Super Bowl Ad Phonies

I’m sure you are one of the 10 million people that has viewed Budlight’s “Ian Up for Whatever” Film on YouTube. If not, you saw it broken down into smaller commercials during the Superbowl game yesterday.  When I watched I was struck with déjà vu. I thought, “Isn’t this a rip off of Heineken’s viral videos “The Date” “Departure Roulette” and “The Decision?” Yes, Budlight ad executives weren’t too creative with this one. Heineken has been using this idea for over a year and has garnered over 14 million views for the three videos combined. They’re actually great, go check them out! Luckily for Budlight, many people have not seen the Heineken ads because they were only released on their branded YouTube channel. This upset me as I love Budlight and they usually have good advertising. This of course made me seriously start to assess other advertisements that were released for the Superbowl.

The overall consensus of this year’s advertisements was that they were bad. I agree. Why? All the companies went for easy tactics. I mean at least SodaStream was upfront about their cheap ploy of using Scarlett Johansson as a sex symbol to go and I quote from her mouth “go viral.” As I have stated many times before, consumers are getting smarter and easy marketing will not be successful or sustainable. SodaStream was called out on Twitter and Facebook for taking the easy route. On Superbowl Sunday, everyone is an advertising expert and analyst. As a marketer, yesterday should have taught you that this year you’re going to have to dig deeper into consumer insights and be more creative. As horrible as the actual football game was, the brand bowl between companies was just as brutal to watch. There were no winners.

Think about the ads you saw. How many were trying to tug on your heart strings by using puppies and veterans? Most of them. I’m hoping we will get back to creative advertising for big events that stands the test of time and doesn’t go the easy route. Marketers, it’s time to go back to the advertising playbook and draw up something new.



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