Last year we did a two part series (part two is below and you can find part 1 here) on Super Bowl advertising and how digital can be intertwined and why small and medium enterprises should think BIG. We enjoyed it so much we thought we would take a look at the ads for this year and see if they passed muster.
Get ready for Grammy Winners, Oscar Winners, Hall of Famers and a Super Model to boot. We’ll use a fairly simple grading system Great, Good Enough, Meh, Bad.
ADP – Good Enough
A simple enough premise with pumping music and ADT made a good choice of spokespeople/influencers. You might not know their voices but when the “property brothers” come into frame one is like “oh, yeah, I like those guys”. There might be a bit too much negative language “it’s not about…” but it does a good job of appealing to wide audience and makes the stale idea of security warm and family friendly.
Amazon – Bad
I hate this ad – it’s too frenetic; it wants us to be on the joke but we aren’t, it makes no sense and just makes them look like eff-ups. I am not sure if you needed stars for this ad Harrison got an OK role but Forrest, Abbi and Ilana were left high and dry (or quite the opposite) being wasted. This ad just feels like we had a big budget for this ad lets waste it all.
Audi – Good
It’s funny, it’s aspirational, it has a message. It’s brand building for Audi done the right way.
Avo From Mexico – Good
It’s our first installment from a brand that isn’t familiar in Australia. Overall it sticks with their usual style of humor for their ads, they’ve used Kristen Chenoweth not sure if she was needed but why not throw her in there. It gets a good because it has broad market appeal.
Ban & Viv – Meh
Mermaids appearing on Shark Tank – I like the idea but the payoff at the end isn’t good enough for it to be a reveal. Interesting product and an interesting way to tell your products story.
Bubly – Good
At last, an actual smart use of a celebrity, I knew we would get there. It’s cute, Bublé is well liked and does a good job.
Bud Light – Good
Very interesting alignment, GoT is great at killing off our favorite characters but it’s a bold move for the ad’s mascot to be killed.
Bud – Good
Budweiser is notorious for the use of nostalgia in its branding. We are American as apple pie and baseball. This is an interesting ad for them because they play on old-fashioned values but also introduce the environmental element to the company. I’m giving it a good for their market although I find it personally a bit boring.
Bumble – Good
Strange as it may sound, I genuinely was looking forward to this ad I’d heard about it coming in an article about Serena but I was left wanting more. But then again I am not the target market – and the visuals and music are first class.
Burger King – Bad
I just dislike it, it’s boring who cares if it’s a found footage ad from a documentary. I don’t care how Andy eats his burger and are they insinuating that they don’t put enough sauce on their burgers?
Colgate – Great
Luke Wilson is well liked, simple messaging and good backing track – it’s good clean fun just like your teeth should be.
Devour – Meh
Risque can always mean risky and in America it might be too full on for the average audience but it was executed fairly well and an interesting nugget.
Doritos – Meh
Star power with Chance the Rapper and N’Sync; a funky beat but just feels lame – the mashup between the two seems forced. But it does deliver the message that Doritos is cool but now hot. Almost good.
Expensify – Good
Who doesn’t love Adam Scott; Two rap stars in a row. It does automatically give you street cred but does it lose street cred for the rappers? Regardless again the scene is set up nicely, there’s humour and the messaging is on point.
Google – Meh
Did this hit you right in the feels? It didn’t for me – it felt like the kinda schmaltz that you expect from a multi-national but not really Google. Humans are good and so are we…
Hulu – Good
Very different, very interesting, and with an already popular product Hulu did a good job.
Hyundai – Great
Why would we need to tout how good our cars are when we can tout the least important part of a car the buying of it? It main sound like a silly concept but it’s actually quite ingenious – because most people don’t like shopping for cars but also most people won’t go on many test drives so if you can be one of the few by offering a great experience buying. And I have a huge soft spot for Jason Bateman.
Kia – good
Not that we would know it in Australia but Kia have tubthumped their American factory often for the US audience so when the Super Bowl is being played so close to your factory why not try and cash in. It may not work for me but for the intended audience – it works.
M&Ms – meh
M&Ms are well known for their humorous, childish personified red and yellow M&M characters. And this is a great twist on the rambunctious kids in the back seat trope but it is more than a little jarring to see a mum say they will eat their kids… even if it is Christina. Maybe I am holding them to a higher standard but that’s only because they have set that standard themselves.
Mercedes – bad/good
Mercedes are for… ahem… wankers and I guess this may appeal to that market. Bad for me, Good for them.
Michelob Light – bad
One part of a good ad is being memorable, and this off the wall idea might have worked especially with a young fan favorite like Zoe. But in the end it just comes off as pretentious.
My word there are a lot of ads in the Super Bowl… Don’t worry we are passed the halfway mark
Microsoft – Great
Where Google failed Microsoft succeeded you don’t get to say that often anymore – but this human interest story is a winner. I was hooked.
Mint Mobile – Great
A brand I am unfamiliar with but it has all the elements of a solid ad: gross-out factor, animal mascot, smart language, and a good deal to spur action.
NFL – Great
This is clearly a winner for the Super Bowl audience. The targeting is on point! The humour is there – even if you don’t get all the references you can have fun with it. It does a great job of including the female audience. It embraces the leagues history. The only thing I am wondering about is that it is the end of the season why unveil it now?
Norwegian Cruise Line – Good
This achieves its intended purpose makes the ship the star of the travel. Rather than the picturesque destinations it will take you to. It may slightly try to make everyone happy, a couple relaxing on the same boat that kids are zip lining and go karting on? not too sure if they want to be on the same cruise. Overall it’s a bit of fun and might convince some people that hadn’t considered cruising yet.
Olay – Good
A really nice change from the stuffy world of adult moisturiser advertising. Another celeb making an appearance this time it’s Buffy!
Pepsi – Good
More star power for Pepsi with Steve Carell, Cardi B and Lil Wayne. Interesting concept trying to reposition itself rather than the alternative or the ok. Simple, effective.
Persil – Meh
Not much here – a few bells and whistles although the FX could be better.
PLanters, Mr Peanut – Meh
A few more celebrities to go in the countdown, in this installment we have Sheen and ARod, it might appeal to their target market (assuming someone that would watch two and a half men). Do we use footy players in our summer ads, NO and America shouldn’t be putting baseballers in their Super Bowl ads.
Pringles – Meh
I’m not sure if I get this one. Is stacking your Pringles with different flavours a thing or are they trying to make it a thing? Either way more power to them if they can get more people opening different flavours at the same time sounds like more profit. Plus I think it might be a bit too hipster leaning for me.
Simplisafe – Meh
I know our worldview would tell us that Americans especially viewers of a certain channel are peddled with fear on their news all the time but this ad seems to lean in too hard, especially as they are a technological product and making technology out to be a fearful thing. Interesting concept although I think it’s too exaggerated to elevate it passed “meh” for me.
Sketchers – Meh
Tony Romo is likeable, he is a football dude makes perfect sense for the Super Bowl. The messaging is ok but not nearly as inventive as they could have been.
Sprint – Good
Another athlete this time Bo Jackson – this one is simple and effective.
The Washington Post – Good
The best celebrity get so far Tom Hanks, the star of The Post. Although, it may seem to earnest to some – this spot works well in the context.
T-Mobile – Great
I could say this is derivative: a mobile screen typing or the often used what are we for having for dinner dilemma or a little on the nose music choice. But it works together really well and the thought of free tacos is a winner.
Toyota Rav 4 – Meh
Antoiette Harris deserves all the accolades and sponsorships for being an out and out star but over all the challenge expectations mantra that is being extolled here falls short for Toyota.
Toyota Supra – Great
This… now this is fun – it’s a little retro, a little futuristic. A cool little ad – that’s all about the car, then pinball, then finishing off on the car. This works.
Turbo Tax – Great
Robo-child cool. Accountants are real people especially at Turbo Tax CPAs to boot. Great Ad.
Turkish Airlines – meh
Behind the camera celebrity this time with Ridley Scott at the helm for this ad that led into a six-minute short film. The story is ok, shot well, Turkey is beautiful – but did anyone really care about this ad?
we are almost done don’t worry
Verizon – bad
If you haven’t figured it out yet – I am not the biggest fan of cheesy schmaltz and this ad that pulls at the heartstrings with Real American Blue Collar Heroes does not do it for me (though they are heroes – I am not here disputing that).
Weathertech – bad
I don’t own a pet or a heart so it’s hard for me to get on board with this one.
Wix – meh
I have been seeing Wix ads with Kloss ads for a long time in pre-rolls so it doesn’t feel new to me. Even though Wix do offer a fine product – I bet all Wix websites would look amazing if you have a style guide, a super model and professional photography at the ready.
After all, your budget may not go anywhere near that far and in many respects, whilst the Superbowl provides the ultimate exposure, it simply isn’t open to the average size business.
There are a couple of lessons business of any size can take away from the Superbowl regardless of how big or small you are.
You can reach a lot of eyeballs and it doesn’t have to cost the earth.
There is no doubt that a one off event like Superbowl will throw a spotlight on your brand if you were willing to stump up the cash to buy such massive exposure but buying high quality targeted exposure can actually be a whole lot simpler. The beauty of digital (which is why we love it) is with budgets nowhere near as large we can create immensely targeted campaigns that can deliver real results for your business.
Don’t think just one channel – We deal with an array of companies large and small, and many have a variety of marketing initiatives across an array of channels. What the Superbowl ads often do is create a great narrative and produce a phenomenal TVC, but this isn’t where these campaigns end. The ads are merely the tip of the iceberg for most of the advertisers. Each ad will be supported with search, social and dedicated landing pages to ensure that after the audience has seen the ad they can find it, share it and learn more about it. There is a natural PR aspect to Superbowl that your average campaign may not have, but if you work to create a great brand story there is no reason why you couldn’t integrate some tailored PR around your marketing approach whatever channel you use.
Ultimately, Superbowl is an ad campaign on steroids. Whilst the spotlight shines upon the ads themselves the fundamentals of having a great creative story, a targeted message and a fully integrated approach really apply from the Superbowl right down to the most basic of campaigns.
I regularly meet with small business owners, and almost every single one procrastinates in some way when making marketing decisions. Typically, for one of three key reasons:
They want total assurance that it will work.
They think they can/want to try to do it by themselves.
They don’t have the budget, but are keen to invest in it when they do.
I can empathise, on this last point especially, as someone who has worked with some of the world’s largest companies where budgets are often much larger. I can also understand the hesitation for small businesses with small budgets who feel like it’s all very intangible and question whether it will really work and be worth the financial investment.
If you are keen to improve your business’s marketing but feel stuck or unsure of what to do next, keep reading!
Below are 5 tips on how to stand out and be noticed by potential customers and clients.
1 – Have clear objectives… not just that you “want to sell more”.
Small businesses rarely actually know what they want. They want growth and they want more sales.
But what does that actually look like. Be real, I want to sell 10 more of that or I want to make +X in revenue.
Once you clearly know your objectives, it is far easier to assess the value of your proposed marketing initiatives.
And remember, if you have no marketing collateral, no social media presence or have never reached out to your customers before, you have to factor in what I like to call momentum costs. Just like exercising after “letting yourself go” for a bit, the first little while in the gym will be hard and won’t show much result. So be patient. All great things take time!
2 – Add value
Ok, so you are starting to market yourself – awesome! Unfortunately, so many small businesses leave marketing their business until they reach a moment of desperation. The problem here is two-fold:
If you have not engaged and cultivated your audience before now, then there probably aren’t many people listening. Big businesses can make noise, small businesses rarely can. So don’t leave it until the last minute. It takes time to build an audience, and only then will results be achieved.
When you are desperate, you head to last resort alternatives like sales. Discounts are often of value in a retail environment but for most businesses I meet, one of my first marketing tips is to look at the product and see where you can increase sale or margin through value-adding… Not only does it potentially mean selling less for the same result, but you don’t undermine the value of your product, or look “desperate”.
3 – Consistently publish great content and maintain your presence
Consistency is key and the concept of an “always on” approach is something often unachievable by small businesses because when you get busy, your marketing falls off the priority list. So, find a partner and outsource it.
Now there is a cost to this, so make sure you understand the genuine value of marketing to your business, and make sure that your marketing costs are factored into your product or service costs.
It would surprise you just how many businesses I meet who don’t factor marketing into their product pricing, and the thought of eating into margin generally sends small business owners into some sort of small seizure! So do the numbers and be realistic!
High quality content will improve your reach and your brand exposure, but beyond this, a solid investment in content speaks volumes to the consumer. It makes your business look more legitimate, which in turn makes the decision-making process for the potential buyer much easier.
Great content also helps with SEO, which means you are getting more bang for your buck.
4 – Reinvent previous content
There is nothing wrong with reusing existing content that has performed well in the past. We do this often – and think about it, it makes total sense! If you invested time or money in good content in the first place, it deserves to be reused. It may be seen by a totally different audience, which means lots of potential new customers!
We have hundreds of articles and some of them are really great (who are we kidding, ALL of them are great), with lots of super insightful information. So, pull out the very best and create small pieces of new content.
5 – Budget
I have worked with lots of of SME’s (all the way up to those with $50 million turnovers), and not many have a realistic budget when it comes to marketing.
Great social media is not free. Nor are great articles, graphics or videos. Yes, there are tonnes of people out there touting cheap or DIY solutions and I am not discouraging them, but believe it or not, marketing is a skill. An agency like ours knows exactly how to deal with all of the marketing challenges your business might stumble across; and we feel pretty confident that we can build you a solid strategy and execute it with more success than you can likely do on your own (no offence)!
You perceive yourself as a highly skilled professional (individual or organisation) of your field, so:
Focus on doing what you do best. Saving a few dollars on marketing doesn’t make much sense when you should be spending your time in your field of expertise, and improving your craft! Let a marketing expert do their thing, while you do yours!
If you can recognise your skillset and experience in yourself, make sure you recognise these in your selected marketing partner. Trust that they are skilled (and do your due diligence, of course) and work with them to deliver your objectives.
Make sure you allocate a budget that is realistic to the task. If you want to make $1million in additional revenue, $5K is not a realistic budget (sadly)! If we could all spend just $5K in marketing and make $1M, everyone would be pretty successful!
Don’t get me wrong, you will always hear those sensational stories of people who made millions by investing just $500 in marketing, or who did it all by themselves overnight, etc. etc. , however these are genuinely “right time, right place”, stories. Be realistic!
And finally, budget doesn’t only apply to money. Make sure you are realistic with the time your budget needs for success. Just how making $1M by spending $5K on marketing is probably underdoing it, 5 days to achieve $1M in sales is probably not realistic either. Here at Remember, we tend to work in quarters or six month blocks as for most businesses this is more reflective of the timeline they will require in order to achieve meaningful and measurable goals.
Happy Marketing! Feel free to drop us a line if you think we can help you!
The portrayal of a surfer saving a man from drowning is the embodiment of the Australian spirit. A group of commuters moving a train carriage to free a man’s jammed leg is inspired by a 2014 incident in Perth. And of course, sandwiched between these stories, is the NRMA assisting a young girl in a broken-down car.
These acts of kindness are part of our national identity, and give many Australians a reason to be passionately patriotic. Likewise, NRMA believe they help Australians suffering adversity, and have done so for over 100 years.
The objective of this campaign is to reposition NRMA in the market with their new tagline, “Help is who we are”, to highlight their role in the Australian narrative as a support system for their customers.
So, what’s the commotion about?
Well … did you listen to the lyrics? Play it one more time and see if you can notice anything.
In case you missed it, some of the lyrics are questionable.
Exhibit A: “I will come for you at night time”
Ok … that’s not too bad, but the mother’s expression does look slightly sinister. Let’s have a look at another.
Exhibit B: “I will kiss you in four places”
The context of the song is important here … it’s about a one night stand. We’ll just leave you with that.
Exhibit C: “I will squeeze the life out of you”
GET THIS SICK AND TWISTED FIREMAN OFF MY SCREEN.
While the song ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’ by Hunters & Collectors, is soothing and evocative listening, it is NOT appropriate for an ad featuring children and vulnerable koalas.
What were they thinking?
There are countless songs with warm lullabies and soft melodies to choose from. So why this one?
NRMA has responded to some criticism online, telling customers that the song choice captures “how powerful the Australian spirit of help can be in the face of adversity.”
We get that bit, but what about the references to sexual hookups and insinuated animal abuse??
The lyrics are just too bizarre to take this ad seriously, and once you’ve noticed them, you simply can’t ‘unhear’ it.
Unfortunately for these reasons, this week, it’s a…
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Greenpeace’s new ad, just another drop in the ocean? Marketing Masterstroke or Mistake?
Greenpeace are renowned for their compelling stunts, animated protests and sobering ad campaigns, so it’s no surprise that their latest addition looks a little something like this …
Visibly excited to enter the aquarium, the group of school children are representatives of their generation … the next generation. Once inside they are confronted by the absence of sea life and prevalence of plastics.
Bags, bottles and six-pack rings drift through the murky waters, as the children’s faces turn forlorn. The chipper soundtrack transitions to a darker tune, and cogs in the children’s minds begin to turn.
Items from their kitchens have replaced the penguins, fish, stingrays and sharks they were hoping to see. The exhibition has become a display of supermarket waste.
Aquariums are usually viewed as manicured worlds, brimming with marine life and activity, which gives us a false sense of security when it comes to the real state of our oceans.
This campaign calls for the reduction in supermarket’s plastic footprint, because ocean plastic causes the death of hundreds of thousands of animals every year. In fact, the aquarium exhibit was built using plastic collected from a beach in Ireland the previous day.
The ad informs us that, “UK supermarkets generate 800,000 tonnes of plastic each year” and “A truck load of plastic ends up in our oceans every minute”.
This really is a crisis. The volume of plastic in the world’s oceans is set to double in the next decade, and Greenpeace refuse to sit idly by.
In the final seconds of the ad, we are urged to sign their petition to demand that supermarkets use less plastic.
But do these campaigns, commercials and petitions, actually work?
Well, yes …
Just last month the UK government announced that they are set to ban the sale of plastic straws, drink stirrers and cotton buds, in an attempt to eradicate all single-use plastic products. And while more needs to be done to reduce plastic waste in our oceans, this is a huge leap in the right direction.
Even in Australia, the #BanTheBag campaign was hugely impactful when it was propelled into public discourse by the media, prompting supermarkets to plan their transition to plastic bag free-zones.
So, in terms of effectiveness, these ads work! And in terms of conveying this issue to the public, it’s been done perfectly.
This rousing ad is powerful, poignant and chilling.
For these reasons, it’s a
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You may not have got exactly what you wanted for from the congressional hearings (Most likely you were out for blood and wanted the entire downfall of Facebook or you just wanted to be reassured that your data would be safe) but what we did get was a buttload of hilarious memes.
And to add more fun to the party are the fine people at a bad lip reading who decided to get in on the action watch and enjoy:
Why Digital Disruption Should Be Part Of Your Plan
Most of us spend a third of our hours during the week at work, often in front of a screen, but what do we actually achieve?
Many people complain about not having enough time to do their job because they are busy doing the menial tasks that get in the way of doing the actual job.
When thinking of digital disruption, our minds go straight to household names like Uber, Netflix and AirBNB, and that disruption is taking on a traditional market and providing a better product via digital means (apparently). But if digital disruption doesn’t have to be taking on an industry and building an app that will make you billions, it can be simple. It can be cost effective for all levels and it doesn’t have to be customer facing.
We often use digital disruption tech without being aware, because we don’t associate it with the above well-known examples; teleconference was very different before Skype came around and the cloud collaboration tools of Google and Office 365 are just as disruptive to the way teams conduct business. It’s interesting to note that collaboration tools like Slack, Asana and Trello are considered disruptive even though they are not as multi functional as Google and 365 – perhaps it’s the nature of the beast that the brand history of Google and Office 365 makes them the big boys, the tall poppies if you will, who are are slow moving, out of touch and are in capable of disrupting that which they already have a strangle hold on.
So, what does this mean for you and your marketing team, it means: think smaller… disrupt your team, your office; disrupt your messaging and how you message. Oftentimes we are engaged by a company asking for a new website or a campaign for a new product and we leave after helping them transform the way they do things.
Marketing transformation can take the form of many things including a much more focussed view of digital disruption. Our marketing transformation process is as much about helping you sell or gain exposure, as it is about helping you use your team’s 8 hours.
Whether it is helping you make wiser decisions with which technologies to use, which work is best done in-house and outsource, platforms to connect with, improving templates, implementing marketing automation and chat bots, or just making the process of collaboration with your team quicker – we usually end up leaving our clients with a lighter workload.
The average weekday for me is broken into 3 parts of 8 hours each – sleep – work – non-work. It’s important to always make the most of your time – what will you do with your 8 hours today?
This week Apple unveiled a new, red version of the iPhone 8 called (Product)RED. Check out the spot here:
This line of special edition, rich crimson iPhones are different to their silver, black, and gold counterparts in that, a portion of profits is donated to (RED) that is an organisation which aims to reduce the transmission of HIV/AIDS.
Apple partnered with (RED) back in 2006 and has contributed over $160 million to non-profit AIDS organization, The Global Fund. Apple’s contribution is more than the governments of Greece, Hungary, Iceland, New Zealand and Switzerland have given, combined … but is also 0.016% of Apple’s estimated valuation.
During this 11 year period, Apple has made a concerted effort to show AIDS as an important issue, by turning their Apple Stores red, assisting (RED) with app developers, and now, releasing a suite of red products, from Apple Watch bands, to iPhone cases, headphones and even speakers.
Apple states that their partnership with (RED) aims to eliminate the threat of HIV/AIDS in Africa through “programs that provide counselling, testing and medicine that prevents the transmission of HIV from a mother to her unborn child”.
(RED) CEO Deborah Dugan says that “the (HIV) stigma is so strong worldwide” and when sufferers see someone with the (RED) products, they “start talking to them and they know they can come out and then say they have HIV.”
Apple’s commitment to (RED) and the HIV cause is evidently strong, so it must be asked, why did they fail to mention (RED) or even HIV in this commercial. Even stranger than this, when making a purchase in their online store, there is no mention of the partnership. You have to seek the information out.
The reasons for this are entirely unclear.
Likewise, it’s unclear as to how much money goes to the Global Fund.
Apple has stated that, 100% of A PORTION from every (RED) product sale goes directly to the Global Fund … how’s that for spin!
Moreover, it’s safe to assume that this exercise in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is also a marketing exercise to keep the iPhone 8 fresh, after being overshadowed for months by the iPhone X.
And admittedly, this strategy works!
For those globally-minded people who have recently contemplated buying a new iPhone, this Ferrari-red model will surely speed along the process, with thousands more destined to race off the shelves.
The impact of CSR on revenue can be huge, with 64% of consumers in Asia-Pacific saying that they’re willing to pay more for products from companies that have positive social and environmental policies.
On this front, Apple is remarkably savvy.
Like every other Apple ad, it’s slick, swanky and has a killer soundtrack. But in terms of its effectiveness, failing to mention (RED) and HIV was a colossal mistake.
The partnership allowed them the opportunity to have a deep, emotional connection with consumers, and they didn’t leverage this opportunity.
So, for this reason alone, it’s a
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