Building your brand identity is important. Television ads can do a lot for your brand; they provide a direct way to speak to your customer. That said, consumer ads still have one major purpose: to sell a product. Brand building ads are great, but they shouldn’t lose sight of what they are advertising.
This year’s Super Bowl ads fell short of this requirement by a long shot. Only one or two actually made us interested in seeking out the product (or service) they were advertising. The rest of them were repetitive, and didn’t even make an effort to bring in new users. Doritos went with their usual “animal loves Doritos” gimmick, and the Pepsi ad was based around a party. Overall, the ads didn’t actually bring anything new to the table.
As with any rule, there were a few exceptions. Here are some of the best (and worst) ads aired this year.
Budweiser – Black Crown
Budweiser ran multiple ads this year, but this particular campaign caught our attention. Micro brews have been growing in popularity, and Budweiser made a beer appealing to those tastes.
These ads really shone in the way they presented the beer. While Budweiser is often seen as an economical product, the Black Crown ads showed a beverage that might appeal to a higher cost deomographic. They gave it class and style. Most of all, they appealed to customers outside of their normal demographic.
Oreo – Whisper
This was one of the only ads this year that actually got a laugh out of us. The situation was funny, and the juxtaposition of whispers and action only made it better. Everyone had Oreos as a kid, and this advertisement made us think about how much we enjoyed them. We didn’t necessarily want to rush out and buy a package of cookies, but we sure had fun.
Godaddy – Big Idea
This was surprisingly tame for a Godaddy spot; it didn’t have any overtly sexual women at all. It successfully told you why you should buy their product, not just how.
Of course, the ad lost a lot of it’s thunder after their other Super Bowl ad this year. The second one was just generally disgusting; no one wants to listen to someone else making out.
Coke – Cameras
Coke usually has an amazing ad for the Super Bowl. This year, we weren’t impressed. Sure, the ad was sentimental; but it came with a Big Brother-esque feel. We know security cameras are everywhere, and that fact doesn’t make us comfortable.
Taco Bell – Viva Young
Taco Bell had several ads this year, but this one was our favorite. It was funny enough to draw us in, and kept us interesting the entire way through. It also made great use of the song “We Are Young” by Fun. The Spanish lyrics were just different enough to grab our attention, and make us wonder what exactly the ad was about. Overall, this ad was incredibly well executed.
Car Ads: Mercedes vs. Audi and RAM vs. Jeep
There wasn’t a lot of variety in car ad concepts this year, but there was plenty of difference in execution. Take a look at these two ads, one by Mercedes and the other by Audi.
Both of them approached the same concept: buy this car, and it will give you everything that you want. Hands down, the Mercedes-Benz ad execution of the concept scores the touch down.
Likewise, two other ads shared a similar concept: RAM and Jeep.
Both of these ads tried to be patriotic. However, we felt that Jeep went a little too far. You can be patriotic without trying to piggyback on someone else’s cause.
RAM did no such thing. Their ad was strong and spirited. It told us what kind of people buy RAM trucks, and why those people are great. It tugged heartstrings, while giving us a sense of American pride.
If we had to pick one winning ad, this would be it.