Craig McNamara blogs and podcasts about advertising and working in advertising
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Trust your doctor
I wasn't going to bother talking about Super Bowl spots anymore, since I think we're all pretty much over those, but this one probably warrants a second look, if only for its high ratings in post-game recall.
As a cola spot, its pretty much a given these days that there's going to be absolutely no rational appeal to why you should choose their brand of brown sugar-water over another; and as a high-profile Super Bowl spot, it's also pretty much a given that its going to be built around some B- or C-level celebrity (or as in this case, one of each).
I'll say this. It certainly remains true to the "Saturday Night Live" brand the spot is leveraging, in that it's not as nearly as amusing as it thinks it is. Beyond that, the way Pepsi is worked into the spot is so flat-footed, it's not even funny as a parody. (And like most SNL skits, the harder they work the joke, the less funny it gets; go watch the second and third spots in this series, if you don't believe me.)
For an example of how well these kind of spots can actually be done, see the Dr. Pepper ad below. I don't believe it ran on the Super Bowl, but maybe it's too clever and crisply-written, and actually matches the high quality of the series that its leveraging. As a bonus, there's actually an attempt at a competitive position that is integral to the humor.
Craig McNamara, writer, has over 25 years experience in creating advertising, including 14 years at several of Minneapolis' best-known ad agencies. His work has won awards in both local and national award shows. He's also the author of a book on Minneapolis/St. Paul history and culture. You can find out more about him and view his portfolio at craigmwriter.com.
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