I watch for the ads
Kit Loughran | Thursday, February 11, 2016
Nearly 111.9 million viewers tuned into the Super Bowl on Sunday. There were those cheering for their beloved Broncos or Panthers, others watching Peyton Manning play quarterback perhaps for, dare I say, last time, some dedicated sports fans and then the rest who, well, came for the snacks. Oh, did I mention Beyoncé was performing at halftime?
Or, there were those like me who couldn’t wait to see the commercials. As a Marketing major and want-to-be advertiser, I had my eyes fixed on the 30-second, $5 million dollar spots that aired between Cam Newton backing away from fumbles. Celebrities like Seth Rogan, Amy Schumer, Helen Mirren and Drake kept popping up, Doritos’ humor made you laugh, socially conscious messages pushed do-good works like Colgate who urged us to save water, but one thing dominated.
Animals. Everywhere. And all kinds. Dogs, sheep, bears, horses, (Ninja) turtles, pandas and marmots. Not to mention Mountain Dew’s creepy and confusing puppymonkeybaby. The list goes on. They don’t just sit in their natural habits, either. These creatures talk, sing, frolick, eat chips and fight battles — even build websites.
It was a media-made zoo.
Budweiser’s adorable puppies were lacking. But Heinz Ketchup made up for that with its Stampede of Weiner Dogs. Dachshunds dressed in hotdog costumes ran through an open, green field at full speed, finally leaping into a group of people “The Ketchups” dressed as Heinz condiments. Precious pups embrace people hilariously shown as condiments, brilliantly telling us that Heinz does more than just ketchup. Now everyone’s talking about it. Advertising genius.
Animals also helped sell a few cars. My friends and I couldn’t help but laugh at Honda’s singing sheep. I mean, it’s hundreds of sheep belting out the lyrics to Queen’s “Somebody to Love.” The dog at the end is the real stinger. “Introducing the all-new Ridgeline. The only truck with an available truck bed audio system.” Just more talking animals.
The irony in me describing these commercials: I am not an animal person. So why did these ads even appeal to me and so many others? Well besides the puppymonkeybaby, that is. More than the average animal commercial, these ads actually show off the product. The sheep sang the song blasting from the rancher’s truck bed. The weiner dogs leaped into a variety of Heinz products. Disguised as humans, dogs went great lengths to enjoy Doritos. Bears chasing humans made Hynduai’s voice-activated engine a necessity. Yet they were heartwarming and just cute and cuddly enough that it wasn’t over the top. And what beats a dog in a hot dog costume? They had just the right dash of humor that got you laughing — and talking.