Super Bowl ads show signs of maturity - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Super Bowl ads show signs of maturity

By MAE ANDERSON
AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - Forget slapstick humor, corny gimmicks and skimpy bikinis. This year's Super Bowl ads promise something surprising: Maturity.

There won't be any close-up tongue kisses in Godaddy's ad. Nor will there be half-naked women running around in the Axe body spray spot. And Gangnam Style dancing will be missing from the Wonderful Pistachios commercial.

In their place? Fully-clothed women, well-known celebs and more product information.

"We're seeing sophistication come to the Super Bowl," says Kelly O'Keefe, a professor of brand strategy at Virginia Commonwealth University. "Not long ago, almost everything seemed to be about beer or bros or boobs."

Companies that typically go for ads with shock value are toning them down as they try to get the most out of the estimated $4 million that 30-second Super Bowl spots cost this year.

Experts say companies are using the ads to build their image, rather than just grab attention for one night. Additionally, although the old adage asserts that "sex sells," experts say companies realize that watchers have grown bored with sophomoric humor and other obvious shock tactics.

"You can't really shock people visually anymore," says ad critic and Mediapost columnist Barbara Lippert. "So, this year people are being more creative."

NO MORE KISSES

Godaddy.com, a web-hosting company, has made a name for itself for years with racy Super Bowl ads. But it's changing its tune after last year's Super Bowl spot showed an uncomfortably long, close-up kiss between super model Bar Rafaeli and a bespectacled computer geek.

The ad drew widespread criticism on social media. It also was deemed one of the "least effective" ads by Ace Metrix, which measures ads' effectiveness. And it ranked last on USA Today's annual ad meter.

This year, Godaddy is focusing on its products. And women are being portrayed as "smart, successful small business owners," says Barb Rechterman, Godaddy's chief marketing officer.

In one ad, released last week, spokeswoman Danica Patrick, a racecar driver, wears a muscle suit as she runs down the street with a growing crowd of other muscular people. The crowd heads for a spray tanning business owned by a woman, who says: "It's go time."

SEX DOESN'T SELL?

Unilever also is changing its approach. The company's Axe body spray typically plays up sex, including last year's Super Bowl ad that showed a bikini-clad woman being rescued from drowning by a hunky man.

The ad, which has 5.8 million views on YouTube.com after a year, ranked in the bottom 10 ads on USA Today's Ad Meter.

This year, to introduce its "Peace" fragrance, Axe's ad depicts several seemingly militaristic scenes in different countries that end up with couples embracing. The ad, which already has 3.5 million views on YouTube, says: "Make Love Not War."

Matthew McCarthy, Axe senior director of brand development, says that even though the ad is more sophisticated than previous efforts. "We're doing something that surprises people," he says.

PLAYING THE CELEBRITY GAME

The ad for Wonderful Pistachios also might surprise watchers. Experts say when the nut brand, which is owned by Roll International, debuted at last year's Super Bowl, it made a typical rookie mistake: Jumping on a fad.

The ad featured Psy, a one-hit wonder from Korea whose single "Gangnam Style" and an accompanying dance were smash hits at the time. But the ad - like Psy - was quickly forgotten. The ad ranked 28 out of 54 on the USA Today Ad Meter.

This year, the company enlisted comedian Stephen Colbert, who's more well-known and established. "We wanted to raise it to a new level with a celebrity who really had a connection with folks out there," says Marc Seguin vice president of marketing for Paramount Farms, the unit of Roll that makes the nuts.

The ad will start a year-long campaign with Colbert. "Colbert's image is smarter and more inventive than the Gangham-style dance," says Mediapost.com columnist Lippert.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Trump to demand DOJ review claims of FBI spy on campaign

    Trump to demand DOJ review claims of FBI spy on campaign

    Sunday, May 20 2018 2:11 PM EDT2018-05-20 18:11:29 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 5:42 PM EDT2018-05-20 21:42:07 GMT
    Trump referred to some who cross the border illegally as "animals," not people. (Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci)Trump referred to some who cross the border illegally as "animals," not people. (Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

    President Donald Trump says he'll demand that the Justice Department review whether the department or the FBI infiltrated his presidential campaign for political purposes, and whether any demands or requests came...

    President Donald Trump says he'll demand that the Justice Department review whether the department or the FBI infiltrated his presidential campaign for political purposes, and whether any demands or requests came from the Obama administration.

  • Texas mourners endure grief that 'none of us can comprehend'

    Texas mourners endure grief that 'none of us can comprehend'

    Saturday, May 19 2018 11:51 PM EDT2018-05-20 03:51:30 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 5:38 PM EDT2018-05-20 21:38:51 GMT
    (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP). April Salinas, second from right, her daughters Meah, 13, and Macee, 6, and Jeramiah Kelley read notes left at memorial behind Texas First Bank, Saturday, May 19, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. A gu...(Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP). April Salinas, second from right, her daughters Meah, 13, and Macee, 6, and Jeramiah Kelley read notes left at memorial behind Texas First Bank, Saturday, May 19, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. A gu...

    The mother of one slain student said her daughter may have been targeted because she rejected advances from the suspect, who was an ex-boyfriend of her daughter's best friend.

    The mother of one slain student said her daughter may have been targeted because she rejected advances from the suspect, who was an ex-boyfriend of her daughter's best friend.

  • Arrest records of Rosa Parks, MLK to be preserved

    Arrest records of Rosa Parks, MLK to be preserved

    Sunday, May 20 2018 11:41 AM EDT2018-05-20 15:41:33 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 5:38 PM EDT2018-05-20 21:38:10 GMT
    (Alabama State University via AP). This photo shows the signature of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on a court document in the archive of Alabama State University in Montgomery, Ala. The school is preserving and digitizing historic court documents lin...(Alabama State University via AP). This photo shows the signature of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on a court document in the archive of Alabama State University in Montgomery, Ala. The school is preserving and digitizing historic court documents lin...

    Yellowing court records from the arrests of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and others at the dawn of the modern civil rights era are being preserved and digitized after being discovered in a courthouse box.

    Yellowing court records from the arrests of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and others at the dawn of the modern civil rights era are being preserved and digitized after being discovered in a courthouse box.

Powered by Frankly