A funny thing happens on Super Bowl Sunday when you have one foot in advertising, and one foot in the female blogger community – you end up with two separate tweet deck columns, with two totally different sets of commentary on the exact same Super Bowl commercials.
Ad folks are notorious for liking different ads than the regular folk. We like spots directed by famous people. We like obscure music. We like “cinematography.” Occasionally we’re up for a good talking baby spot if the lip synch CG is decent.
The general American population likes dogs. They like monkeys. They like celebrity cameos and 80s music and talking candy, wacky grandmas and men getting hit in the head with planks or beer cans or planks attached to beer cans. They’re also up for a good talking baby spot.
Neither of us is wrong. Unless you believe that as an ad creative, you are making ads for your client’s audience and not for your future boss. In which case the audience is right.
My colleagues may disagree with me on that one.
This year, with social media at the ready, I was interested to see which ads women in particular like. You know, women? Half of the viewing audience of the Super Bowl? The ones who also sit through all those $3mm 30-second tributes to boobs and beer?
Here, a few of the winners and losers in a totally unscientific poll of my tweet stream, non-advertising Facebook friends, and followers who were kind enough to tweet me their feelings. Good night for cars, underwear, and snack foods.
By far, this spot for David Beckham underwear featuring…well, David Beckham in his underwear, for many women, I think made up for 42 years worth of Super Bowl commercials featuring women in their underwear.
I’m going out and buying 50 H&M dresses tomorrow- @veepveep
Oddly, men seemed confused by it, a few asking whether H&M was going for the gay audience. As if women aren’t the ones buying underwear for their husbands?
I don’t know who @ace_metrix is but when they tweeted H&M was the worst ad of the first half w/an Ace Score of 450 it makes me wonder how their “metrix” work. Because there is not a woman in America who doesn’t know now that H&M makes men’s underwear that’s probably affordable and worth checking out. I guarantee no one in the target audience got up for more chicken wings during that spot.
Now let’s contrast H&M with the GoDaddy ads.
What, you say? GoDaddy, the brand that supports SOPA and hates elephants and probably unicorns and the baby Jesus has created yet another series of gratuitously sexist ads that are so offensive, that they compel huge numbers of their their female customers to run out and cancel their GoDaddy accounts immediately like I did last year?
I know! I couldn’t believe it either!
It is an understatement to say that women hate GoDaddy–the company, the brand, and certainly the ads. The most retweeted of all my comments last night was this one.
A few friends (male friends) called me out on what they perceived to be a double-standard. How can I support a barely-clothed hot guy in an H&M ad but not a barely-clothed hot gal in a GoDaddy ad?
Show me a sexy half-naked woman in a Victoria’s Secret ad and I get it. Because she’s selling lingerie. Show me a sexy half-naked David Beckham in an underwear ad and I get that too. Show me a sexy woman in an Axe ad, about a 19 year-old guy’s inability to focus on anything besides sex, and I get it. Show me a sexy woman in a Kia Optima commercial about guy’s fantasy car and I get that (even if a lot of us are skeptical about the basic premise of a Kia Optima as a fantasy car in the first place).
Now show me two women, generally known for their professional accomplishments, being reduced to sexy girl-girl loving bimbos for the purpose of selling URL domains and uh…
Yeah. Totally different. It’s not just demeaning, it’s hateful.
I don’t think Go Daddy is the worst because of their commercials. I think they are the worst because THEY ARE THE WORST. -@mamaspohr
Also, my young daughters saw it. So screw you, GoDaddy. Run that crap after 10PM.
TELEFLORA: Speaking of bimbos, my six year-old saw the ad with Adriana Hotty McHotster and the first thing she said: “she’s not wearing a bra.”
WTF people? This is the first thing a six year-old notices? We have never even had discussions about women who do and don’t wear bras.
Of course her dad’s response was, “So Thalia…would you like a new mommy?”
I get it. She’s hot. Men like hot. As an ad creative, I appreciate the risk they took here: Employing a hot supermodel dressed like an escort to tell men in no uncertain terms (“give and you shall receive”) that if you buy flowers for your wife for Valentine’s Day you’ll get some, although probably by someone a lot less hot.
Now the old flowers-for-sex thing may have some degree of truth to it. (Let’s be honest.) But now, every woman who gets a Teleflora delivery from her husband this year will assume he just really really wants a BJ, as promised to him by a super-model. It’s not about romance. It’s not about saying thank you honey for being the mother of my children and forgiving me for farting in bed and picking my H&M underwear off the floor next to the hamper. It’s about what I want from you. Since I can’t get it from a supermodel.
Needless to say, this ad didn’t fly too well with the women I saw.
Best ever tweet from @Edenland: The @teleflora ad in the Superbowl makes me want to order a hooker. But you don’t need to give flowers to hookers. I’m confused.
HONDA CRV: A week ago, when the Honda CRV Ferris Bueller extended ad was released on YouTube, I started having debates with colleagues. They pretty much unanimously had issues with this ad. And yet my stream was jam-packed with women loooooving this ad. It has 11 million views already. That’s saying something.
This by far was the ad most cited by women as their favorite ad of the night, in my totally unscientific research that would get me thrown out of any R+D meeting anywhere (and probably an Ace Metrix meeting). What’s more important is that it seems like the ad did more than make women run out and dust off their John Hughes DVDs and change their ring tones to Yello. It appears like it really made them feel good about the car.
That CRV ad just made me so happy. #beullerbeuller -@chookooloonks
5th time seeing it and it never gets old.-@umommy
All new CR-V Honda takes off- hilarious!-@bonniefuller
2 people in the room w me said “I love it!” & “I want a CRV now!” For real. -@lmayes (by DM)
Made me rethink the cr-v which I always hated.-@newmomsurvival
A few other thoughts on a few other winners of the night among women:
GILLETTE FUSION: Adrien Brody, Gael Garcia Bernal and Andre 3000 make for a nice bit of eye candy for the ladies–a.k.a those who tend to buy their husband’s razors for them at CVS. On the down side, many people referred to it as “that shaver ad.” With the exception of Deb2525 who knew that It’s #Gilette and I’m getting my husband a #Fusion tomorrow. Unfortunately, not too many women remembered it by the end of the game.
Also, now that both Adrien Brody and Betty White seem to make Super Bowl ads each year, I’m hoping someone can bring them together in one beautiful cameo of cameos. Let me know if you’re a brand who wants to hire me for that one. I have some ideas.
HYUNDAI: Real Alabama factory workers converging on a cubicle to the tune of the Rocky theme song was a huge hit with the women in my stream, pretty much unanimously. @lsnjd told me the kids are reenacting it right now. Classic. @Shaunaburr: I’m a sucker for singing. Meanwhile Foursquare Biz Dev dude @TristanWalker tweeted, Hyundai. 2 commercials. 2 terrible commercials. 7mm dollars wasted. I’m wondering who’s right?
AUDI: While this Twilight-esque Audi spot was wildly polarizing (“clever”-@beccaluczycki; “stupid” -@kikajuls) I think we can all agree that Echo and the Bunnymen, at any time, is awesome. And at least we could figure out what the heck the point of the spot was (really bright headlights), unlike some of the ads that aired. What was interesting to me though, is that women kept talking about this spot throughout the game. And talking about it. And talking about it. By the end of the game, it was one of the few first-half ads that people were still citing as a favorite. And they always knew just what brand it was for.
M&Ms: I am reluctant to write this, because the Just My Shell ad is so far from my own creative sensibilities…and, we’ll leave it at that. Yet, every single person who tweeted me loved it. Looooved it. Note to ad creatives: Add taking chocolate candies to the list of anthropomorphic crowd-pleasers now that talking babies are experiencing some wear-out.
VW: This year’s The Dog Strikes Back struck a chord with a lot of women. Interestingly, some of them liked the dog part but could have lived without the Star Wars button in the back end. Some of them liked the Star Wars bit but not the dog. Most of them really liked the whole thing. When @LOD tweeted #volkswagen wins. Laura Mayes retweeted, totally.
And then there were a few women tweeted about “fat-shaming” dogs. I have to assume they were joking. Right? (Right?)
(Disclosure: I work for the East Coat office of Deutsch, the agency that does the VW work, but I have nothing to do with any of it.)
CHRYSLER: It’s hard to pull off a serious ad during the Super Bowl (see also: Prudential, which not a single person talked about). And yet the Clint Eastwood It’s Halftime in America spot struck a profound chord, mostly with those women in my stream who tend to be highly educated and political. In fact, a few women told me they thought it was a political ad at first. What I liked is that it acknowledges the women and families who struggled through the tough times, the same as the men, and doesn’t just show male drivers either (take note, Chevy). “Detroit’s showing us it can be done. And what’s true about them is true about all of us.” It just makes you want to root for Chrysler and root for Detroit and root for all of us together. I think those are values that women can get behind.
The best super bowl commercial was clint eastwood!! If detroit falls we get back up dust our shoulder off & make things happen!! -@Ms_celeste92
That’s going to also make a lot of people feel really good about Crysler. So nice follow-up on last year’s Imported from Detroit ad, and that’s no small task.
As for the political misleads–well, were they? Eastwood ends with the line “our second half’s about to begin…” and I wasn’t the only one who thought that it sounded like an Obama endorsement–as @SamSifton pointed out. Evidently Republicans did too.
BEST BUY: Ooh…so close. Women loved the celebration of entrepreneurs. They loved the nod to iPhones and emergent technology. That’s because women online are serious about tech. And Siri. And Words With Friends. And yet a lot of women wondered why there weren’t any women represented among the entrepreneurs.
Best Buy ad was great, but just shows us we need more women in tech! – Kristen from @coolmomtech. Plenty of retweets agreed.
Overall, with few exceptions, I have to give a nod to tonight’s crop of advertisers. Whatever you thought of the speed dating e-trade babies, we didn’t see the henpecked husbands ignoring their wives, the emasculated boyfriends, or the lecherous drunk college guy archetypes the way we have in past years. We saw a couple of ads that even talked directly to women who aren’t professional escorts.
Next year, maybe we’ll see more than a couple. There are about 40,000,000 of us wimmins watching, after all.
So…what did I miss? Agree or disagree? What were your favorites of the night? Here’s a link to all the 2012 Super Bowl ads. if you missed them.