Food commercials were aplenty in last night's Super Bowl XLVIII in East Rutherford, New Jersey. But which ones stood out?
Oikos yogurt got the hype for a "Full House" male reunion. However, that wasn't even the most interesting ad for yogurt. Chobani Greek yogurt gave us a great, creative ad about a selective bear raiding a small-town general store. More interesting and told us something about the product.
The biracial Cheerios kid made a return, this time using Cheerios to convey to the girl that she is getting a baby brother. Her counteroffer of a puppy was accepted. Didn't tie into the health claims but reinforced the association with Cheerios and family.
I love Stephen Colbert and the pistachios spot fit Colbert's personality. I especially liked the wraparound where the commercial was "interrupted" by a David Beckham H&M ad. Getting 2 mentions really helped. The only drawback was that pistachios played second-fiddle to Colbert, though Colbert splitting open his head amplified what pistachios are all about.
Butterfinger was the solution to chocolate and peanut butter being in therapy. I thought the ad was for Reeses at first, but that was the point as Butterfinger is trying to be an alternative. I hadn't associated Butterfinger with peanut butter; the company is hoping for $4 million that consumers will give that a try.
Subway is offering a sandwich with Fritos in the sandwich. There was a Fritos chicken enchilada sandwich and a Fritos pulled pork sandwich. You can get Fritos with a sandwich and put them on your own sandwich. Wish Subway would concentrate more on better tasting bread and better looking vegetables on their sandwiches.
To be fair, Subway talks about its sandwiches. I'm still amazed that Jimmy John's makes sandwiches and never talks about what's in them. Equating Jimmy John's with roses for an anniversary would have made for a great parody if someone else produced the ad. This was a wasted $4 million.
Doritos ran two ads: Time Machine and a kid riding a dog. The theme of Doritos being bold was reinforced. The Time Machine ad was definitely better, but both spots were very visual. When you're watching at a party or a bar, you want visual ads where the words don't matter. The visuals were more important in these ads.
Heinz ketchup ran a cute ad about how Heinz makes you happy enough to clap your hands. The classic bottle also ran as a theme; grandma uses a squeeze bottle and makes an unfortunate noise inferred to be flatulence. Funny after pushing the squeeze bottle as convenience, Heinz went a bit retro with the glass bottle. If only Heinz would go truly retro and ditch high-fructose corn syrup.
M&Ms had an Italian stereotype about chopping someone into pieces and then sprinkling that … over ice cream. Turns out the peanut M&M was in the trunk and doesn't understand Italian. The candy company has done a lot better; your Super Bowl ad shouldn't make consumers cringe and wish for your less expensive ads in comparison.
Drinks aren't really food, but we'll take a brief look at the spots.
The lovely Scarlet Johansson talked up Sodastream. The company teased an alternative ad with a tagline attacking Coke and Pepsi. Sodastream knew the ad wouldn't make it to the Super Bowl, but put it out there to attract more attention.
Johansson attracted more attention to a controversy involving Oxfam and settlements in the Middle East. Funny how Sodastream is running against Coke and Pepsi, but won't make alternative syrups to satisfy that audience.
Coca-Cola ran 2 ads: one with different languages singing America the Beautiful and a kid running a TD all the way to Lambeau Field in Green Bay. The football one tied in well with the game but not the product. And the international voices remind us they every country outside the United States and Canada has a better version of Coca-Cola.
Full disclosure: my day job did not run an ad in Super Bowl XLVIII, but has run an ad in recent years.
video credits: Chobani, Cheerios, countournuts.com