2012 Super Bowl – The winner is…

by Tony Fannin, CEO/Partner, BE Branded  |

The 2012 Super Bowl in Indianapolis is now history. Being in Indianapolis, I must be a “homer” for a minute. Indianapolis has shown it can be a great host to the world. Many media and Super Bowl “experts” have praised this Super Bowl venue as one of, if not THE best, places the game has ever been hosted at. Locals came out in force and confirmed the “midwest hospitality”. In fact, many of the out of town media thought this Super Bowl wasn’t the Giants or the Patriots, but it belonged to Indianapolis. I must agree. I’m very proud of what the Indianapolis Super Bowl Committee and the City officials had pulled together. The biggest advantage is everything is within walking distance – the NFL Experience, the Super Bowl Village, local entertainment and food, and even Lucas Stadium. Indianapolis did itself proud on the world stage.

Now, on to the reason we watch, the ads. This year, car companies seem to have won the “big game”. One of the most powerful ads, in my opinion, came from a car company. Chrysler teamed up with Clint Eastwood to produce a 2-minute spot. It captured everything you want in an ad. Authentic emotion. Hope. And it sold a brand ethos, not cars. That means Chrysler sold what they stood for, not their commodity. This is two years in a row that Chrysler produced a powerful, emotional ad that sold cars, by not selling cars. Last year, the spot featuring Eminem also scored extremely well with viewers.

Another example was the spot for Chevy Silverado. Again, they were selling an ethos, not trucks. Instead of taking a serious tone like Chrysler, they took a more humorous approach and worked equally well. (The Twinkie was a nice touch and supported all of our beliefs that it’s not real food, so it could survive a nuclear attack.)

To wrap up the trifecta, Volkswagen’s “Dog strikes back” spot was charming and paid homage to the “Darth Vader” spot from last year, which was also charming.

There are two main ideas I want to point out. First, by selling an ethos, a brand, is much more powerful that selling your commodity of what you do or make. It’s not the stuff that people “love”, it’s what you say as a brand that people actually buy into. Second, creativity can, and should come, from anywhere. It doesn’t have to be tech to be cool. It just has to have authentic emotion and communicate soul deep.



About Be Branded

Tony Fannin is of President of BE Branded, an integrated marketing firm who helps clients BE Somebody to their customers. If you aren't somebody, then you are commodity.

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