Oh, and some football. Super Bowl Sunday, one of the most-watched American broadcasts of the year. While the football game remains central to this annual occasion, the world of advertising plays out its own kind of tournament.
With an average $5 million ad-spend, we really are talking about the championship league of advertisers. So, the question has to be asked: why is the common tactic used by many of these advertisers still endorsements from A-list celebrities.
A simple answer is: resourcing. It can be argued that it is a smart use of resources. If you have/can have access to people of influence, what's the use in stopping yourself from using them in your advertising? If you can get Helen Mirren to sit and proclaim her “notoriously frank and uncensored British lady”-ness, in an attempt to ensure drunk drivers know they are “oxygen wasters”, people might just listen.
One Super Bowl ad review named Amazon Echo's ad as a “throw everyone we can find into an ad, ad”. Yet, thanks to Alec Baldwin, Dan Marino and Missy Elliot, I'm curious about just how savvy Amazon Echo really is. Because if you're hanging out with these big-shots, you've got to be a big-shot yourself, right?
In defense of creative advertising, without the superstars, however, one of the biggest noise-making ads was Mountain Dew's Puppy Monkey Baby commercial. While it horrified some viewers and charmed others, it made a commotion – as, presumably, intended. No super celebs, just a bunch of creatives and their strangest ideas.
But whether you're team Puppy Monkey Baby or team Super Celeb Bowl, the lesson that Super Bowl advertising teaches is one of pooling your resources, and doing so unashamedly.
Perhaps you have connections you can be taking advantage of. Perhaps you have a wacky team of creatives who can consistently dream up wonderfully bizarre ideas.
Know who you are, what you've got, and where you're connected. Then, set your game plan.