The Kansas City Chiefs play the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday in Super Bowl LVII. The program’s commercials, which cost $7M for 30 seconds of airtime during the game, already overrunneth. So, let’s indulge in a great American pastime and take a look at some early releases ahead of Sunday’s game.
In the six Super Bowl ads above, I see a lot of borrowed equity. The Squarespace and Rakuten ads are the best of the mini lot, but both rely on a Hollywood storyline and star power (instead of conveying what’s unique and compelling about the brand).
To stand out, Marc Brownstein of Brownstein Group in Philadelphia told his hometown newspaper that brands need to have a big idea — and that doesn’t always mean a celebrity endorsement.
“Too many advertisers just have a knee-jerk reaction to go to the celebrity, to go to the animal,” he said. “They should just be relying on what makes the product or service different and come up with a big idea around that.”
What Brownstein asks for is not on display here.
Did Kia clear the Big Idea High Bar with its “Binky Dad” ad? No, because modern parenting and its attendant pressures can be addressed in a Mazda, Toyota, or whatever car the person owns. The team chose to illustrate a problem that the car company can’t fix.
What about Budweiser’s ad (the only other ad in this small group without a celebrity)? Is there a big idea embedded somewhere in the act of drinking Bud with friends after a hard day at work?
Granted this is a small selection of just six ads and better ads will run live on TV tomorrow. However, if this is a good indication of where things are today, creatively and strategically speaking, then it’s easy to conclude there’s big money being spent to run the ads, but a notable scarcity of big ideas used to make the ads.