Sunday, February 01, 2015

Death, Destruction, and Negativity: Why This Year's Super Bowl Ads Are So Good

It seems like what was once a daring media strategy - to release your Super Bowl ad before the Super Bowl actually airs - has become the new normal.

So I've seen most of this year's ads already.

It's a good crop - big spectacle, big emotion.

And I don't think it's a coincidence that many of the best ones show death, destruction and negativity. 

For example, in this great ad - I won't reveal the brand name, because spoilers - catastrophe strikes the entire planet.

This year's Budweiser 'dog and horse' epic - albeit not as good as last year's - contains a scene in which the pup is menaced by a drooling wolf.

In the GrubHub ad, a flying burrito smacks people in the face. Fairly comical, but also undeniably violent.

Even in the Bud Light ad - which basically consists of a guy whooping and hollering like he's just won a car in a game show - there is a moment where he (metaphorically) dies.

I've written before about the power of negative thinking, so I don't want to repeat myself.

Suffice to say that judicious use of negativity helps give a brand depth and relatability, as well as providing a great springboard for engaging creative.

In other words, it's the difference between this...

...and this.



Anonymous said...

Snickers is incredible.
Easily my favourite.
Newcastle did well again, too.
I'm not sure it's a great year overall however.
I feel like standards have dropped. There's a lot of average spots that don't feel like they deserve to live in Super Bowl.
Consider Toyota's Reinvented Camry Super Bowl spot vs this years drivel.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a return to the glory days of Cliff Freeman & Partners is imminent?

Anonymous said...

In the interests of balance:

Anonymous said...

so good?

few gems, true.

but so good?

Scamp said...

They're damn good compared to any normal ad break, aren't they? That's what I meant, at least.

And on that theme, I'm infuriated by a comment Ad Week made about one of the ads, a really dull spot for a company that makes automotive floor mats. Ad Week's comment was "The Super Bowl is no place for bland creative."

Is any place?

Why don't Clients want good ads all the time?

Sell! Sell! said...

Mmm I really fancy a marathon now.