I know it's almost 72 hours late, but I'm here with my Super Bowl ad review. Here is the one thing that I learned: most brands completely lack a real strategy (Newsflash, go figure).
But there is a real reason for this.
The Super Bowl is a rare time when advertising is not considered intrusive by the consumer; we not only accept the ads but we anticipate them, discuss them and love or hate them.
What's different about the Super Bowl? We consider Super Bowl ads as entertainment and not just another branding tactic. Therefore, the name of the game is usually be funny or get off the stage.
Thus its become a race to be most discussed the next day and strategy is sacrificed as a result.
The most obvious offenders are the breweries.
Anheuser-Busch had spots for three different brands; Budweiser, Bud Light and Budweiser Select 55. While these line-extensions already reflect poor marketing strategy, the ad's don't convey what is unique about each brand.
I particularly recall Bud Light abandoning the "Drinkability" theme for "Here We Go." Huh? Go where? It simply couldn't say less about the product.
Also I was shocked at the line-extension strategy being employed by Dove. After one of the best ad campaigns in recent memory (The Campaign for Real Beauty), they crashed the Super Bowl to line-extend the Dove brand to men...certainly, at the expense of the core brand.
However, there were some positives to the event.
The David Lettermen Show ad won all around. The shock of it swept the press off it's feet the next day but it also said a lot about the show; we're a funny late night show and we don't take ourselves real serious. Meanwhile, it provided some much needed image repair for both Lettermen and Jay Leno. Awesome.
I also loved Google's love ad. The ad was simple and tied in a universal concept: love. But I truly love it because it reinforced Google's true brand: the best search engine in the world. It wasn't about phones and all that other junk they're starting to push.
I was also struck by the Teleflora ad. Sure, it was funny; but it does a fantastic job repositioning the other flower companies. With Teleflora, the flowers are fresh, hand delivered and come in a vase. Hey, you actually learn something!
As an honorable mention, Audi. It was funny and had a developed strategy: the Greenest Car available. My only knock is that I don't think the Audi name was that memorable. In fact, a couple people I talked to didn't remember it was for an Audi because it appeared so briefly in the ad.
Want to watch them again? Then, tell me what you think? What did you like? What did you not like? But keep in mind, in branding, strategy is king.