Big day reveal or YouTube preview?
That’s the question marketers face as they decide when to release their much-anticipated Super Bowl commercials. Mashable recently reported ads that ran online before the Super Bowl received 9 million views, compared to 1.3 million views for ads that debuted during the big game. Generating buzz and going viral are two measures of success.
In 2012, more than 13.7 million Super Bowl-related tweets were posted during the big game and this year that figure is expected to be higher. Last year, the top ad hashtags were #solongvampires, #makeitplatinum and #beckhamforhm. Does anyone remember what those were for? No matter. It’s a new year! Here are some of the Super Bowl ads currently creating big buzz…
Volkswagen ad – The Minnesota man with the Jamaican accent
Spreading happiness by channeling Jimmy Cliff is the theme of this Volkswagen commercial, which has generated some controversy. While some online discussions question whether the use of a Jamaican accent by a white guy from the “Gopher State” is offensive, commenters on the Volkswagen YouTube page say Jamaicans come in all colors.
“I think it’s great, funny and a compliment to the Caribbean no worries feel happy way of life!” wrote user rebelphoto. “I myself am not Jamaican but work with a good friend who is and I just love the sound of his dialect and the way he spreads his happiness when we are demoralized, just like the guy in the ad. I love Marvin, anyone offended by this ad should watch it and listen closer.”
The Jamaica Gleaner, a newspaper in Kingston, Jamaica, posed the question to their Facebook fans, who mostly agreed the ad was not racist. “There is nothing wrong with this ad it’s not racist,” said Lascelles G. Johnson. “How many Jamaicans speak like Americans?”
Coca-Cola ad – Race across the desert
A Coca-Cola commercial featuring a race among outlaw cowboys, aggressive showgirls with glitter bombs and scavenging badlanders to reach a giant bottle of soda seems harmless enough. But it’s the lone Arab character leading his camels through the desert who is overtaken by the race participants that has at least one Arab-American group asking for the character to be edited out.
Warren David, president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee told Reuters on Wednesday the commercial is racist. A Coca-Cola spokeswoman said the characters are a nod to movies of the past.
There hasn’t been much reaction on Twitter. On Coke’s YouTube page, Mona M. said, “I’m Arab and I don’t find this racist only because I don’t allow myself or anyone to lower my people’s standards. I’m smart enough to know that not every Arab is a Bedouin with a camel and not every American is a cowboy or show dancer…. Now can we worry about more important things in life already?!!!”
Mercedes-Benz ad – Blond bombshell washes car… in slow motion
The sexy, sudsy Kate Upton video for Mercedes-Benz that released last week gave audiences a peek at the direction the luxury carmaker was heading for the Super Bowl. On Wednesday, Mercedes released the full spot, which features Usher and Willem Dafoe in addition to Upton. Sadly for some, it contains fewer suds, but more fantasy.
Calvin Klein ad – It’s for underwear, right?
And while we’re talking about sexy, Calvin Klein’s preview featuring male model Matthew Terry prompted this response from YouTube viewer omgboyplex, “Best. 16 seconds. ever.”
Audi ad – Kiss the prom queen
Would a teen really go to the prom — in a tuxedo — by himself? Probably not. But Super Bowl ads are definitely not about reality. This Audi commercial challenges viewers to “Be Brave. It’s what defines us.” Oh, and by the way, you could end up with a black eye. But it’s totally worth it.
Toyota – Your wish is my command
Kaley Cuoco struts around everyday America as a purple genie granting your spoken and unspoken wishes in this Toyota RAV4 commercial that pairs talking squirrels with space travel. Cuoco has been tweeting about the commercial, and although the hashtag #wishgranted hasn’t gotten much buzz ahead of Sunday’s game, at least one person wished for a hobbit plane.
Budweiser – What’s in a name?
Beer + baby animals? Budweiser launched a Twitter contest to name the Clydesdale foal that will be featured in its Super Bowl ad. The foal will be seven days old on the day of the big game. Not old enough to drink or vote, but we’re hoping old enough to refuse some of these suggested names: Harmonica, Buddakup and Frodo.
Kia – The birds and the bees… and a planet
Speaking of baby animals and humans, this panicked dad tries to explain to his young son where babies come from by inventing an elaborate story about the planet Babylandia. In the end, he is saved by a feature in his Kia Sorento that plays music on demand.
GoDaddy – You might not want to watch with grandma
Twitter user @renillawafer14 says her least favorite part of the Super Bowl is the “slutty GoDaddy commercials where you just look around at your family like ……” Well Rennie, it’s not likely to be any less uncomfortable this year if these are really the commercials they are planning to air.