September 1, 2021
Having watched the Super Bowl XLVII online, I didn’t get the full treatment of commercials, but I did take a peek the other day. Not sure if I saw all of them, but these were three I remembered.
I loved how this felt. It was beyond slick graphics and fancy presentation. It was about the earth and the dirt and those who make life come out of it. I don’t think this would have worked had it not been for 1) Paul Harvey (one of the most iconic radio voices representing “America”) and 2) the speech having been written by Paul Harvey himself for a separate occasion in 1978 and not just a great copywriter.
It is difficult to convey authenticity these days when everything is so polished and gone over. That’s what makes the Ram Trucks commercial so special. They reduced things down to the core essence and then were bold enough to say, "Let's just get out of the way." Rather than creating something, it feels more like they captured something and are just there to share. A big difference. It was a bit long at a tad over two minutes, but this is about a close as an ad can get to simply reading poetry on the air.
Know your audience and make it relevant to them. Tide shows here why it’s the most wanted laundry brand in America (literally, read here to see why). What makes this work is the payoff. This is less a commercial and really more of a micro-drama. To see what a commercial looks like without a payoff at the end take at look at this one I couldn't help but find really irritating.
What makes this work is that it gets in and out quickly in terms of its core message and leaves a powerful association to carry the brand in other ways later on. I'm not sure how this will sit with hardcore runners, but I think they are building the right pieces for brand associations they can leverage later on. It's also possible that I liked this one just because I grew up watching a healthy dose of this.
What makes these three impactful is that I not only enjoyed them, but also remembered them. There were a number of car commercials, for example, that were interesting, but they all kind of bled into one another without really leaving me with something to hold onto. I don't really remember which one was which. And if you're spending up to $4 million for a spot, you'd think that that would be one of the first things you'd have at the top of the list.