Is it me or does time seem to be flying by waaay faster than usual? Yeah, I didn’t think it was me… Anyway, it’s the last of our Super Bowl recaps and they’ve all been great. Today, we hear from Sinclair Regional Promotion Director PETER FERRARO:
Subtlety sometimes speaks the loudest. No Super Bowl is void of in-your-face attention grabbing commercials…usually credited to cute critters and scantily clad Go Daddy babes. But that’s cool. Sex and critters usually achieve that goal. After all, the big dance is the world’s stage and advertisers must get noticed for 2.7 big ones. However, for me the big upset in Super Bowl XLII was the lower key approach of sweet redemption. Chuck over Underdog and Stewie (and ultimately Lucy). Charlie Brown finally did it. The loveable loser got his reward – but it was much more than a bottle of Coke. The thing that sold me on this spot were the effective subtleties…everything from the parade balloons’ special effects blending so well to the symbolic Lucy look-a-like. That’s right. Did you catch the little girl clutching the football? – just like the elusive pigskin Charlie Brown so badly yearned to kick but never did. The subtle effects (probably a combination of CGI and models) seamlessly drew you into the spot without diversion. There was no “Wow. Great animation! I love it so much I’m not even paying attention to the message” moment. Instead, you were instantly drawn right into the epic story of Good vs. Evil…Underdog vs. Stewie. It would have been easy to insert an abrupt musical break and cut away for a sure-fire laugh to some over-the-top goofy close up of shocked New Yorkers. But they stayed true to the tone of the spot and kept the focus on what was unfolding above…and it paid off. No one stole Chuck’s thunder when it was time for the climax. Instead, seeing our buddy’s baldhead emerge from behind the city skyline and rise to victory was the great payoff. Coke accomplished in 60 seconds what Lucy denied him of for decades…the triumph of blockhead over inflatable object. In your face Lucy! Then again, I could just be reading way too much into this.
Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t pick my favorite FOX promo. There were actually three of them – the series of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles bump-like spots that posed bot against bot. Very, very clever – in more ways than one. Not only was it cool to see The Terminator knock around that annoying FOX NFL robot (something all NFL viewers have probably dreamt of doing themselves…or is that just me?) but in the context of a show element like these bumps, FOX forced you to instinctively take notice – leading you to believe the commercial break was over and you were now returning to the game. “Hurry! Quit fighting Uncle Albert over the Cheez Whiz and get back to the TV – the game’s about to start!” They could have just run some 10 second spots but instead they integrated the creative into the event and were able to laugh at themselves in the process. The only disappointment was that the annoying FOX NFL robot lived…come on, I kid. By the way, I give an honorable mention to the Roethlisberger/American Idol spot. Hey, I’m a life-long member of the Steeler Nation. I had to give that one my blessing.
And RONN KILBY down the road in my fave, San Diego, weighs in with his quickie: My top 3 have to be:
1. Bridgestone Tires “Scream” Not just absurdly funny, but actually sells the product benefit of improved handling in a memorable way.
2. FedEx “Pigeons.” I laughed ’til I stopped. Art direction was very “Brazil.”
3. Tie between 3 trailers: “Leatherheads” “Wall-E” and “Wanted.” ALL of which I now can’t wait to see.
E-Trade “Baby” spots were creepy and fascinating, with great writing. Garmin “Napoleon” was fun but for me, not worth the trip.
“In life, stress happens when you resist what arises.” ~ Dan Millman