January 29, 2015

My Super Bowl Ad Scorecard

On Sunday we will be subject to the annual festival of excess known as the Super Bowl.

This year, it's The Cheaters versus The Asshats. It's hard to find someone to root for. So let's root for the ads.

Inside the advertising and marketing communities the Super Bowl is thought of as the litmus test for advertising creativity. It is not.

While Super Bowl spots are usually bigger and more expensive than regular spots, they are also generally more formulaic.

Below are 6 often used templates for Super Bowl spots.

I prefer to wait for Christmas to open my presents, so I have not gone online to look at the 2015 crop. I'm going to keep track of how many of the ads adhere to the tried and true formulas.
1. Anthropomorphic Animals: In these spots, animals either speak or display human emotions. I guarantee the number one fan-rated spot will be one of these.

2. Celebrity Out Of Water: A famous person in a fish-out-of-water situation. These spots are supposed to be funny but, tragically, seldom are.

3. Automotive Adventure: Someone in a car is pursued/challenged/threatened by aliens/spies/evil-doers/cartoon characters. Lots of expensive computer-generated imagery is employed to save the day.

4. Trailer Trash: Movie trailers in which 30 seconds of weapons, explosions, and havoc are employed to promote films. Later this week the same Hollywood morons that created these monstrosities will be testifying before congress about their hatred of violence and commitment to gun control.

5. I'll Do Anything For A _______: The hero of the spot does something outrageous to get his hands on the product in question, and is usually comically injured or otherwise humiliated for his effort. These spots are doubly Super Bowl-ish when the hero is an animal.

6. America The Beautiful: A drippy tribute to the servicemen/workers/farmers/nurses/mothers/dry cleaners of this great country of ours.
Now that the NFL has deflated our balls, let's hope they don't deflate our expectations.


Sam Carrington said...

"like a girl" breaks the mold a bit. http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/hugely-popular-girl-campaign-always-will-return-sunday-super-bowl-ad-162619

uglymugagency said...

Too bad that "like a Girl" campaign is only 1/10th as good as the "This Girl Can" campaign in the UK which sells nothing but empowerment.


debbers said...

It's all about the "storytelling." Which means make some ad that plays on people's emotions and has nothing to do with the product being sold.

Doug Oakes said...

and here I thought this year was all about dads. We're great this year you know.