It seems that the long-tail conversation coming out of the ad community’s analysis of the Super Bowl spots is all about strategy.
First, let me say kudos to any brand or agency that had work run during the game. It’s a big accomplishment to be part that tradition and for sheer participation, I sincerely tip my hat.
That said, my immediate reaction to the work was to ask: “Is the Unique Selling Proposition dead… and whatever happened to advertising creative based on benefit?”
In my opinion, without naming names, you could take the logo off most of the work and shuffle them around and still end up with a spot that made literal sense for another brand. I thought the Chrysler spot was for Cadillac and still have the Bud spots confused with the Doritos work. I felt like every brand was claiming to be coveted by aliens, to revive deceased ancestors or somehow play a role in a series of epic Hollywood-style explosions. The work was insanely high on production value and sadly low on Unique Selling Proposition.
Without a sound strategic underpinning, three values that most modern advertising claims to perpetuate can’t manifest themselves:
I don’t think I am alone in this sentiment.
Peter Krivkovich has a similar take over at AdAge. And this comment hit home with me from a Facebook post on AdFreak’s “Battle of the VW Ads: ‘The Force’ vs. ‘Milky Way”
“…I don’t give a crap who sang the song ‘Pink Moon’ … point being it’s the idea behind the commercial. I prefer the Milky Way Cabrio ad because it brings out the advantages of actually driving the vehicle… The Darth Vader ad is cutesy, just sort of sells Star Wars.”
Today, Ed Cotton has a post on Influx about The Brief. He’s asking some great questions, that -- I have a hunch -- may be in part inspired by yet another Facebook conversation which he and I commented on, discussing the seeming lack of strategy behind the Emniem/Chrysler spot. In his Influx post, Ed cites Jon Steel’s book “Truth and Lies in Advertising” – a book that I think a number of agency folks should be ordering from Amazon sooner than later.
Personally, I think the brief still lives, it’s just that the number of people who know how to write an effective brief based on insights are few and far between in the modern ad agency. —Bernard Urban