Area Marketing Gurus Weigh in on Super Bowl Ads

The 2018 Super Bowl ads have come and gone. Always one of the most anticipated advertising seasons of the year, the commercials between the plays often prove more entertaining than the football game itself. So how did this year’s crop of ads fare?

Hotty Toddy spoke with three area marketing wizards to get their takes on what commercials they thought worked, and which ads missed the goalpost. First let’s meet the team:

Steve Green. Photo by David Perea

Steve Green, a former Domino’s Pizza marketing specialist is also the founder and CEO of Oxford-based, internationally known PMQ Pizza Magazine

Josh Mabus. Photo courtesy of Marketing Money Podcast 

Josh Mabus founded Mabus Agency in 2008 with two goals in mind: to help people and to raise the creative bar in the advertising industry.

John Oxford. Photo courtesy of Marketing Money Podcast 

John Oxford is the marketing section instructor at the University of Mississippi’s Banking School and a member of the American Bankers Association’s Marketing Conference Board.

Mabus and Oxford also host their own marketing podcast, titled Marketing Money.

Steve Green: While the game of football has remained relatively the same since the first superbowl in 1966, the ads and the way they work come from a widening range of strategies. The more expensive ads become, the more advertisers want to get from their impact. And, the more creative they become.

John Oxford: There’s a formula to these advertisements. It’s music, icon, brand reveal. That’s what it always is. You hear the music or see the icon, one or the other order, and then the brand reveal.

Josh Mabus: I think what has passed is the formerly most exciting brands are now the duds.

JO: What’s the benefit to the customer? That’s what they say on almost every podcast. You have to bring value to the customer.

SG: Did you notice how many ads tried to fake you out? This year, the best fake out ad was Tide, who finally made an ad which was a collage of fake out ads. I’m such a sucker for getting faked out.

JO: I think [Tide] won. What was the other detergent company? Persil … If I’m their marketing department, I’m like, “We just got destroyed.” You know somebody thought “We’re going to be the only detergent ad this year,” and then they’re like, “Oh no!” I think this might be a good example of when not to advertise. As an advertising person, you look at [Persil] and you’re like, “Why’d you even get in the game?”

JM: Tide used their position as number one to make you guess whether every spot in the Super Bowl was going to be theirs. Tide wins.

JO: I kind of liked the laughing Sprint robots. I like juvenile humor.
JM: But are you going to switch brands because of that? I don’t know.

SG: Since I’m such a big fan of commercials that actually work, I must give my best commercial award to the Australian Tourism ad that faked me out thinking it was a movie trailer but ended up causing me to Google fares for the Land Down Under. I learned that fares are only $1,300 right now. Maybe, I’ll go.

JM: Weak ending. It was such a great setup! I think they should’ve lead [Danny McBride] on more and told him at the end.
JO: I don’t think they should’ve even let on that it wasn’t a movie. They may have to actually make the movie now.

SG: I give my “Can you remember who paid for the commercial?” award to the Diet Coke Mango Girl who looked the part of an actual flavored Diet Coke can. Tall and thin just like the product swishing around like a wave of liquid, and could you ever forget Danny DeVito convincingly playing the part of an M from M&M Fame?

JM: I think DeVito with M&M’s had a good concept, but bad copy.
JO: He got hit by a bus into a fruit stand.
JM: I felt there was so much potential, like this is what you came up with after that concept?

SG: About half of the commercials went for emotion as the primary method of making an impression, and Toyota made a big impression on me with the odds of winning an Olympic medal. The message was that Toyota has the technology and advertising that can move people. The Hyundai commercial was interactive with a real person who could have been any member of the audience going through a metal detector. This person was chosen to receive thanks for buying a Hyundai, which served a good cause and supercharged the emotional response of the ad.

JM: Dodge got hammered on social media for using Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech and commercializing it. Also Dodge sucked with the vikings thing. Kind of clever that they thought they were playing in the game, but…
JO: Nobody cares.
JM: Dodge Chrysler failed across the board. And the Jeep anti-manifesto ad? “Some people call it a manifesto.” You called it a manifesto! You can’t say, “They say!” It was you!”

JO: Tide won.
JM: I’m going to go watch Cloverfield now.

By Daniel Perea

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