The Ad Bowl is one of the most popular events of the year for the American Marketing Association. This year’s star panelists delivered insights on what they thought were the best and worst ads and were split on what worked and what didn’t.
Rave review. The panel overwhelmingly voted that 84 Lumber’s “The Entire Journey” featuring a mother/daughter trek from Mexico to America worked because it was beautifully filmed, emotionally evocative, and it pushed viewers online to see the finale. And since 84 Lumber isn’t a well-known brand, their ad successfully inserted them into the national conversation, where, until now, they never had a seat at the table.
Mixed review. The other big winner for creativity in the eyes of the panel was Audi’s “Daughter”, which addressed issues of feminism and sexism through the story of a young girl’s soapbox derby win. But social media erupted after the ad aired claiming Audi was being disingenuous with their message because of their own lackluster record of equal pay. So, if you’re going to spend millions of dollars to tackle a big issue in front of 110 million people, be sure you are walking the walk.
Bad review. The most prominent example of a fail was the live Snickers ad featuring Adam Driver, one of the stars from the show Girls. All five panel members felt like it was a great concept but poorly executed. It didn’t live up to its hype and didn’t use the live broadcast to its fullest advantage.
In general, the panelists thought the sheer quality of ads once again raised the bar, and agreed that the Super Bowl offers a unique context for ad viewing which allows more latitude for emotional appeals and humor than any other medium. Another important consideration; where your ad ends up in the broadcast and which ad you follow matters. An example? The heart-strings-tugging Audi ad followed by the sexy new Mr. Clean was a jolt for some.
The panel and the moderator were terrific and it was a thoroughly thoughtful exploration of what worked for brands during the big game. Thanks AMA, Well, done!