Super Bowl Sunday is a night where the commercial ads get almost as much buzz as the football game itself. First of all, the Super Bowl is unlike any other US televised event – sporting or otherwise – when it comes to advertising. Research tells us that 38 percent of viewers will look up Super Bowl ads in the week before the game, just to stay “in the know”.
So what’s the takeaway that digital marketers should remember from this year’s Super Bowl ad campaigns? Well, for one, they revealed a lot about the growing presence of AI, robots, and tech in mainstream society - and average consumer’s anxiety towards them.
When viewed as a whole, we noticed that brands during the Super Bowl increasingly used humor to poke fun at the most common tropes when it comes to the way consumers think of tech. From the Michelob ad featuring robots that can do anything except enjoy a cold beer, to Amazon’s meta commentary on the digital assistant trope and the Internet of Things - the commercials ranged from humorous, to sentimental, to the political.
The lesson here? Tech is great, but there’s no replacing the human touch.
Last year, Pringles introduced a new way to enjoy their chips by “flavor stacking” different varieties to create new ones. In the new 2019 Pringles ad, an Amazon Alexa-like virtual assistant sadly announces at a party that having no hands prevents her from enjoying any of the 318,000 possible Pringles combinations.
TurboTax’s ad featured a creepy kid robot called “RoboChild,” which tells its maker that it wants to be a TurboTax CPA when it grows up. Someone has to break the truth to RoboChild, and they do it the hard way: “all TurboTax Live CPAs are human beings with real emotions. I’m sorry but you’re never going to be emotionally complex enough for that job.”
Along the same lines, one of T-Mobile’s text message ads features an endearing exchange between a dad and his daughter, as the dad mistakes his text box for an internet search bar while looking for eggplant parm recipes. Good thing this dad has a patient and tech-savvy daughter to help him out, but the ad’s wild success on Sunday night does say something about ever-new technologies and our ever-upward ability to adapt to them, with some humorous acknowledgment of generational differences when it comes to technology.
In all of these ads, the message is clear: in the age of digital technology, technology is here to stay, but there’s no replacing the human touch.
At Selligent Marketing Cloud, we get it and we’re human, too. Our company is committed to helping marketers leverage cutting-edge digital marketing technology with best practices in in-person customer engagement. Find out more about our omnichannel marketing platform and how it can help you achieve higher one-on-one engagement from your marketing efforts.