As all of you know, this Sunday is the biggest Sunday of the year. Not just because it’s the Super Bowl, but because of the commercials that will premiere in front of such a large audience during this illustrious game. For me, it’s one of the reasons I started watching the Superbowl in the first place. Although I like football more now, Super Bowl Sunday is still all about the ads for me. During the holiday season I read Natalie Zmuda’s ”Target, Amazon Trounce Walmart in Holiday-Ad Poll” http://bit.ly/fHz3tq. Basically, the gist of it is that Target and Amazon’s quirky ads won over consumers sick of seeing penny-pinching ads in the recent recession era. Quirky ads are the trend of the moment, as consumers look for exciting and imaginative ads that captivate and satiate them. Here is my preview of this Sunday’s upcoming ads (to be followed up next week with my analysis of the best and worst ones). Some companies are advertising to express brand values and beliefs, others go specifically for the quirkiness value, and others return to what worked for them in the past. Two that are returning to what worked for them in the past are CareerBuilder and Pepsi. CareerBuilder is bringing back the chimpanzees that made their 2005 and 2006 Super Bowl ads so popular. Tied into this strategy of returning to what works is their plan to refresh the popular Monk-e-mail with social sharing features and 3D images, as Stuart Elliott’s “The Game Plan? Returning to What Works” discusses here http://nyti.ms/eIhG0L. Pepsi, which took a year off to pursue a game plan of using ad dollars to benefit the community, is back as “Yet Another Superbowl Spot Brings PepsiCo’s Total to Seven” http://bit.ly/fE7f9n and one is rumored to belong to Lipton Brisk.
My analysis? CareerBuilder is making a smart move using such a popular ad to introduce new features to a popular fixture. PepsiCo is smart to come back to the game as “Pepsi’s Bet on Community Projects Over the Super Bowl” http://nyti.ms/el7a2X mentioned Pepsi’s sales fell 6% last year, indicating that they need to be using more than just social media to communicate their message and maintain consumers. Six spots are also reportedly consumer-created, which can be horrible or fantastic as recent consumer ads have shown. Meanwhile, General Motors has seven spots also, all based around the tagline “Chevy Runs Deep” as noted in Rupal Parekh’s “What to Expect From General Motors in the Super Bowl” http://bit.ly/gDtKZt. Ignoring polls that say quirky is the way to go, they are telling stories about what makes each spot’s Chevy brand special. I guess someone needs to stick to the more traditional route of brand storytelling in their Super Bowl commercials, and this year’s appears to be General Motors. Last, but not least, Motorola is promoting its new Xoom tablet with an edgy commercial that may reference Apple’s 1984 Macintosh Super Bowl commercial. “Motorola Goes After Apple’s iPad in Super Bowl Teaser for Xoom Tablet” http://bit.ly/eCAtxd and Motorola’s Super Bowl commercial could be one of the best commercials of the day if its anything like the teaser. Depicting a planet with Apple’s white ear buds on each side and the tagline “2011 Looks A Lot Like 1984″ splayed across the front, the teaser hints that the commercial is an edgy dig at Apple reflective of when Apple went after IBM 27 years ago. All in all, if these ads are any indication, this Super Bowl Sunday will be a spectacular display of brands on parade.