Applying Marketing Principles from Super Bowl Ads – Principle 1

Principle 1: Don’t let what you can do with technology drive the creative. Use technology to support the creative message.

Example: Puppy/Monkey/Baby – Mountain Dew Kickstart

This ad features a CGI created creature which is a combination of a puppy, monkey and baby.

You can almost imagine the creative meeting when they came up with this idea. To promote Kickstart which combines three “ingredients” (do you remember them from the ad?) Dew, Juice and Caffeine, someone suggests they could create a three featured animal! “It’ll be great!, they say. “Everyone loves puppies, babies and monkeys! We’ll combine all three!” (As a side note, monkeys are creepy… but that’s just me.)
This is a good example of technology running over the creative. Perhaps they thought they were going to set off a social media phenomenon and everyone would be walking/dancing like the creature (see the end of the ad). In reality, people were probably trying to figure out “What is that thing?!?!” and really lost the good (yes, good – see point 3 below) concept of the ad showing the three main ingredients.
It’s easy to fall in love with technology, but when it becomes the focus “Hey, look what we can do!”, rather than used to support the creative message, it detracts from the ad or marketing.

Example: Pokemon 20

This ad has quite a few tricks of digital technology. It works because the technology and effects are there to support the message of the ad that “You can do that”.

The entire end scene is CGI – stadium, Pokemon creatures, etc. However, the spot has been leading up to this “reveal” by delivering a solid storyline and creating anticipation for the viewer (especially for fans of the franchise). A great example of using the technology to support and deliver the creative message.
So no matter the technology available, make sure it’s the dog that wags the tail of the creative. And leave the monkeys at home!

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