If you’re like I am, then you probably watch the Super Bowl primarily for the ads and the onion dip (no chicken wings for this vegetarian). And last night’s game did not disappoint on either front. I’m including some quick commentary on the best and worst ads. Ironically, almost all of these ads had one thing in common: storytelling. But while some used this technique brilliantly, others, well, fumbled. Here are my two faves:
- Google: This ad is embedded above and the concept is breathtakingly simple. No screaming chickens or houses made of beer cans. In fact, you actually have to read to get the point of the ad (that Google search is there for you at any stage of life). I love how they told a Parisian love story through keyword searches. It puts the product at the heart of the ad without getting too cheesy or complicated. It also shows that storytelling, not bells and whistles, is the way to go.
- Audi: Here the story centers on a series of short scenes involving the green police. Then the payoff comes when an Audi driver gets singled out and commended for using clean diesel. It’s a clever way to show, not tell, that this Audi is eco-friendly. And anyone who’s been pulled over by a police officer can appreciate the last scene of this ad!
And the two ads that let me down:
- Cars.com: The set-up for this ad is actually pretty good. I was intrigued by this precocious little kid who’s putting out fires and saving baby tigers. Someone at the party I attended said she thought it was an ad for a funny new sitcom. Then comes this awkward transition where they talk about how even smart people need help picking out the right car. And … they lost me and everyone else in the room (seriously, I heard a collective groan). Somehow they set us up for something incredibly interesting and then let us down. Maybe because the introductory scenes had nothing to do with the product.
- Doritos: This ad gets creativity points for filling a casket with Doritos as a fan’s “dying wish,” but the concept is totally tacky. The idea that someone would stage their own funeral so they could get out of work and eat Doritos paints fans as irresponsible and immature! I’m guessing most people who’ve sat through a close family member’s funeral would agree with me. I did like this Doritos ad about a trio of Dorito eaters at the gym, though.
If case you missed them, you can watch all of last night’s Super Bowl ads on Hulu’s AdZone. Which ads did you love (or hate)? What does this say about copywriting and/or storytelling?