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There Should Be Playoffs for TV Commercials

Most of the TV spots we saw February 6
should never have made it to the Super Bowl
You have millions of dollars to spend on producing one or two TV commercials. Now pretend you have several million dollars more to run a commercial during the most-watched TV event in U.S. history. And finally, since you’re fantasizing, picture having close to a year to create the spot, as well as dozens of talented people working full time on it.
Now let me ask you this: Don’t you think you could have produced better spots than ones we saw during Super Bowl XLV?
If you’re Coke and you have 111 million viewers tuning in to see your price-is-no-object spot, what would you do?
Do you let your agency create a spot with Soviet Block-style guards walking back and forth at a remote border crossing and sharing a Coke? Which of course is supposed to be the start of world peace.
Wrong era, wrong part of the world, wrong cultures, and a rip-off of the original “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” concept. This was from the original Nike agency Wieden and Kennedy. Geez…come on.
Where are the breakthrough ideas? Where are the spots everyone SHOULD be talking about? The E-Trade baby was great a few years ago. And it’s still humorous, but getting tiresome. 
Nothing else really popped. A few people liked the two-minute “Imported From Detroit” spot, but the car was not really the star. It was a good concept, but Chrysler products don’t generate much consumer confidence. So you get the impression they’re saying, “OK, our product isn’t great — but it’s American, so give us some points for that.”

GoDaddy spots continue to be so trashy/sleazy it makes me feel dirty to let the pervert owner host my clients’ websites. Although the Joan Rivers spot was very funny.

I’ve read all about the backlash concerning the Groupon spots that mocked social causes. I guess I could be more upset if the spots themselves weren’t so confusing. WAY too sophisticated for the end user.

On the flip side, some other car ads — Mercedes and Kia, for example — broke out and scored some brand-building equity. Local bias aside, the Chevy Cruise scored great with the young demo and the social media/dating spin.
The NFL, which really doesn’t need to sell anything at this point, actually did a great job with putting NFL jerseys on old sitcom characters, including the Fonz from Happy Days with a Green Bay jersey and Tony from The Sopranos sporting a Jets jersey.
But for the most part, this year’s ads actually make you miss the stupid beer commercials — with Clydesdales passing gas and Cedric the Entertainer squirting his beer all over his date.
I guess the good thing is that this year, the game was a lot more memorable than the commercials. And to everyone except us marketing consultants — that’s what it’s supposed to be.

Stay tuned and stay smart.

About The Author

  • Author | George Farris
George Farris is CEO and Senior Brand Coach at Farris Marketing. Connect with George on LinkedIn using the icons above.

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