Bad Girl, Good Business

Immediate Gratifiers & Spoilers: Super Bowl Part 1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Indulge me in this feminist/marketer/sports viewer rant for a few minutes…

  • Can’t we ever be surprised anymore?
  • Should I be happy — or cynical — that advertisers are acknowledging women and minorities?
  • And do I really need to be on the field with the players? Or wear a silly “helmet?”

As much as I’ve loved watching the previews of the Super Bowl 51 ads online, I’m saddened that the ad industry is now taking the wrapping paper off all the birthday presents long before the special day.

We marketers used to delight in sitting down for the game and pleading with our friends to be quiet during the ads, so we could share with our friends and colleagues on Monday morning our perspectives and opinions on branding, creative, cinematography and controversy.

But now that the cat is out of the proverbial bag, I can at least put my opinions out there prior to kick-off and tortilla chips. So here I go…

It’s clearly the year of the underdog and the woman on top (at least so far):

  • The Audi ad made me love Audi (I think)…and continue to speak up for equal pay for equal work for women. Are things better than they were when I entered the workplace in 1977? A little. But not 100%. Just 80% to be exact. Whether Audi is running the ad to pander or to educate, it worked for me.
  • GoDaddy sort of redeemed itself. I boycotted the company for a year because of their sexist advertising. As a female founder, was I really goes to choose my hosting company because a woman with big boobs purred at the screen? C’mon boys! The good news is that their 2017 ad is clever…and included a subtle shout-out to women.
  • Budweiser didn’t beat around the Busch in their bold spot. Although it was shot before the election, airing it will get people thinking and talking about immigration. Cheers to you!
  • Although  GNC executives will spend a lot of time (and money) posturing and pouting, the NFL’s rejection of their ad created great publicity regardless. I still don’t quite get why it’s not wrong to buy 36 ounces of sugar-filled drinks at convenience stores, but people are worried about ingredients sold at a natural products retailer.
  • The woman who gets hot for Mr. Clean creeped me out. Is nothing sacred? He was a brand icon for me growing up…not a sex object. What’s next? Mr. Peanut stripping down to his boxers (or briefs)? I’m a brand purist (or puritan), I suppose.
  • LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the Mercedes spot. Great targeting. Great music. Great concept. Peter Hopper. The Coen Brothers can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned. I’d love that car too. And speaking of love, the Skittles ad was really cute.

Now back to the big game itself:

Technology is “enhancing” or destroying sports viewership, depending on how you look at it.

  • This will be the first game ever broadcast in virtual reality. This article made me sad. I envisioned some poor guy sitting by himself wearing the geeky headset. Is that really fun.
  • You can tweet, post, and cheer online and support your favorite brands. Here’s how…platform by platform.
  • Cameras will enable you to “Be the Player.” Do I really want to be the player? I kinda want to sit on the couch and drink a beer.

Turning Spuds MacKenzie into a ghost was sort of brilliant…and sort of fitting. We are living in a new era. Partying is not dead…it’s just changed. And despite the digital previews of ads and the VR enhancements, getting together with a bunch of people you like (hopefully) to watch the big game is really what’s important. Oh yeah…and the chips too!

P.S. Part 2 of my ad and game critique will “air” after the game. Wish my company was celebrating Smunday! Now THAT’S a clever way to save $5 million and get some good press!



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