in 30 seconds with the help of 80s childhood icons ALF, DeLorean, Mary Lou Retton and the Owl from the Clash of the Titans. Well done. “The 80s called, and they want their store back.”
Amanda Kleinhenz: Social Media Strategist
My favorite #SB48 brand didn’t pay for a spot on national TV to be watched by millions of viewers. Instead, @Tide took to Twitter and elevated real-time marketing to a whole new level. After each messy #superbowlcommercial aired, the Tide team created a 140-character rebuttal and 6-second reenactment to prove that Tide #getsitout.
This is a nice move for Tide, coming off last year’s successful ‘Miracle Stain’ and subsequent black out tweet. I liked seeing them capitalize on an engaged second screen audience to build its brand and social following – all while leveraging short-clip video in a way no other brand did nearly as well (although Newcastle tried with #IfWeMadeIt video-less tweets).
Mike Lawrence: Associate Creative Director
Even after watching decades of Super Bowl commercials, the Pistachio commercial with Stephen Colbert did something very few of those commercials do anymore: be surprisingly different while making a smart, subtle and strategic connection to its brand and product. It was the right commercial for the moment. I liked how the spot was divided into two parts (much like the nut itself). I liked how it mocked a brand’s expectations for a Super Bowl commercial (“We spent all this money and didn’t experience huge sales growth within 30 seconds. Do something!”). I liked how it incorporated – within its own story – the 30-second break between its two parts. So breaking the spot into two parts wasn’t a total gimmick. It made sense. I like how it nullified the spot that came between it. (Can you remember what commercial aired between the two pistachio parts? Me neither.) I liked Stephen Colbert’s performance. Totally deadpan, a perfect straight performance to the visual exaggeration within the spot. I liked the SFX when Stephen’s head cracked to reveal a smaller, greener Colbert-head, which is a memorable mnemonic on the unique design of a pistachio.
Finally, I liked how it was a huge improvement on last year’s Psy pistachio commercial (even though my kids loved it when Psy sang, “Crack your nuts now.”). Well crafted, pistachios.
Niki Forner: Associate Art Director
My favorite ad this year was the Radioshack 80s throwback spot. I thought, from both a marketing and a consumer perspective, that they did a great job of poking fun at themselves and how they were going to improve as a store. They clearly knew they have a reputation in the market of being “out of date” and really played that up in a fun way.
Taking off my marketer hat, I loved seeing the fun icons that I grew up with back on screen. Among them, the California Raisins were my absolute favorite. I don’t recall having seen a commercial from them in previous years, which made this a fun and unexpected concept from a lesser advertised brand.
Plus, Niki’s husband made sure that she give an honorable mention to the Doritos Time Machine spot. He says it was funny, clever, had good timing, and fit the theme the brand has been building over the last several years.
Nick Lake: Associate Art Director
At first I thought the Matrix wasn’t a very good reference for Kia to use. Then I got to thinking… I loved the Matrix when I was younger. So did a lot of guys that were 15-35. The Matrix is about 15 years old now (crazy to say that), so they’re marketing to their target perfectly. They’re going after the middle-aged man and slightly younger who may be thinking about buying a luxury vehicle. Using Morpheus and the choice that was so iconic to The Matrix, (choose the red or blue pill), is a brilliant reference. Ultimately the red pill revealed what the real world was and the blue pill would keep everything status-quo. Switch out pills for keys, make Kia the red key (because they want to change your mind on luxury) and voilà! You have a brilliant reference in a perfectly targeted commercial.
What was your favorite Super Bowl commercial?