Decoding 2016 Super Bowl commercials, 4th quarter

It’s the 4th and final quarter,

of an otherwise tepid and disappointing collection of multi-million dollar ads.  Our final entry does have a couple gems.  BTW, the game ended with the Denver Broncos defeating the Carolina Panthers with a score of 24 to 10.

Jeep, 4x4ever
60 seconds for automobiles.
Themes: Rebellion.
Messaging: Redefining Millennials as rebels.
Commentary: Mentioning earth, wind, water, and fire, the ad depicts a group of young, do-it-yourself, take-charge rebels.  This is an affront to the Prius Millennials.  It is the polar opposite of another car ad reaching out to elderly baby boomers.  The ad is not cute, comedic, or dares to touch environmental guilt,  finishing with a rebellious woman destroying a recyclable.
Did it work? Yes.  My favorite messaging ad so far.

Schick, Hyrdo Robot Razors
30 seconds for razors.
Themes: Absurd special effects.
Messaging: Competitor razors will disfigure you.
Commentary: Another double-meaning ad, at first glance the competitor razor breaks into pieces.  It’s not up to the Schick.  Remember what the ad is selling, a smooth razor experience.   They’re waiting for you to nick yourself badly before remembering the ad.  Then you’ll switch allegiance.
Did it work? Subtle message, but a so-so ad.

Axe, Uni Axe Thing No Touch
30 seconds for male hygiene products.
Themes: Incongruity.
Messaging: Axe for young males who are out-of-sync.
Commentary: With the use of black and white, incongruous images, Axe features “stand out” subjects including some we would run away if we caught them screaming at themselves in a public restroom.  Inclusion of pocket combs and boom boxes puts us in another world or time out-of-sync.  This is who the ad is catering to.
Did it work? No.

Jublia, Spa with Howie, Dion, and Phil
32 seconds for foot medicine.
Themes: A-list stars.
Messaging: Your secret fungus will be revealed.
Commentary: A fun-loving man, who is alone, accidentally discovers a secret spa visited by star athletes.  The ad is warning you, your secrets will be exposed.  Treat your shame before it is too late.
Did it work? No.

Kia, Walken Closet
62 seconds for automobiles.
Themes: A-list star.
Messaging: Kia is exciting.
Commentary: Bordering “stupid simple”, the use of colors is simple and effective.  The use of beige to colorful polka dots is a bridge to between the reputation Kia has established and where it wants to be.  In your wallet and purse.
Did it work? Yes.

T-Mobile, Restricted Bling Network
60 seconds for wireless.
Themes: A-list star, incongruity.
Messaging: Don’t get boxed in your wireless contract.
Commentary: The ad starts and ends in a box. The message is not subtle.  The comedy relief is complete with our “villains” trapped in the box they created.
Did it work? Yes.

CBS, All Access Promo
30 seconds for network promotion.
Themes: Incongruity.
Messaging: Watch CBS from questionable places.
Commentary: As simple as the ad was, the theme is CBS can be watched from places you had never thought of.  You might be hesitant on the bus, be distracted at the pool, or questioned by your spouse in the bedroom.
Did it work? Underwhelming ad not worthy of Super Bowl status.

Anheuser-Busch, Simply Put
60 seconds for beer.
Themes: A-list star, stupid simple, social commentary (don’t drink and drive).
Messaging: Don’t drink and drive.
Commentary: Notice how the Budweiser label is NOT prominently displayed.  That is no coincidence and evident of the beer-makers diabolical planning.
Did it work? I better say “yes”, or else.

Universal, The Secret Life of Pets
30 seconds for movie promotion.
Themes: Animals.
Messaging: None.
Commentary: I’m really disappointed at the quantity and quality of this year’s movie ads.
Did it work? No.

Colgate, Save Water
30 seconds for tooth paste.
Themes: Social commentary (guilt).
Messaging: Brush your teeth, think Colgate.
Commentary: Taking advantage of an habitual routine, Colgate wants us to think about them when we wash our fruit from dirt and pesticides as well when we brush our teeth.  I accuse this ad as fraudulent as I am unable to get water flow from my bathroom sink at the rate the ad depicts and certainly not with quick twist of the knob.
Did it work? No. Toothpaste and water will forever go together.

SunTrust – Hold Your Breath
32 seconds for banking.
Themes: Groupthink.
Messaging: You’re drowning in debt.
Commentary: With visual, audio, and narrative queues, the ad reaches out to the all ages who are drowning in debt.  The ad closes with a call to come together.
Did it work? No. Money handling companies should be more clever.

Jump to 1st quarter, 2nd quarter and half time, 3rd quarter, 4th quarter.

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