This was the Super Bowl of CSR gone mad. It seemed nearly every brand was touting its corporate social responsibility. Problem was—the brands all merged into one big warm and fuzzy nothingness. Despite Bud’s standing by me, the overload of CSR made me miss the Clydesdales.
One brand that got it right was Toyota, in part because of its placements right out of the box and to close. Its variety of warm and fuzzy fit with the brand’s positioning and the tag, “when we’re free to move anything is possible,” leveraged it well, not to mention its strategic tie-in to the upcoming Olympics.
Dodge Ram did a nice job with the MLK voice over, but the timing was all wrong and looked gratuitous. Ram’s Paul Harvey voice over, “and god created the farmer,” from 2104 was stellar. But, its 2018. Timing is everything. And the Vikings dragging a ship rocking to an old music bed only to turn around when they hit Minneapolis. Okay, maybe it works for “built for the unexpected.” But seriously is Ram the epic brand that harkens back to American heroes with a heroic America brand or are they… Vikings? Really?!
Two other notables were Jeep and Musinex. Jeep actually showed the manifesto. Short and sweet, and spot on. While Musinex, and its single well-placed spot, captured the close while leveraging social media perfectly.
The Gen-Zers I was watching with loved the M&Ms spot with Danny Divito. And I have to admit if there is one person that can embody an M&M, it’s Divito.
As for what missed the mark. I’m not sure why laundry detergent was so hot this year, and how they all got it so wrong. Worst was Persil’s stupid pot innuendo. Turbo tax with its slimy stupid animal under the bed, I didn’t realize teens and t’weens filed taxes. Bud Light’s mediaeval stupidity, with a bunch of white guys and with three token women. It’s 2018, are we really still doing this kind of insipid humor and spending millions on it? Wendy’s take-on of McDonald’s frozen burgers was a bust. I couldn’t read it fast enough and Millennial and Gen-Z stopping stopped reading a long time ago. So, who was it they were targeting?
Or maybe the question should be, whose creating these spots? I think it’s about time the industry expands the diversity of ideas within creative departments.
Overall, a highly unmemorable Super Bowl, except for the game. But, maybe, that’s how it’s supposed to be.