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Happy Monday!

Boring and uninspiring:

Super Bowl 53 and its Halftime Show.

This sentiment extends to about 91% of the commercials during the breaks in the game. People were paid big money for these ads?

Having said that, there were a couple of inspirational ads last night during the Super Bowl. The best was the heartwarming Microsoft gaming controller for kids with disabilities that is the extended version of an already heartwarming ad featuring the focus of last night’s Super Bowl commercial.

In terms of clever commercials, the Hyundai elevator ad starring Jason Bateman was well written and imaginative.

The Peanuts ad with a surprise cameo by Charlie Sheen providing the apt tag line “And people think I’m nuts” was just good fun.

A moderately funny commercial (or separate storyline of a full-length commercial) starred Harrison Ford and his dog. Suffice it to say that automatic ordering is a dangerous thing with Amazon’s Alexa. Unfortunately, Amazon has not posted this sidekick commercial online.

Now the winner for most bizarre yet creative Super Bowl 53 commercial goes to advertising giant Ogilvy with its throwback ad of sorts for Burger King featuring a retro/living appearance by the equally famous and bizarre American artist Andy Warhol from a past documentary who is unwrapping and eating a burger from the aforementioned burger chain. The commercial was almost silent sans unwrapping sounds and a barely audible “it doesn’t come out” by Mr. Warhol concerning the Heinz ketchup bottle. The 45-second commercial simply ends with #EatLikeAndy.

Will Burger King earn 15 minutes of fame from this Super Bowl ad? Time will tell.

This Andy Warhol ad is weird and kind of good, like Burger King.

But there was an ad (well, a reaction to a recent ad) that aired a couple days ago that should have aired last night. And it was nostalgic gold that made ‘Home Alone’ fans–one in particular–smile.

Bonus points if you get the gold reference.

Have a Better Week Than Last Week. 

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Happy Monday!

Something very strange happened last night:

An NFL game was actually entertaining from start to finish.

Super Bowl 52 between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots was a virtual offensive free for all as both teams combined for more than 1,000 years of total offense. Damn! And despite the final two and a half minutes playing out all-too-perfectly for a Tom Brady-led comeback win, the unthinkable happened:

A Tom Brady fumble was called a fumble.

Even with an unbeatable 41-33 lead, Eagles fans held their breath on the final Hail Mary pass by Mr. Brady. Fortunately for fans in the city of brotherly love, that pass fell to the ground as an incompletion. However, what’s not incomplete is the Super Bowl trophy case in Philadelphia as the Eagles claimed their first Lombardi Trophy in Minneapolis last night.

Congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Now for the actual half of the Super Bowl:

Justin Timberlake.

Playing a medley of past hits (with new song “Filthy” to kick it off), it was more of a high-energy dancing blitz than anything else. Which, given the short nature of the Super Bowl halftime show, should have been expected. Having said that, the tribute to Minnesota’s favorite son Prince was special, as was the stroll into the crowd with the Super Bowl selfie kid who looked too busy googling who Justin Timberlake was instead of living in the moment.

Now for the other half of the Super Bowl:

The commercials.

The night kicked-off (not that kick-off) with the highly-anticipated second trailer for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and it was incredible. It appears a more intimate and scarier sequel has been engineered for summer audiences to enjoy on the edge of their seats starting June 22.

(Clever nod to Spielberg’s BFG)

Movie trailers have evolved as verifiable commercials during the Super Bowl, somewhat replacing the previous showcase for Budweiser’s creative talents. There’s an art to producing a creative, engaging movie trailer.

Speaking of which…

The first Mission: Impossible – Fallout trailer premiered with Tom Cruise and Co. looking engaged in practical effect stunts that may have dropped the jaws of viewers.

(Was that Spectre in the beginning?)

Get ready for July 27.

Turning to TV, Westworld debuted a second season teaser with a premiere date of April 22 that will excite its fans for a definitive return to the mind-bending park of our dreams (and nightmares…).

There were a lot of clever ads last night (Pringles, Wendy’s, Mountain Dew, Budweiser and Stella Artois’ water ads, Tourism Australia), but there was one clear winner in my book.

And to think the Super Bowl life is just one giant Tide commercial.

Tide finds a way…

Have a Better Week Than Last Week. 

The Battlefont of Our Generation?

How did this happen?

The man who directed the cinematic masterpiece Titanic just accepted something so pedestrian as the leading brand image of what continues to evolve as his ultimate cinematic universe. We still have no answer, despite an ordinary man’s quest to solve an extraordinary mystery. It’s been a few weeks since we learned of this person’s mission that’s driven by unmistakable, relentless anguish. He’s considered a hero in some circles. Not many circles, but more than one.

We’re still waiting for a press conference from Avatar director James Cameron so he can confront this ever-pressing issue.

The late Steve Jobs (RIP) would probably be happy that we’re discussing fonts with such intensity.

Maybe not about the Papyrus font, but still…

When Will VR’s Player One Be Ready?

How will customers be marketed to in the future?

Marketing, in the traditional sense, is two-dimensional. The next natural progression is three-dimensional marketing. But wait, that’s not new and exciting. That’s simply reality. The next progression from three-dimensions is four-dimensions.

Or a tesseract.

I would love to visualize a tesseract for you, but no spoilers on Jimmy’s Daily Planet (bonus point if you got that). Marketing’s next dimension is 4-dimensions in a way, in that it’s something we can’t see with our own two eyes alone. We’ll just need a helpful pair of special lenses…

Think I’m crazy for making this prediction? Think it’s absurd and foolish to make a connection between marketing real products and VR (virtual reality)?

I say think again.

Some of the most effective marketing is experience-centric. Regardless of industry, if a company is trying to sell people something by evoking an emotional connection (the “I have to have it” reaction), the ideal strategy is to personalize the sell to provide a dynamic, customizable experience. How about showing consumers what something will look like or be like in various situations as programmed by the VR experience team of each company?

Somewhere between the near and distant future, we may very well enter the next dimension of the classic “show, don’t tell” expression. Abercrombie & Fitch (or A&F), for example, is currently using interactive dressing rooms as part of their re-branding effort, in which the consumer can play music and change the mood lighting when trying on clothes.

Escapism isn’t just for the movies, it’s usually a primary driver of our emotional connection to buying all sorts of things, practical and impractical/the fun stuff.

And what better escape in the 21st century than virtual reality?