Death of the Super Bowl Spot?

Growing up in a time when having analog television kept U.S. channels from being substituted to Canadian stations, I was able to watch Super Bowl ad spots in all their glory. tvMy grandmother and I would crowd around our whopping 13-inch, rabbit-eared Sony set and tune into commercials like this intolerably ’90s one below for Nike featuring “Air Jordan and Hare Jordan”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oK7PAvKHqc

But in modern times, will the traditional anticipation of the Super Bowl ads still stand? We’re already noticing a shift in the way the ads are released. Now with video sharing sites such as Youtube, ads can be out weeks before the game. It even seems to be trendy to have an ad so racy or controversial that it gets banned for being aired on game day and is leaked to the Internet where it gains millions of views.

That trend in it’s self seems slightly archaic as it is such an extensive process to produce an ad in hopes of it going viral. A Vine of some guy “twerking” on a water trampoline could be posted within nano-seconds and seen across the interweb in a matter of hours. (I tried to find a related video but was unsuccessful. Apparently it hasn’t been done. Yet.)

VGN’s Brad Schwartz, Ghost Robot’s Zach Mortensen, Wired’s Howard Mittman and Mindshare’s David Lang discuss the future of the Super Bowl spot below.

http://www.adweek.com/video/super-bowl/media-thought-leaders-talk-about-end-big-super-bowl-ad-155298?auto

Each of these media experts shares the same confidence that the Super Bowl commercial is here to stay as long as the big game it’s self. Interestingly, the delivery method may be altered in years to come based on the rise of technology and the watching patterns of future generations. It could even be argued that the digital age has increased the Super Bowl ad experience by allowing viewers to seek out their favourite ads on Youtube and watch them again and again.

As you may have come to realize, if you are a recurring reader of SellMeAboutIt, is that I am by all means a traditionalist. The digital world we’re ever so quickly spiraling into is a cause of anxiety for me. The fact that I don’t possess the patience to wait until game day to reel through new Super Bowl ads is alarming. But this is the society we live in today, and this is the society I’m going to be marketing to tomorrow.

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#WhipIt Attempting to Wipe Out Gender Bias

Here in 2014, do gender biases still exist? The Philippines was rated the 5th most progressive country in terms of gender equality, however statistics show they may not be as far ahead as they think.

madworld

Hair care company Pantene has brought to light some interesting information as part of their new campaign for Filipino women called #WhipIt. A look at Filipino society in the 2013 Gender Gap Report reveals 70% of men say women need to downplay their personality in order to be accepted while 66% of females believe men are more deserving of employment then they are.

#WhipIt is a forum based out of the social media site rappler.com. It is rich with articles that challenge societal norms, labeling, stereotyping and other issues women may face, particularly in the workplace. Pantene’s goal is to encourage women to shine strong, as their hashtag (#) suggests. #Shinestrong.

“We believe that a lot of people default to gender stereotypes without stopping to think if they make any sense. By highlighting this we seem to have set off a conversation on the subject. And we hope that in the future, people will start thinking twice before labelling women unfairly.” says a representative for Pantene Philippines in regards to the campaign.

The #WhipIt ad spot has gone viral across the globe through social media sharing. That’s how I was lucky enough to stumble upon it as a perused my Facebook newsfeed this morning. Truthfully what kept me watching was the businesswoman in the beginning (wearing the fabulous Louboutin heels), as I one day envision myself in that position of power. Being a forward thinking individual with some faith left in society, I never gave much thought to the challenges that could arise if I were to be that businesswoman one day.

An interesting video was brought to my attention. It is a rundown of the successes and failures in the representation of women in the American media in our time, 2013.

2013 print ad for Axe
2013 print ad for Axe

Watching a video such as this places an even greater value on efforts put forth by Pantene Philippines and other companies who are attempting to open up discussion and heal gender equality issues.

Loco for Viral Ad Campaigns

Meet Tyler, Taco Enthusiast.

Taco Bell Canada is announcing the infamous Doritos Locos Taco (a beef taco wrapped in a Nacho Cheese Dorito shell) is permanently being added to it’s menu. The taco is a wildly popular item, and one fan decides to show his appreciation for it by getting it’s likeness emblazoned on his arm. Taco Bell is rewarding his honourable act with free Doritos Locos for life.

The concept and video was created by ad agency Grip Ltd, a Toronto based company dedicated to being game-changing, ground-breaking, dynamic, boat-rocking mavericks, so they claim. They have served clients such as Honda, Labatt’s, Budweiser and Bell. Currently a thirty second version of the spot airs on television, while the longer version can be found online.

The concept personifies Taco Bell’s slogan, Live Mas. Veronica Castillo, Marketing Manager for Taco Bell Canada describes the spot as a “bold move”. The ad has led to a Taco Bell Twitter campaign where tweeters are encouraged to tweet their love for the Doritos taco’s permanent residency with the hashtag (#) #DLT4LIFE.

dlo

The video has managed to gain 3,000 views since it’s launch on January 13th. Its not an instant viral success story, but it has some time to grow. Viral advertising is an exceptional way to generate buzz and brand awareness. The Internet loves to see people doing outrageous things, whether it is sponsored by a brand or not. It’s no longer enough to release a commercial on television and hope it incites the intended target market. Agencies are tapping into this fascination for wacky, shocking and entertaining videos and capitalizing on it.

Below is one of the most ingenious viral ad campaigns I’ve seen to date. It is an ad for Tipp-Ex, a company that makes white-out and other correctional supplies in Europe. The video lets you interact and create your own ending to the story, thanks to Tipp-Ex correctional fluid.

Smellcome to Manhood

Old Spice’s 2014 ad campaign, titled Momsong, has already gained over one million views on Youtube in the past 4 days. It is the ad to beat for 2014, with Super Bowl ads not even out of the gate yet. In the spot, mothers of teen boys lament that Old Spice has “sprayed men” of their sons, as they stalk them under sometimes humorous, other times creepy disguises.

Momsong is to be followed by a bigger campaign titled “Smellcome to Manhood”. Taking a direct hit at competitor Axe Body Spray, Old Spice aims to educate teenage boys on how to spray responsibly. You may be aware that pubescent over-sprayage is a common offense in gym locker rooms and high school hallways alike.

As an Integrated Marketing Communications student, I’ve spent a semester referencing Old Spice as an example of successful online advertising. I was sad to see the absence of The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.

The Man Your Man Could Smell Like
The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

Some are hailing Momsong as shear brilliance, others claim it’s nightmarishly disturbing. One Youtube commenter mused, “Is there such a thing as a REVERSE Oedipus complex? ‘Cause if there is then that Old Spice commercial definitely has it.” Personally I believe the genius lies in a viral ad that not only pulls in views and gets people buzzing, but also generates sales in the process. I’ve watched many a quirky, uncomfortable Skittles ad in my life and never been tempted to buy a bag.

What’s in a Name?

LuLuLemon yoga pants
LuLuLemon yoga pants

I was 15 when my city’s LuLuLemon apparel store first opened in our downtown shopping core. I saved for months and one day walked in there, a stack of twenties folded neatly in my wallet. It was money I had earned spending my Friday nights tirelessly babysitting a pack of monstrous, barbarian psychopaths (dear little children). I went to school and hiked my shirt up above my waistband to proudly display the little white logo on my black yoga pants. This would let everyone know that like every other girl in the tenth grade, I too had spent $120 on a single pair of pants. The waves of acceptance came crashing over me.

The gosh darn little white logo
The gosh darn little white logo

What is it about brands that makes us act this way? Sure, the material of the LuLu pant is a higher quality, but I could buy 12 pairs of yoga pants for the same price on a sale day at Walmart.

The idea behind brand obsession is that products are created in the factory but brands are created in the mind of the consumer. Brands to us have an image, a mentality, a philosophy, a status quo. And what is attached to the brand, defines us as people. Owning my LuLuLemon pants in high school meant I was about the LuLu image. I was also not an outsider among my peers, which is the scariest thing to be at 15.

As I was researching about brand obsession for this blog, all that seemed to pop up were various other blogs gloating product reviews for their favourite brands. My personal favourite was a blog titled “Spoiled Little LA Girls” which gave the most in depth analysis I ever read on why I should buy $600 jeans.

A strange thing happened however as I was maneuvering my way through high school. By eleventh grade there was a slow uprising of what we know today as the “hipster.” Hipsterism started off as counter-culture that branched away from popular music and fashion. Hipsters were unique and ironic, rejecting the ideals of mainstream consumers. Suddenly we were buying our pants at thrift stores, snapping photos for Facebook on Polaroid cameras and listening to The King of Carrot Flowers on vinyl. agrr

Soon enough this counter-culture came full circle, and suddenly stores like Urban Outfitters were mass-producing the sense of uniqueness. Walking through the hallways with the same vintage-inspired combat boots and Biggie Smalls oversized tee as thirteen other girls suddenly lost it’s appeal.

Perhaps it’s an inevitability of human nature. Despite our longing to be unique we still strive for acceptance from our peers and to feel, to some degree, we belong. Sure there are those who truly rebel against societal views of what is “cool”, and they are often the trendsetters who lead us into new definitions of the word.

Personally, I still buy LuLuLemon clothing from time to time. And yes, the primary reason is still to tote that little logo. I suppose the psychosis of the brand obsession is something nearly impossible to shake for some when it is so deeply imbedded. However I can safely say that LuLuLemon may be my only weakness.

I look at my iPhone, I sip from my Starbucks.