By Dave Marinaccio, Chief Creative Officer, LMO Advertising
Super Bowl XLIX was defined by strange calls from both coaches and advertisers. On the field, the Seahawks’ Pete Carroll’s head-scratching decision to pass rather than run the ball from the one-yard line in the final seconds cost his team the game.
During one of the commercial breaks, viewers watched agog as Nationwide used its time to tell the story of a dead child. This exercise in questionable taste introduced an air of depression into the normally festive Super Bowl atmosphere. It was almost like they killed the Budweiser puppy.
And it got stranger still as the CEOs of Sprint and T-Mobile faced off on Twitter. Each insulting the other’s commercial and exhibiting the type of judgment usually reserved for high school sophomores.
There was also little agreement on which ads were the best. McDonald’s concept of charging its customers hugs and compliments was both loved and hated. Dove’s “Daddy” spot was sweet, but only tangentially related to the product it was selling. The same is true of Lindsay Lohan’s “Sorta” spot for Esurance. Funny, but did anyone understand it?
About the only thing advertisers can count on is babies and puppies. And this Super Sunday was no different as Budweiser once again carried the day with its “Lost Puppy” spot (see spot above.) It will be interesting to see if by next year, he’s a dog.
Another strange development saw the number of hashtags actually went down in 2015, from 57% to 50%. Social media was still a big player—Facebook had over 260 million Super Bowl related posts—but most of the chatter was about the game not the ads.
Finally, to end on a positive note, the level of production value of these spots was at an all time high. The cinematography, editing and scoring show an industry at the top of its game. None more so than the Jeep commercial. It was stunning—just beautiful. And on a strange day, it made you feel that everything was okay.