February 3rd, 2014 by Sarah Sluis

The Seahawks trounced the Broncos in this year’s Super Bowl, which featured some stellar interceptions and plays (Go Hawks!). The commercials, at $4 million per pop, were surprisingly sentimental. Anyone expecting the kind of bawdy beer commercials that often populate the space was left pretty much empty-handed. Instead, commercials featured patriotism, cute animals, and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres dancing to pop music. Oh, and a love story between a puppy and a horse, courtesy of Budweiser. Here’s the post-game recap, featuring the top five most noteworthy Super Bowl moments.

1. J.C. Penney’s community managers weren’t drunk, they were wearing mittens.People checking Twitter were quite confused when J.C. Penney posted a couple of garbled tweets that looked like they were sent from a community manager who should have been off duty. A couple tweets later, they revealed they were #TweetingWithMittens, which I think should go viral as a term for when people accidentally mess up a Tweet. Still the winner: Last year’s Oreo twitpic “You Can Still Dunk in the Dark” that perfectly riffed off a power loss in Super Bowl stadium.

2. Cheerios Repeats the Interracial Couple Ad That Angered Racists. Sometimes, it’s okay for an ad to receive tons of negative comments. Case in point: A Cheerio’s ad that featured a black dad, a cute kid, and a white mom. Cheerios replayed the ad on the Super Bowl, joining Coca-Cola on the conservative hit list. A Coca-Cola ad that featured people singing “America the Beautiful” in multiple languages hit most people’s sentimental sweet spots, but still sparked a few “You’re in America, learn English” tweets.

3. Microsoft’s Health and Technology-Focused #Empowering Ad. I normally find just watching a deaf person hear for the first time after getting their cochlear implant enough to make me cry (these videos are a thing now according to knowyourmeme.com), but Microsoft raised the stakes. The commercial was narrated by the electronic voice of a former NFL players and ALS sufferer, showing kids Skyping with their deployed parents and a Kinect being used in order to evaluate an X-Ray. The technology and health care angle is a relevant one, in light of the recent health care act, but it also shined a different light on a Microsoft we think of more for powering Office than as a tool used to bring health and joy to people’s lives. And unlike all the equally sentimental car ads, it featured technology that backed up its premise.

4. RadioShack Reinvents Itself with its ‘80s Ad. For a brand that has the dated-feeling word “radio” in its title, reinvention is tough. But RadioShack showed it was a good sport with its ad. “The 80s called—they want their store back” launches a barrage of ‘80s celebrities stripping the store of its dated items, followed by the closing line, “It’s time for a new RadioShack.” I’ve long associated RadioShack with dusty, second-tier technology. I hope this signals their brick-and-mortar stores are undergoing an equally transformative change.

5. Google Glass makes a cameo. As the trophy passed through two lines of Seattle Seahawks players, some of them had old-fashioned cameras or GoPros strapped to their heads. The Seahawks’ wide receiver Golden Tate, however, was sporting Google Glass, and to me that was a sign of the future more than anything else. What an amazing moment to capture, and hands-free too. Apparently, The Bleacher Report gave a Glass to Tate in order to record his experience the week of the Super Bowl, not Google itself, but it was amazing product placement nonetheless—a true coup for an event where ad space costs millions.

Golden Tate Google Glass

Thanks for the recap. Too loud in Seattle to hear ads. Go Hawks! Go Seattle!

Comment by Sueanne — — February 3, 2014 @ 3:25 pm

This year, fewer websites and software companies aired ads compared to the past four years and more ads appeared from packaged food and luxury auto makers, according to research firm Ace Metrix, which measures the effectiveness of ads. Absent were edgier companies willing to take risks, such as E(asterisk)Trade and Groupon, while more staid brands like Cheerios and Heinz joined the mix.

Comment by Arlene York — — February 14, 2014 @ 12:40 pm

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