A mixed ad bag – Execs: ‘Farmer’ was Super, few others memorable

By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal



TUPELO – A simple, straight-forward message sometimes is all you need to sell a product.
Or at least elevate brand recognition.
Like millions of others watching Sunday’s Super Bowl, television advertising and marketing experts also critiqued the multi-million-dollar ads.
Cars, trucks, horses, tacos, chips, cookies, candy and movies all were pushed to varying degrees of success.
Tom Robinson of Robinson and Associates and Josh Mabus of the Mabus Agency both came to the same conclusion most everyone else in America did: Ram’s salute to farmers featuring broadcaster Paul Harvey’s “So God Made a Farmer” address was a smash hit.
“It was a terrific spot. … It resonated well and it wasn’t difficult to watch,” said Robinson. “The whole family could watch it.”
Mabus said Harvey’s words, backed up by strong visuals from still photography made for a perfect combination. The ad struck a chord, and consumers will respond, he predicted
“The Ram truck is the last thing you see in that commercial, and I’m betting you’ll see sales pick up this month,” he said.
Chrysler – the parent company of Ram as well as Jeep, which featured a salute to troops with Oprah Winfrey reading a letter – continued a trend it started three years ago with its long-format ads lasting two minutes.
For the most part, however, the two ad agency execs didn’t think this year’s crop of Super Bowl commercials was all that memorable.
Sure, the Taco Bell, Doritos and Oreo’s ads were entertaining, but were they as good as past efforts?
“I think there were more feel-good, more family-oriented, more reality-based … ” Robinson said.
Anheuser-Busch’s ad featuring a baby Clydesdale growing up and reuniting with his trainer pulled many heartstrings.
Robinson liked it as well, but Mabus said it was too much of a stretch to believe.
The two did agree the GoDaddy ad featuring a kiss between a supermodel and a nerd to illustrate the company’s “sexy” and “smart” combination was off the mark.
“It was bad,” Robinson said.
“I don’t even get what they’re trying to do,” Mabus said. “Maybe the CEO of the company has some vanity association with the Super Bowl.”
Certainly, the ad generated buzz, though not necessarily positive.
“Just because people are talking about it doesn’t mean they’re buying it,” Mabus added.
Robinson also said some of the messages were lost in some of the advertising. If viewers remember everything about the ad except the product itself, then you have to question the wisdom behind the effort.
And with 30-second spots costing as much as $4 million, that’s a costly mistake to make.
dennis.seid@journalinc.com