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Advertising, Pernille Fruensgaard Øe

Super Bowl 2012. Ads without concepts.

It is true, that the SuperBowl is not only one of the biggest sports events in the media, but also the framing for the unofficial television advertising World Cup. But how is creativity and production value holding up in the outskirts of the economic crisis? Is this the place to give it all you’ve got? Or will the impact of cut downs in marketing budgets show through? We are many, who have looked forward to seeing the results of this years’ most expensive insertions.

And to be honest. It was very disappointing. For 50 % of the ads, I wished that they have found a less expensive commercial break to show their ad – and instead use a bit (or a lot) more on both creative development and production value. Yes, it is true that most of the Super Bowl viewers are already drunk and skewed to the male side of the population, but you need to be really drunk to see through production value this low.

On the creative side, the ads where ranging from really lame to okay. Only few stood out. Back to those later. On the lame side, it was horrifying to see how the creative fell into the feared creative “save zone” of funny dogs, cute babies, sexy women (and men – thank you H&M) and the lowest common denominator for human emotions. It is cheap tricks and will not score high on any creative hit list, even though a few of the ads where quite funny. But funny “haha”, not at the least “aha”.

But besides creative save zones and low production value, there was a lack of conceptual framing for the ads. If any focus group should elaborate on the greater meaning of the content or the intention of the commercials, most of the ads would met a simple “I think they want to sell stuff”-answer. This is really sad. The biggest advertising scene in the world is used merely to short term goals. Where is the ambitions and the big, big ideas?

Yes, many of the advertiser could argue that there is elements of long term branding in just the context and even in the content. But really? Would really have liked seeing the pitches (or the briefings) for these. Please seeks back to the virtues of classic television ads. Make us feel something. Real entertainment is not only about the laugh (or the attempt to make us laugh). It is about feelings. And about having a story to tell. Something so valuable that I want to talk about it afterwards. Only few of the ads this year deserves this.

But besides this, it is not all bad.

Personally, I get really touched by the Chrysler Ads. The campaign launch last year with star rapper Eminem. The concept is “Imported from Detroit” highlighting the true american dreams of struggling, fighting and learning to rise after a fall. It is very patriotic and one could say, too much. But it works and in the depth of the crisis it talks to the american soul of hard work and success.  Olivier Francois, president and CEO, Chrysler Brand, Chrysler Group LLC says, “The new tagline was created to convey the message that one does not have to cross an ocean to obtain luxury, its available right here”. (Due to the merger with Fiat, this message is important to the Chrysler brand, ensuring the customers that they are still true american)

This is something more of selling products. It is selling hope, dreams and the spirit of america. And besides that, great work with the context of the ad in the halftime.

And here’s a few other favorites.

Honda CR-V. Just because I love (all) the Ferris Buller-references. With 57 views on the old videotape, we actually get them.

Kia Optima. Great concept of what would happen if the sandman actually drop the whole bag of dream powder. Great idea. And I like the shot where he rides the Rhino.

McDonalds. Touching. A bit too much. But it works.

M&M. Because you actually want to see it again. And again.



One thought on “Super Bowl 2012. Ads without concepts.

  1. Totally agree. Although I had hoped that the cut down in budgets would have forced people to think a little differently and be a tad more creative. Oh well!

    Posted by Lara MuladyLara | February 7, 2012, 11:37 am

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