Sunday, February 5, 2012

Worst Ad In Super Bowl History?

OK. I realizing I'm feeling hyperbolic tonight. But my jaw dropped when I saw this Silverado ad in the first quarter.

The first 38 seconds were an amusing depiction of the impending 2012 apocalypse. But then our driver meets up with his friends and wonders why one of them hasn't arrived yet:
Chevy Driver 1: “Where’s Dave?”
Chevy Driver 2: "Dave didn’t drive the longest-lasting, most dependable truck on the road. Dave drove a Ford.”
Bzzt. Wrong answer!

Here's what they should have said:
Chevy Driver 1: “Where’s Dave?” 
Chevy Driver 2: "Dave didn’t make it. Dave didn't drive a Silverado.”
Why this ad failed:

1) Every ad man knows you don't spend good ad dollars just to plug the competition. But the most memorable line of this $7 million-dollar debacle ends with the word "Ford" and doesn't include the word "Chevy" (or "Silverado"). Oops.

2) No women. Forty-six percent of Super Bowl viewers are female. Not including the animated ads, this was probably the only ad (other than the creepy one for David Beckham's underwear) that didn't include women. Seriously, what's the point of surviving the apocalypse if there's no one to breed with?

3) Ten years after 9/11 and four years after the Wall Street meltdown, you aren't going to win any points by bashing another American brand. GM could have picked on Toyota or Nissan, the only two full-size truck brands that have actually gained market share over the last 10 years.

4) When you take $50 billion in bailout money, you don't get to use it to bash a company that employs over 100,000 Americans. Sixty-one percent of GM is still owned by the federal government. Your tax dollars are being used to bash the one major American car company that didn't need bailout money. Not good.

5) As if in response to the above, Chrysler aired this brilliant ad at the beginning of halftime. During the Super Bowl (America's national holiday) you don't sell American cars by denouncing American brands. You sell American cars with optimism and patriotism.

This ad just felt like the execs at GM trying to start a pissing match with Ford. Ironically, Ford won the pissing match without even wasting any pee. And the folks at GM are just left standing there with their pants down.

Related post: Worst Call In Super Bowl History


Kaa said...

Ironically, the Silverado ad was one of only two I thought were even mildly entertaining. The Chrysler ad was the only one I couldn't sit through. I was watching them on YouTube, and I hit the 'next' button after about 10 seconds of that one.

Clay said...

I did enjoy the Silverado ad - clever premise. And the Chrysler ad was pandering to American patriotism. But it still seems to me that GM made a giant misstep by attacking Ford instead of just pumping up their own brand.