Let me start by saying for the record that I hate Super Bowl Ad teasers. It just seems so ridiculous to run an ad about an ad. But when you’re shelling out upwards of $5 mil for 30 seconds, I understand why brands do it. As a CMO, there’s tons of pressure on you to justify the spend by stirring up social media chatter and trying to extend the shelf life of the spot for a few days before and after the game. But I’ve always felt the whole point of a Super Bowl Ad is to surprise the audience. To take advantage of the fact that this is the one day of the year when large numbers of people are actually gathering to watch live TV and are excited about the commercials. So normally, I try to preserve the surprise by avoiding teasers like the plague. But this year, I’ve noticed some teasers that seem more intriguing than usual. Rather than clumsily giving away the joke, the celebrity or the animal to be animated, these teasers leave a lot more up to the imagination. And as a creative director, I can’t help but speculate (wildly) as to where they could go next.
Avocados from Mexico
The brand unveiled a 30-second teaser starring “Big Time Hollywood Actor” Chris Elliott, telling us we deserve more of everything, including avocados. It doesn’t give much away, other than preparing the audience to expect something weird. It ends with a shot of Elliott in front of some sort of biodome-looking structure and #guacworld. Will this be some sort of Willy Wonka-like world with streams of guacamole and tortilla chips growing on trees? Hopefully not, especially if Elliott is allowed to show his darker comedic side. What if, just as everyone locks themselves into the #guacworld biosphere, they realize all the avocados have been held up at the border in some bizarre immigration mix-up and the whole thing devolves into Lord of the Flies?
Skittles: Most exclusive Super Bowl Ad ever
Skittles created a series of teasers for the brand’s 60-second “most exclusive Super Bowl Ad ever.” The teasers star David Schwimmer in a series of surreal scenes, each of which concludes with Schwimmer asking if it’s a scene from the ad, which only one person will see–a teenage Skittles fan in Canoga Park, California named Marcos Menendez. The rest of us will see Marcos’ reaction via livestream. It’s a quirky approach for a quirky brand, but it could backfire. I’m hoping it doesn’t, but just imagine if after all this effort the teen’s reaction is “Who’s David Schwimmer?”
Tide: Bradshaw’s Locked Out
This teaser takes a novel approach by showing you who won’t be the spokesperson this year–Terry Bradshaw, who battled an annoying stain in last year’s Tide spot. But that’s all it tells you. You have to do a little research to discover he’s being replaced by David Harbour, who plays the beloved, but slightly disheveled Sheriff Jim Hopper on Stranger Things. This conjures up all kinds of obvious laundry-related scenarios, but I’m hoping they go out on a limb and address the scourge of teenage Tide Pod consumption. Open on Harbour’s TV family son spitting up a half-eaten Tide pod that slithers down the drain and comes back as a full-fledged Tide Demogorgon, which Harbor engages in a battle for life and death. Of course, it’s just a dream and he wakes up when the dryer buzzes. Tagline: Nothing’s Stranger than Eating Tide Pods.
Amazon: Has Alexa lost her voice?
I would love to think this teaser will lead to a heartfelt plea from Amazon to put down your phones, unplug your devices and go talk to a real live person like a friend or neighbor when you need help. Or to go shop at a Mom and Pop local store when you run out of something. Nah. I’m guessing it will devolve into a predictable casting session to replace Alexa’s voice. Cut to a series of celebrity auditions featuring recognizable, but totally unsuitable voices… Gilbert Gottfried? Fran Drescher? Lewis Black? Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lechter?
Here’s hoping these spoilers aren’t spoilers at all, and we’re all pleasantly surprised by the actual spots that follow the teasers. I’d also be pleasantly surprised if the Eagles dominated the Pats, but I don’t think that’s going to happen either.