Super Bowl XLVIII Advertising: Cutting through the *bleep*

America has come down with Super Bowl fever. And getting equal coverage (if not more) than the scores are the advertisements. But while almost every company decides to spend big on their creative budget when it comes to the Super Bowl advert, it may not be the best use of the money!

anna kendrick

There were numerous creative, eye-catching and expensive adverts playing throughout the Super Bowl. And when the ad spot costs you $4 million for just 30 seconds of exposure then you would hope a lot of thought went into the best use of that time.

Hiring big names, creating unforgettable experiences and renting some of the most popular puppets in the industry are among some of the strategies that many brands employ. But today I want to look at the advert which I believe was the most powerful!

The aim of advertising at the Super Bowl is to stand out. Unfortunately, most companies take that as an opportunity to try and out-do one another. ‘If they’re using a hovercraft, I have to use a jet fighter’. This kind of thinking certainly doesn’t help because there is a limit as to how high the action-packed bar of expectation can go. Beyond a certain point, there really isn’t any difference because they are all overly action-packed and the consumer tunes out as they see similar action-packed advert after action-packed advert.

To really stand out you must be different. And that is the approach taken by Newcastle Brown Ale.

Check out the advert below (If you are an email subscriber, click here).

In amongst all the jumping out of aeroplanes and Matrix inspired driving, the Newcastle Brown Ale advert simply features incredibly popular indie actress Anna Kendrick getting her hair done. A welcome break from the thrill-seeking nature of all the competitors (because when it comes to Super Bowl ads, the competitors are now anyone else who is advertising).

Plus, as if the change in stimuli wasn’t enough to get you to tune in, the advert also features bleeped-out words. These words may not be swearing but they still need to be bleeped for copyright purposes. And when we hear that bleeping we assume it is swearing – so by this stage if you haven’t tuned in you will certainly start concentrating to find out why Anna Kendrick is swearing on global television!

The final component I am going to point out is the importance of spontaneity. Majority of the other adverts are highly scripted. I can assure you that this Newcastle Brown Ale advert is just as highly scripted, but it is written in a way that suggests Anna Kendrick is just speaking candidly to the camera. And this makes her off-the-cuff endorsement for the product at the end of the video even more powerful. Because it sounds like she is genuinely endorsing the product we are more likely, as consumers, to purchase it!

It is a pretty clever advert from Newcastle Ale. And if nothing else, the money they saved on production values can all go towards purchasing a much better and longer spot during the broadcast.