Saturday, February 19, 2011

Thirty Seconds Worth 1,000 Words?

It is an old cliché but one that certainly applies to the Super Bowl commercials. Now that a couple of weeks have passed since the big game, I am intrigued by my co-workers conversations about the ads. At roughly $3 million each just to broadcast, the commercials and the products they pitched should stay in people’s minds. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Volkswagen scored big. They knocked it out of the park. People are still talking about the little Darth Vader. I don’t think I’ve reacted so positively to a commercial since the Pepsi ad featuring the Labrador puppies scampering over the little boy. Another contender for #1 was the Dorito commercial in which the fish and the plant were revived by eating Doritos. My coworkers continue to laugh about it. Congratulations, Doritos. You have a winner.

The Doritos ad used humor. Volkswagen tugged our heart strings. All the winning commercials over the years have connected a universal human emotion to the product. In Volkswagen’s case, we remember how it felt to believe in something so thoroughly that we knew it must be true.

Other commercials were memorable this year but perhaps because they were poorly done. Everyone reacted to Kim Kardashian but no one remembered what she was selling. Most thought it was a sports drink. And all recalled “those babies” but couldn’t name the brokerage firm they represented.

It is important to convey the message but it is critical that the whole message be received to be successful. Think back. Can you name the products featured in your favorite Super Bowl ads? Which ads were the real winners?