The spot people should be talking about

Watching the majority of Super Bowl commercials last night felt like they were made by the same ad agency. One that specializes in funny but safe comedy, loves to hang out with celebrities, creates big budget animation and will license expensive songs even if they don’t fit the commercial, just so their client CMO can brag at the W Hotel Bar “I paid $600,000 just for the song!”

For better or worse, that’s what has come to define “proper” Super Bowl commercials.

That’s why it’s always a fantastic moment when a brand throws caution and common sense to the wind and tries something completely different, even if it fails.

Only one ad did that last night that I remember.

This ad ruffled Robert F. Kennedy’s feathers a bit; he has specifically distanced himself from his family in the past. But since he’s not gaining much ground in the primaries, maybe he’ll have to lean on the past a bit. And despite this apology he still pinned the commercial to the top of his feed.

There’s an argument to be made that the Super Bowl was the wrong venue for a spot like this. I disagree. No venue is the wrong venue when hundreds of millions of people are watching.

After seeing the umpteenth celeb-laden spot with the same kind of down-the-middle comedy, it was interesting to change the volume and the art direction up and disrupt, which is something ads are supposed to do.

Hearing that strange “Kennedy Kennedy Kennedy” song and the pink-highlights was revolutionary and seeing RFK Jr’s face on TV while our establishment media and Washington DC continues to ignore his campaign was a brilliant move.

This was obviously made for social as much as for that moment and it is having the desired effect— reach. RFK Jr must be getting some campaign donations from it, too.

Finally, this is a huge win among a voting block:the Boomer generation who still fondly remember the bright fresh-faced man, John F. Kennedy, trying to usher in a new era by sheer will and almost succeeding before tragedy occurred.

The fact they used the original source material— a long-forgotten ad for John F Kennedy, is genius.

He might not get my vote, but he certainly got my attention which is what great ads always do, whether you like them or not. Also published on my substack.
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