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Super Bowl Sunday is an ad junkie’s dream. It’s one of the only times of the year that the general population actually looks forward to the commercial break. As for GRM, our eyes were certainly glued to the set. We asked some of our team to share with us their top picks. Here’s what they had to say:

April Voris
Tide: “Miracle Stain”
My pick is the Tide miracle stain. It was not only entertaining, but was relevant. It was over the top, but if you are a sports loving obsessed fan (like I am with the REAL TIDE!) then you can highly relate to the comedy of the whole thing. And the payoff was classic and a brilliant way to bring you back to what was being advertised and you actually remember the product. What a concept.


Mike Tyre

Wonderful Pistachios: “Get Crackin'”
Funny, entertaining. Identified product with being fun and lively. Yet, also got a major point of difference – pistachios have to be cracked. They almost always come packaged still in a shell. They played that up in a fun way.


Amanda Kirkland
Kia: “Space Babies”
A commercial filled with baby animals. Come on. How can you NOT love it? The spot actually started out a bit slow for me. But as soon as they hit the montage of astronaut babies screaming as they penetrated the atmosphere, I was chuckling along with the rest of my living room full of twenty-somethings. The spot ended perfectly, with a nice shot of the third row backseat. Plenty of space for more babies in the Kia Sorento!


Sarah Crytzer

Taco Bell: “Viva Young”
I am in LOVE with this clever ad by Taco Bell. Known as a place to get a fourth meal, the company added a whole new dimension to the campaign when they released this commercial during the Super Bowl. Think a fourth meal is only for 20 somethings? WRONG! These old folks show us that it doesn’t matter what your age, you can enjoy Taco Bell (and a night on the town) even in your 80s! I admit, every time I watch this video I literally LOL. Genius marketing, with almost 1.2 million views in a week to prove its brilliance!


Alan Whitley
Mercedes-Benz: “Soul”
As both an ad guy and a fan of the violence and mayhem of football, I see the Super Bowl as two awesome pinnacles in one. It is a contest between the two best American-style football teams on earth, and a contest between advertising agencies that will attempt to set new bars for communication. My top of the heap was the Mercedes CLA spot that featured a pale Willem Dafoe as old Scratch himself. For me, it was the kind of spot that belongs in the Super Bowl. It was memorable for the right reasons, made the right point, showed the product a lot. Basically, it made us lusty for a CLA, which is the exactly what it should have done. Also, it’s just plain fun to spoil Satan’s fun.


Jennifer Germain
Budweiser: “Brotherhood”
Heartfelt! It really evoked emotion. Love. Who doesn’t want to be loved? And the bond between those who love. Plus, I’m a native of St. Louis and am proud of my hometown; the hometown of Anheuser Busch!


Jan Sharrow
Dodge Ram: “Farmer”
I found this very patriotic; more-so than the jeep spot. The photography was beautiful and it was very well written. If the Dodge truck is tough enough for our farmers, that says a lot for the truck.

Yes Super Bowl is about the football, if you know anything about our office you know we love football. But it is also all about the ads and we love to talk about them. Wasn’t it your water cooler chatter today? It certainly was ours and we asked our team to weigh in on their favorites. Here is what they had to say:

Mike Tyre, Managing Partner:  The Chrysler ad

“One ad stood out.  It was totally about today.  Truthfully with just a little editing, viewers might have considered it a part of the programming.  The commercial was Chrysler.  It is getting widely praised as the “best of” for this Super Bowl.  Three reasons why.  First, in a sea of ads trying to be humor, be clever or tell you how smart or great they are, Chrysler talked about you … or the American people.  It reflected the angst and the polarization in this country’s political climate.  And, it offered a solution … “Americans get behind Detroit.”  Made you feel it.  Great casting.  As a contrast, GE ran a couple of ads.  They were frankly boring.  Why?  They are talking about what they are doing and their people.  Employees and stockholders maybe will like it, but nothing on the emotive meter.  Secondly, terrific positioning.  A great play of media placement and messaging.   Third, people look to brands that can aspire something greater.  In a game that represents the culmination of dreams for players, Chrysler connected their brand.  Not to buying sheet metal, but to being a part of “rekindling” the American Dream.  How can you not jump on that train?  Did it sell cars?  I know this.  A lot of people who wouldn’t have considered Chrysler at all are at least thinking about them now.  Chrysler at least got into the consideration stage for a lot of viewers.  That makes their commercial the MVP of Super Bowl ads.”

Bob Richardson, Copywriter: The Audi Vampires Ad

“An unusual scenario for top tier car brand. This spot uses a pop cult vampire spin to sell the product’s incomparable feature — the Audi brand’s ultra-powerful headlights. They shine on a group of vampires at night, like daylight, making vampires disappear. Even the vampire driver, amused and passing in front of the Audi’s headlights, vanishes in light of Audi’s mystical product feature. The joke IS the product — not detached — therefore effective.”

Jan Sharrow, Designer:  The Budweiser Eternal Optimism ad

“The nostalgic time line of the Budweiser – 2012 – Eternal Optimism ad. Budweiser has been around for many years and this ad illustrates how the brand has been a part of our history. It’s fun to watch snapshots of years gone by in a positive party setting. There are scenes from history from times before I was born until now. It gets more emotional to see times in history that I lived through such as the scene from the 1980’s. Make me want to party.”

April Voris, Partner:  The Honda Ferris Bueller ad

“My pick is the Honda commercial with Mathew Brodrick. It tapped into a nostalgia that anyone in a certain target age will relate, and this happens to be a target for the CRV. Even the last detail of the valet was brilliant.”

Amanda Kirkland, Producer:  The Kia ad

“I was born and raised in Alabama. Which means one thing for sure: I have no allegiance when it comes to NFL. So each year when the Super Bowl rolls around, the commercials are the highlight of my night.  My favorite commercial of the evening was the Kia spot. Which really surprised me. It opened up with a very creppy minion sneaking around people’s bedrooms, sprinkling pixie dust. I didn’t like it at all. Until the overdose of pixie dust resulted in the ultimate man-dream.  Between the macho man riding a bucking rhino and a monstrous sandwich being sawed in half by lumberjacks, I was in stitches. But my favorite part? When our hero rescued his leading lady – his wife – with the message that a Kia is a normal car for normal people. Good job, Kia.”

Charissa Schultz, Designer:  The Budweiser Weego ad

“I loved the Budweiser commercial with the dog named “Weego.” Besides the fact that I love ads with pets in them, It was entertaining to the very end, yet you never lost sight of the product in all the shenanigans with the dog. After carrying bottles to all the individual guests, Wego brought in a keg when he saw the crowd joining the party. And at the end, he came floating by in the pool with yet another cold Bud.  Even with all the going’s on, this ad subtly showed:  1. You can enjoy the product not only in bottles, but also by the keg.  2. It was a good refreshment for when you have a couple of friends over, or when you have a crowd.  3. People enjoy the product both inside and outdoors.  But the best reason to love this ad is that the owner stated at the very beginning that Weego was a “rescue dog.” That was an excellent ( and subtle – using only two words) way to show that the company cared about animal rights and supported finding homes for homeless pets.  And that earned this commercial a five-star rating from me!!”

Ashley Schoenith, Director of Social Media & Engagement:  Beyond TV

“Beyond the TV, I was impressed by some of the creative ways in which marketers capitalized on social for this year’s Superbowl – and Twitter lead the way. Chevy shines again through their sponsorship of trending topic #Superbowl. The folks at Shazam should be giving themselves a pat on the back too – I think I counted 6 different commercials that plugged them in some way. American Express and Pizza Hut partnering for a Super Swarm Sunday promotion on FourSquare – also a nice touch. A few Facebook Ad buys from Toyota and The Voice seem to have garnered some interest, allowing us to engage back with the brand. The only thing missing for me? Pinterest of course. Maybe next year…”

The Super Bowl is a unique experience in the marketing business. It is one of the very few events that that the audience actually welcomes a commercial interruption.

Most of the time, anyway. What works and what doesn’t?

It’s a social event. So, the audience wants to be entertained. No, they really aren’t interested in your selling message. Why some of the so-called favorite Super Bowl ads are not well-remembered. But, the vast majority have one thing in common – they are comedic in theme. This is a double-edged sword, as those that are rated the worst tend to be humor-based ads that simply miss the mark. So, you not only need to be funny. But good funny.

Advertisers are playing in the Super Bowl. Best game. Biggest audience of the year. Biggest name advertisers. Most expensive placement. And, the winning ads recognize all this and go all out in production. You are not being seen in a normal television program. The costs are high. Why would an advertiser pay the media costs and not put equal emphasis on creativity and production values? The winning advertisers do such.

Which leads to the final point. Some of the historic winning advertisers in Super Bowl broadcasts take the last point to an extreme. They created a commercial that  ran ONLY during the Super Bowl and for that one broadcast only. Conventional wisdom suggests you take advantage of the production outlay and the initial awareness and air the commercial in a subsequent schedule. But, several notable advertisers have opted for the “one and done” creative production to great success, most notably Apple and Master Lock. In fact, Apple’s “1984” Macintosh introduction commercial has widely been viewed by the ad industry as the all-time commercial.

While it can be said that sports teams of all shapes & sizes have Zealots, fans for their brand, a simple post on Zealotry in sports seemed in order, in light of yesterday’s Super Bowl victory by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Fans who consider themselves members of “Steeler Nation” seem to be some of the most loving of all sports franchises out there, with an unusually high propensity  to travel with the team and a widespread fan base at that – with fan clubs in over 20 states and 4 foreign countries.

As reported by the Baltimore Sun, here are a few more reason we’d consider Steelers fans to be a Zealous bunch.

– They consistently draw higher television ratings in their own market than any other franchise in the NFL. (The 15 highest-rated shows in Pittsburgh in 2008 were Steelers games).

– Steelers Nation shows its strength by traveling in force, kind of like the fan base for a major college program (3 to 1 in fact for this years Super Bowl).

– According to figures compiled from NFLShop.com, they ranked third in merchandise sales behind the Cowboys and New York Giants between April and the end of 2008. They ranked first in the six months after their last Super Bowl win in 2006.

And a nice touch for the coaches & players alike to recognize these fans for being loyal supporters of the team.  With a tough economy ahead, a few smart Zealotry actions should be in place to give back to these fans, to lock them in as supporters, leverage their word-of-mouth, and to solidify ticket sales for next season. The best time to communicate to your Zealots is “often & always” – but especially following a Super Bowl win.

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