Team Take: The Super Bowl Sprints to the Past with a Heaping Spoonful of Nostalgia (By Ryan)
Alright, the Super Bowl concluded last night and I no longer have to listen to very loud and overconfident Eagles fans boast about their team for another year (although I do have to hear them complain about officiating). I was at a neighbor’s house for the first half taking notes on, well… Apple’s Notes app until I decided I needed someplace warmer and someplace quieter to finish my scrutinization of advertising’s big night. So without further ado, the ad that I will be unpacking in this particular blog will be none other than the debut trailer for “The Flash” (Sorry Avocados From Mexico. You were a close second, and you always do such a terrific job.).
Michael. Fucking. Keaton. Need I say more? I don’t, but I will. That’s right, this movie is called “The Flash,” and the thing that grabbed me the most was Michael Keaton (looking spry in his old age with some movie magic) reprising his role as Batman. For those of you that don’t know, Batman is the first movie that I ever saw in a movie theater in 1989. I had to be accompanied by my older cousin because it was PG-13 (I felt very cool). Another fun fact, The Flash is my favorite superhero. This movie already has a lot going for it.
On the downside, when I initially watched Ezra Miller as The Flash in a previous movie, I thought his running mechanics looked very robotic for a hero whose powers rely on speed — and running plays a big part in that. Can we get the kid a running coach or something? One thing that I did think he nailed flawlessly was Barry’s wisecracking nature that I enjoyed during the Justice League animated series. This iteration seems to focus on Barry’s ability to travel through time (cosmic treadmill requirement?), so there will be at least two Barry Allens. I think I also saw Grant Gustin from The Flash TV series on the CW make an appearance in the IMDB credits, and I hope that’s true because he was amazing in that show and I was a huge advocate for him making a leap to the silver screen in that role. Similarly, my hero Bruce Wayne will have several actors playing him throughout the DC multiverse since the trailer showed at least Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck (Batfleck) will be present, and there’s speculation that Christian Bale may also be in this one as well.
Michael Keaton’s voiceover at the beginning of the trailer poses a question to Barry asking why he chooses to be in this timeline if he can be in any timeline. He replies that it’s the one where his mom is still alive, but Barry remarks that time has a pattern, which may imply that it’s only a matter of time before she dies in this timeline too. Ben Affleck’s Batman warns The Flash about the dangers of changing the past, and it sounds like that’s good advice because Barry soon laments that he “broke the universe.” We then see a familiar foe in General Zod. After the 2 versions of Barry get an introduction to the OG Batman in the Batcave and we see him do a swan dive, we get to see a familiar motorcycle amidst some traffic before seeing a really cool sequence where each Flash goes back-to-back with some stellar lightning effects, creating a maelstrom with their fist, and then we see… laser vision?!
That’s right, no Cal El in this one. No Clark Kent. No Superman. We do, however, get introduced to Kara (Zor-El), AKA Supergirl. We see her emerge from an icy prison, flying around, easily taking out guards with her fists in what looks like a hospital gown. Later we see her flying next to a plane that Barry and Barry are in, and she is in a suit similar to Superman’s as Barry is recording her with a smartphone (for posterity). The trailer ends as she flies away, leaving a sonic boom in her wake.
But who could the villain be? In the CW show, they addressed this early on. What will James Gunn and the DC crew decide to do with this blank canvas that many have said could serve as a way to start fresh with the DC Universe on the big screen? And what will I do? I’ll tell you what I’ll do… I’ll buy 3 IMAX tickets on opening night and watch the hell out of this movie! That’s what I’ll do!
Team Take: Mo’s Take on the 2023 Super Bowl Ads (By Mo)
The Super Bowl ads are like the Grammy’s to those of us in the advertising industry. For $7 million per 30 seconds and a whole year to produce it, we see the best of the best during the big game. So, how did 2023 fare? While there was no “Hey kid, catch” (Hey Kid, Catch | Mean Joe Greene for Coca-Cola (1979)) moments to speak of, there were certainly some awesome ads. Here are my top 3:
Number 3: Bud Light Hold: Because? You certainly can’t sell Bud Light on its great flavor. But you CAN make me like the brand. We all hate the “on hold” music and know that “experiencing a higher than usual call volume” is total bullshit. So, this guy makes the best of it. When life gives you Bud Light, just dance.
Number 2: Pop Corners: Breaking Bad: Why? If you never saw Breaking Bad, you did not get it, so it was risky. However, if you did see Breaking Bad, this was an epic ad. All the old gang is back together, too. I have yet to taste anything from an air fryer that is remotely edible, but I might give a bag of this stuff a shot. Worst case scenario, just give those Pop Corners a Texas Pete bath and chase them with a Bud Light while you dance.
Number 1: Uber One: One Hit: WTF? Yes — this was absolutely my favorite ad. The best will always be debatable, but this was my personal favorite. We all know Diddy don’t do jingles. Not sure how Uber One is different from Uber, but it doesn’t matter because it saves me. Uber One saves me. Now I can’t stop singing it. That’s how ads work. Make Diddy excited.
Team Take: Dunking on Dunkin’ — Brand Reaches a New JLO with Has-Ben Casting (By Brian)
Last night during the Rihanna concert, a number of high-profile advertisements were shown. Of these, there were great ones (Will Ferrel in Bridgerton, m&m’s with clams) and lame ones (Will Ferrel in Stranger Things, the Tubi Bunny), and weird ones (Adam Driver saying website until it didn’t sound like a real word anymore). But there was only one with Bennifer. And it sucked…
…because I loved it. I was a simp for it. And in 2023, Bennifer does Dunkin’, is just the thin veneer of corporate-mandated nostalgia that we need to cope with another week in this post-apocalyptic, inconsistently simulated dystopia. But before I tell you why we’re currently living in a dystopian hellscape (at the time of this writing, the US/CAN continue to shoot down what I can only assume are wayward gender reveal balloons, according to The Betoota Advocate), I want to talk to you about Bennifer and why this commercial works so well.
BENNIFER: THE BEGINNING
She was from the block. He was Matt Damon’s slightly less successful friend. It was a match made in heaven. Their relationship was one for the ages until it wasn’t, and they both moved on — her to Marc Anthony and him to another Jennifer (that was her real name! Definitely not an…Alias).
Regardless, they went from America’s sweethearts to America’s sour skittles real fast. But they were relatable, and I appreciated that. Also, at this point, Ben Affleck had been publicly committed to two things: his on-screen Boston accent and Dunkin’ Donuts. Did Dunkin’ have an impact on the end of Bennifer? We can only speculate.
BENNIFER: THE MIDDLE PART
Nothing new on the Bennifer front, but in 2009 Ben Affleck goes on record with Collider about the need for an L.A.-based Dunkin’ location. Ten years later, in 2019, Ben Affleck, per The Takeout, again goes on the record: “I have Dunkin Donuts every day,” he tells Collider in an interview. “I feel like I’m spreading the word.”
Does JLO see this and begin to wonder “what if?” Again, pure speculation, though we can safely assume that Ben Affleck runs on at least 78% Dunkin’ by this point. What a Bos(tonian).
BENNIFER: YESTERDAY IS TODAY AGAIN; NOTHING MAKES SENSE…OR DOES IT?
The year is 2023, and the war in Ukraine and high-flying gender reveal balloons are running amok, bringing chaos and instability to the world economy. Who can bring balance to the planet while endorsing a cost-effective, non-Starbucks coffee brand during one of the biggest televised events of the next year? Ben Affleck. But he’s gonna need help. Enter JLO.
Were their reunion and subsequent marriage engineered by Big Dunkin’? I don’t know, but it was awesome. Here was a man who had high-profile struggles with substance abuse (disclaimer: not Dunkin’, never Dunkin’) and a woman who stopped aging in 2005 for health reasons but who definitely was still from the block.
WHY THE COMMERCIAL WORKS:
There are a number of Bennifer-related and non-Bennifer-related reasons why this commercial works. Here are 5 completely arbitrary ones below.
5 Reasons Bennifer & Dunkin’ are a match made in New England
- ½ of Bennifer is famously from Boston. Dunkin’ Donuts was founded roughly 1 hour and 7 minutes (by bicycle) outside of Boston, per Google Maps.
- Emergent trends and Gen-Z are obsessed with the early 2000s, per YPULSE.
- Boston is called Beantown, and coffee is made out of beans
- Ben Affleck has his hands in everything from directing, acting, seducing women named Jennifer, and assorted memes.
- Ben Affleck is Batman, and Dunkin’ was wise to jump aboard the Bennifer Bat-train as it left the station. Next stop: The Flash movie trailer that dropped the same night.
In Bat-conclusion, by casting Ben Affleck in their inaugural Super Bowl commercial, Dunkin’ Donuts shrewdly attached themselves to two extremely relevant, high-profile celebrities who continue to be in the headlines due to their professional and personal shenanigans while rewarding a long-celebrated, high-profile Bostonian in a way that had viewers cheering like Ben Affleck at a Red Sox game.
Looking to amp up your advertising? Contact Mad Men Marketing today!
Email us at email@example.com or give us a call at 904-355-1766 to learn more about how we can help your small business with its advertising and marketing needs while giving you more information on Bennifer and other assorted celebrity couples than you could ever ask for, need, or possibly want.
Team Take: Mayonnaise with a Mission — Hellman’s 2023 Super Bowl Ad (By Sam)
We need to do a better job at making taste, not waste.
At least, that’s what Hellmann’s promoted during its 2023 Super Bowl Commercial, featuring Brie Larson, Jon Hamm, and Pete Davidson.
Of course, every year the commercials themselves are considered a major part of the Super Bowl event, particularly with the sense of humor that is invariably infused into many of the spots that air throughout the game.
And while Hellmann’s didn’t necessarily make me laugh, per se, I think that might actually be one of the reasons it worked. I mean, I’m still sitting here thinking and writing about it, aren’t I?
A Tasteful Overview
The commercial begins with Jon Hamm bumping into a giant jar of Hellmann’s mayonnaise. Or rather, it begins with a tiny Jon Hamm bumping into a normal-sized jar of Hellmann’s, seeing as he is bumbling about the inside of a refrigerator.
Sitting nearby — atop a piece of cheese, no less — is Brie Larson, who helps John to realize that they’re inside a fridge because they are “brie and ham.” Pun fully intended. And with Hellmann’s mayonnaise — or leftover “food’s best friend” — they’re definitely what’s on deck for dinner.
We then turn to see the fridge door, opened by Pete Davidson. He looms above the two aforementioned stars with his signature slightly-creepy-albeit-charming smile and announces, “I’m going to eat you guys.”
We then cut to a brief montage of Pete making a ham and cheese panini, complete with Hellmann’s mayo and that satisfying crunch that is all but expected for such a sandwich.
Finally, all three stars stand beside a table full of Super Bowl snacks. And a jar of Hellmann’s, of course.
“You guys are really delicious,” Davidson tells Hamm and Larson, waving his now-bitten-into panini in their direction.
“That’s weird,” is all Hamm has to say in response. Meanwhile, Brie Larson turns to glance into the camera, concern clear in her eyes.
Finally, we close with the ad’s overall message in text above the panini: “Make taste, not waste.”
Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
Let’s take a moment to briefly look at food from another lens. One that is unrelated to mayonnaise, anyway.
The Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting and entertainment events in the world, but it also has a dark side. Every year, millions of pounds of food are thrown out in homes across America where the game is watched. In addition to this, many fans who attend the game bring their own snacks and drinks to tailgates, which often end up going to waste.
This means that a large amount of food is wasted each year during the Super Bowl, which could have been used to help those in need in local communities.
But it’s not just limited to the Super Bowl itself; rather, it’s a year-round problem.
“Each year, 119 billion pounds of food is wasted in the United States,” Feeding America reports. “That equates to 130 billion meals and more than $408 billion in food thrown away each year. Shockingly, nearly 40% of all food in America is wasted.”
Thus, by committing to eating our leftovers more than the year before, we can each contribute to the reduction of food waste in America. So, maybe a little mayo really can go a long way.
Back to Basics: Why the Commercial Works
So we have our Hellmann’s commercial and we have the fundamental message behind it.
But… does the commercial work? Well, I think so.
First of all, we have big names in the commercial: Brie Larson, Jon Hamm, and Pete Davidson. And between the three of them, it’s highly likely that a viewer is going to recognize at least one individual’s face, even if they don’t necessarily know all of — if any of — the names themselves. (Until, of course, their names are said point blank.)
But it’s more than that.
For one, is it memorable?
Again, I’d argue yes. Regardless of your stance on puns and the commercial’s reliance on an easy play on words, you’re not likely to forget the large, looming face of Pete Davidson as he says, “I’m going to eat you.”
And let’s be honest — it’s weird. The commercial might not have been the type to evoke an actual laugh from me, but it was enough to get me to quirk a brow and keep watching. And really, sometimes that’s all you need.
Oh, and let’s not forget that sizzling sandwich press segment, which looked like the mouthwatering clips you typically see on fast food commercials. It definitely made me think about my own food options downstairs.
Next, let’s consider: Does it have a mission that separates it from other airing commercials?
Again, yes. As previously mentioned, food waste is already a consistent and pervasive issue today, particularly as it pertains to the Super Bowl. And Hellmann’s managed to drive this purpose home with the kind of subtlety that wouldn’t leave some people rolling their eyes.
What’s more, Hellmann’s has remained consistent with this particular messaging for some time now. And, according to the Journal of Advertising, “advertisements are likely to be more effective if they are unique from earlier ads for all brands but also consistent with ads for the same brand from prior periods.”
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, does it drive the audience to action?
Again, I’d argue that it does. After all, even if someone isn’t driven to change their consumption habits by the idea of food sustainability, one thing they’re likely to consider is how much money they can save by simply turning back to their leftovers.
And one simple condiment can absolutely make the difference between making the flavor more appetizing (“make taste”) or letting it slowly stink up your fridge as it molds, forgotten in the back (“not waste”).
Did it make me wonder if I had mayonnaise in my fridge right now? Yes. And did it leave me feeling slightly disappointed that I do not, in fact, have mayonnaise in my fridge right now? Well… yes. So, I’d call the commercial a success, personally.
But what do you think? What this commercial enough to make Hellmann’s mark on the 2023 Super Bowl?
And don’t forget — you don’t have to buy ad space during the Super Bowl to put out an effective advertisement.
Here at Mad Men Marketing, we specialize in helping our clients interact with their audiences, as opposed to interrupting them! By combining creative allure with data-driven strategies, you’ll find we have the ability to help you score a digital touchdown. Yes, pun intended.
So, are you ready to interact? If so, contact Mad Men Marketing today by calling (904) 355-1766! We might not be Hellmann’s, but we still know how to do things with taste.
5 Pillars of Branding
What Are Brand Pillars?
Brand Pillars are a set of principles businesses can use to define their unique position in their industry. These “pillars” are broken up into five categories and define the company’s brand as well as how it sets itself apart from its competitors. Seems simple, right? Well, a business’s brand can be a lot more complex than it may seem on the surface. Most people are familiar with how a company uses a logo and other written elements like a tagline or slogan, but brands also tap into your emotions to convey their values, feelings of trust, and product or service superiority. The main brand pillars are purpose, perception, personality, position, and promotion. It takes a deep level of strategy and consistency to communicate your company’s values in a way that resonates with your target audience, and these pillars can help us zero in on what those values are.
Pillar 1 — Purpose
Purpose is the mission and foundation of your company. It’s why your company exists (beyond wanting to earn a living), and it’s what gets you up in the morning eager to work. Purpose is the answer to the biggest question your company needs to be able to answer: Why?
A few things to consider when answering this question:
- What drives the brand
- Do we solve a problem?
- How do we impact our customers, employees, and community?
- What do we want our legacy to be?
- What are we, as an organization, proud of?
Pillar 2 — Perception
Perception is how your customers experience your brand. There are a variety of brand touchpoints that give you the opportunity to shape the perception of your brand like your website, advertisements, social media, community presence, and of course, customer service. First, you must understand your brand perception in order to shape it appropriately. Try asking yourself the following questions:
- How do we think customers perceive our brand?
- Is this how we want to be perceived?
- Is our brand misinterpreted, and if so, where does it stem from?
- Are we effectively communicating our positioning?
- What do people think of our competitors?
Pillar 3 — Personality
This pillar helps describe your brand’s behaviors, emotions, and human characteristics. This will influence your brand’s voice, design, color palette, and much more. It’s your brand’s opportunity to foster that immediate connection between you and your clients or customers. When developing your brand’s personality, think about the following questions:
- How would we describe the business if it were a person?
- Do we look, act, or sound too similar to our competition?
- Is our personality authentic to who we really are?
For more information on brand personalities, check out our blog on Brand Archetypes
Pillar 4 — Position
Brand positioning is defining how your brand is perceived. Everyone thinks about a brand in a very specific way. People don’t typically think about Toyota the same way they think about Mercedes. By defining your business’s position very specifically, you can build brand loyalty among your target audience. Figure out your brand’s position by asking the following questions:
- Who is the target audience?
- Does our current position resonate with our target audience, or do we need to evolve our position?
- What are our 5-year goals versus our 10-year goals?
Pillar 5 — Promotion
Promotion is all about how you engage your audience. How are you enticing your audience to choose you over your competitors? Brand promotion differs greatly from product promotion in the sense that brand position is trying to establish a connection between your business and its customer or client that will hopefully turn into a long-term relationship. Product promotion is more of a short-lived transaction based on selling a service or product. Effective brand promotion puts your business in front of the right people, at the right time, in the right context. Think about the following questions:
- How are we currently promoting ourselves?
- When do our customers need us and where can they find us?
- How do we get our brand in front of more customers?
Now, more than ever, people are looking for a brand that stands for something and that they can connect with on a personal level. Brand pillars are the foundation of any business and are vital in creating your messaging, communication, and business strategy. By using this process, and carefully articulating your brand pillars, Mad Men Marketing can ensure that your brand will reach and affect the hearts and minds of your target audience.