I look forward each year, as do millions, to being entertained during the Super Bowl by the “awesome creativity” of the best of the best creative communication geniuses. However this year with, OK, yes, a few exceptions, I think the ads were self-absorbed flops. Yup, at a time when communication, branding and creativity should be at their highest levels, we give out our 1st Reality Check W.T.F.* (*Winners, Toss-Ups & Flops) Flop Award to the collective body of 2011 Super Bowl advertising.
Pardon me for being a stickler for details, but isn’t advertising, heck any brand communication, supposed to be about imparting information— lasting, memorable information— about that brand? For me, the majority of spots were nothing more than production bloat, what-celebrity-can-we-buy, whose CGI are better than whose, and who can out-outlandish who. Brand messages were sacrificed to industry and client egos. “Will they pass it on?” trumped “will they know anything about my brand?” and certainly beat out “will they change behavior because of it?”
Unaided, I remembered 2 spots the next day that I loved — Bridgestone/Beaver and Mini Cooper/Game Show. Despite the controversy that the Mini spot is apparently generating, both spots were memorable for the exact benefit that the brand needed you to understand.
While the Doritos: House Sitting was comical, what do I now know or believe about Doritos that is important? I don’t think they bring dead things to life (do they?) And while the Volkswagon: Darth Vader spot is unbelievably adorable, all I know is that the Passat has an automatic starter. But so so does the car (whose brand I can’t recall) that the wife can start from the airplane just to entertain her hubby and his friend. Big deal. Will it make me choose that car?
Just because I remember an ad, doesn’t mean I remember the brand or the message.
What are we about, the ads or the messages they tell? I think I am in the minority believing it’s the latter. Better luck in 2012.