Super Bowl advertisements this year in between the one-sided gridiron play resembled a feel good narrative for all viewing the 48th playing of one of America’s greatest sports past times. So long are the days of risqué television ads with scantily-clad women, the beer-guzzling youthful, and horsepower-driven automotive segments. This year, super bowl ads seemed moderated and serious.
Where did the sexy women go? People know that when a GoDaddy commercial comes on, men are the first to push down on the upright lever on their recliners and enjoy racy commentary and visuals around the advertisement of a website. However, the male-centric premise that jolted the ads to trending status wasn’t all there. For the Super Bowl, GoDaddy swapped boobs and babes for small business advertising. This year’s ad featured actor John Turturro introducing a driven entrepreneur quitting her current job to start a company named Puppets by Gwen – very inspiring. The amazing feat is not that a woman actually quits her job on air, but that GoDaddy abandoned its staple of raunchy visuals. This is but one example of how Super Bowl ads have grown to a mature level of television advertisement.
The ad segments of this year reminded viewers that it’s not all about women in bikinis, fire-spitting race cars, and stupid funny potato chip ads. A preference for patriotic and multi-cultural themes may suggest that America has become more sentimental and serious about what people consider influential. This could explain the nature of the feel good narrative of the Super Bowl ads.
These gripping and emotional messages to viewers could be a new turn in the advertisement market. Derek Rucker, professor of marketing at Northwestern University, explained that now is the time to insert power behind a company’s ad. He stated that coming out of a recession could be the reason advertisers are trying to recapture and embrace a new market of consumers using a fresh message. Since $4.5 million was charged for a 30-second advertisement, it shows that marketers are as serious about reaching a new audience from the themes of their commercials.
Although this year’s ads came with a more sentimental and serious tone, some commercials did not make sense. For Maserati, the ad carried a tense, dramatic tone. However, it was unclear what exactly Maserati was advertising. Surely driving a 400 horsepower Italian sports car is dramatic, but maybe not in the way in which it was brought to the consumer’s attention in the commercial. Furthermore, it was unclear why the Italian auto maker was showing off it seemingly unchanged model during the Super Bowl.
While Heinz’s “if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands” stint was light-hearted and fun, consumers may wonder why ketchup is supposed to make you feel blissful. Maybe the high fructose corn syrup plays a part in that.
“We will build your car” is a powerful message from Chrysler. However, being narrated by Bob Dylan where Clint Eastwood would have done the trick as he did last year was interestingly odd. As well, the buildup of the ad did not have anything to do with the actual car. There seems to be a trend here among car ads.
It is possible that viewers have said farewell to the days of fire, bikinis, and grandiose parties in their commercials. America looks like a more thoughtful place now. If people want commercials that have racy humor and fast cars to motivate them, the internet is now the best place to find them and not Super Bowl ads which tell the narrative the at resembles a feel good time in America for now.
By Alex Lemieux