Indie Agencies on the Beer, QSR and Food and Beverage Super Bowl Ads: What Worked and Could’ve Worked Better


By kcarterhuey / / Tide Wins the Beer Wars Alec Beckett, Creative Director at Nail Communications in Providence, RI noted that with no hard selling or product features and benefits to flog (in theory) beer advertising has the highest entertainment potential. He felt that this year was a big disappointment for the beer category: “Our crowd was excited to see the Bud Light battle, but was disappointed that the first spot was not new. Then the Bud Knight fell a little flat. (But an aside here: how did that blatant, heavy-handed attempt to make “Dilly Dilly” a catch phrase work so freakin’ well?) Michelob Ultra seemed to whiff badly with the “Chris Pratt gets cast as an extra” spot. But managed to redeem themselves later with “Chris Pratt actually being an extra.” I was not a fan of Stella Artois and Matt Damon trying to blackmail us into buying their beer to give people clean water. But to me it was pretty clear who did the best beer ad of the night: Tide. Their Clydesdale teaser was just one of the glorious series of faux spots featuring people with clean clothes.” Andy Dutlinger Creative Director at LRXD in Boulder liked the cause-related messages from the beer category. “The big-beer-with-a-heart sentiment from Budweiser (who used production facilities to get clean water to disaster victims this year) and Stella Artois (who is selling chalices to bring clean water to people in the developing world) made me feel good about the companies. But that’s not enough to ever make their products my first choice.” Was Wendy’s Tweet More Effective Than Their Ronald Beat Down? Craig Mikes, Principle & Executive Creative Director at Austin-based, Proof Advertising said he has meddled in the Fast Food category and found this year’s offering disappointing. “McDonald’s, perhaps seeing what Wendy’s was up to in their leaked spots, snuck a Big Mac spot in pregame airtime. It did nothing to pull Wendy off of the Ronald beat down. Simple, clean, voiceless spots — a formula that seem to be what’s next in the category of me-too wannabes –continued the fresh-not-frozen stance as they riddled away at the Arches for their frozen patties. It made what Martha did to Jack seem tame. We’ve heard this fresh claim from Wendy’s before, but it seemed to sting more this time around even without the guy in the freezer footage. Burger King and other major QSR players were all too happy to sit this fight out knowing Wendy’s twitter account was lurking on the dark web ready to pounce with some pithy back up.” LRXD’s Dutlinger added, “Wendy’s had something to say to McDonald’s (who flash freezes their meat), but they did it in the least fresh way possible. I did like Wendy’s tweet at McDonald’s when the broadcast blacked out, insinuating that McD’s was to blame for freezing viewers’ televisions. And it didn’t cost $5 million.” The Best Food and Beverage Spots (aside from Doritos and Mountain Dew mentioned in CPG recap yesterday) Jerry Gennaria, Chief Operating Officer and SVP, The Brighton Agency in St. Louis said that any brand manager fighting for space and attention in a crowded freezer aisle can tell you, it’s hard to stand out (especially at the Super Bowl). “‘Snow Date’ and ‘Dad Time’ positioned the brand as perfect for special occasions, no matter how small or unexpected. Branding and positioning is as important as awareness and Marie Callender has staked their claim for the little moments that mean so much. We can almost smell the comfort food from here.” Andy Dutlinger CD at LRXD had more to say about the Food and Beverage ads in the Big Game: “Kraft’s “live” ad that asked viewers to hashtag photos of how they family and perhaps have those shots star in the ad was a good concept, but the execution severely fell down. How good can pictures of people on their couch in sweat pants ever be?” “Pepsi and Coke are both trying to convince people there’s a soda out there for them. But people are way too smart — and looking too deeply at what’s in their food these days — to have a big-budget, we-are-the-world Super Bowl ad blow it past them. “