This may have been the first year we were more into the game than the ads as it was a well-matched nail biter right to the end, but this is advertising’s biggest night of the year as well as football’s and we were once again not disappointed. While views is likely the best measure of an ad’s success, here is the annual “All about Advertising Law Round Up”.
Our favorite campaign was the Australian Tourism ad featuring Chris Hemsworth and Danny McBride. The campaign encouraged tourism under the rubric of filming of a Crocodile Dundee sequel. The movie has its own IMDb page and related Twitter hype. But there is no movie. It is all part of the tourism ad campaign. This is fake news without the political baggage, creating buzz and interest for the product offering. Well played!
The political tone of the 2017 ads was decidedly tampered, with nary a presidential wig in sight (aside from the local DC ad for gas fireplaces featuring Kirk Cousins and a Trump impersonator), but among all of the celebrities and the humor, some companies promoted a message of equality, diversity, and overcoming odds. We were surprised not to see more specific reference to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements so present in the movie and music awards shows. We did not see an ad as moving as the Audi Daughter ad encouraging equal pay from 2017, although we are excited to watch the Winter Olympics-Lindsay Vonn Girl is on Fire spot. But we also saw a refreshing lack of scantily clad models and clear gender stereotyping. Still the #SeeHer campaign has a ways to go in Superbowl ads, as while the audience is almost 50% women, a recent Villanova Business School study suggests male actors have the primary role in Superbowl ads 2:1.
We love a good throw back and featuring actors from our generation such as Keanu Reeves and Jeff Goldblum, and the age reversing Steven Tyler for Kia was one of our favorites. We note that disclaimers were sparse in this year’s crop, but “professional driver – do not attempt” was a repeat player. Some of the ads even had fun with the disclaimers, which we love, including the Dodge Ram Truck ad featuring Vikings warning “Never ride in the bed of a truck unless you are an authentic Viking.” And if this year’s Superbowl wasn’t enough to keep us coming back for more, the Touchdown Celebration NFL ad with Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. reenacting Dirty Dancing definitely sealed the deal.