Five Days Later, Which Super Bowl Ad Brands Still Resonate?

The commercials that air during the Super Bowl have become almost as iconic as the game itself. So here’s the question:

It’s five days after Super Bowl XLVII – which brands still resonate with you?

Mind you, I’m not talking about the entertainment value, i.e., “Oh yeah, the ad with Willem Dafoe playing the devil. That was clever.” It was, but what I’m looking for is the brands that used the advertising medium to deliver a message about it that actually stuck with you.

Go ahead and think for a minute. I’ll wait …

Much harder question, eh? Here’s the problem with advertising during the Super Bowl today: If every brand tries its darndest to entertain us, the message – and indeed the brand itself – will probably get lost.

Cynical folks will say, “Advertising during the Super Bowl is about getting your name out in front of 100 million viewers, and you just gotta be memorable.”

And yet, most of them weren’t.

Want proof? I thought the prom commercial was pretty funny, because that was me back at Whitefish Bay Dominican High School in the mid-1980s. But five days later, I can’t remember the brand. I know it was a car company.

Here’s more proof. is about web domains – but what does a nerdy kid kissing Bar Rafaeli have to do with that?

I thought the Oreo whisper fight commercial was hilarious – after all, who hasn’t wanted to defy a librarian and take everyone there with you? I tried that at Dominican one time; it didn’t end well. The entertainment was consistent with the type of product – a cookie with dual nature. Cookies are about fun, so it made sense. And bonus for taking the cookies vs. creme debate to Oreo’s new Instagram account, and not Facebook or Twitter. (By the way, Twitter estimates up to 50% of ads had hashtags this year, which seemed low to me.)

The brand that I thought did the best job was Dodge Ram, which used the Paul Harvey speech about how God made a farmer. Moving, and again, it made sense because it was consistent with my perception of both farmers and the Dodge Ram brand, while stating clearly the values of both. Ask yourself: What brand of truck does a farmer drive? Before last Sunday, I might have said Ford, but now, and probably for good, I’ll say Dodge. Interestingly, right after Dodge’s 2-minute Paul Harvey ad ran, Ford posted twice on its Twitter feed touting its long-tiime support of Future Farmers of America.

Know what else is interesting? I know Ford must have advertised during the Super Bowl, but heck if I can remember what it was, much less any key messages.

And what of the Mercedes-Benz CLA commercial with Willem Dafoe playing the devil, who tries to con a guy into selling his soul? It co-starred Kate Upton and Usher, with music by the Stones and a cameo by Vanity Fair magazine, and it was well done. But you know … I had a bit of a hard time reconciling a Mercedes that looks and handles like a BMW M3 and is priced like a Toyota Camry. So the question is, what does the Mercedes-Benz represent? Because now I’m a little confused.

To me, if you’re going to spend $4 million for a 30-second spot in the biggest TV night of the year, you better make sure the message you deliver about your brand sticks.

So ask again: Five days after Super Bowl XLVII, which brands still resonate with you?

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