It's starting. In fact, it started last month.
Of course, we're talking about Super Bowl hype. We don't even know who the two teams vying for the coveted Lombardi Trophy will be. But we do know a number of the advertisers ready to pony up $5 million for a :30 ad that will run during the game.
That's a lot of coin, but as we know, the attention surrounding these commercials can match the focus on the actual football game. For many fans, as well as media and marketing types, interest in Super Bowl ads continues to snowball with each touchdown pass.
This year, The Drum tell us the likes of Hyundai, Pringles, Audi/VW, Coca-Cola, Kia, Porsche, Pepsi, and even Avocados from Mexico have all written mega-checks to the CBS Sports ad team.
Having the budget is the easy part. Getting the creative right is the monumental challenge. And as we know from post-mortem analyses of past Super Bowls, it's not easy to ace this creative test.
This year, there will be a new entrant for “Big Game” advertising – one of the biggest companies in all of tech:
As Rocky Balboa might say, #YoAdrian!
Facebook's “More Together” campaign is reportedly the focus of their Super Bowl marketing thrust – and perhaps throughout 2020. It's part of their push to promote their “Groups” feature.
Now, we know Facebook's demographics have been skewing older for some time now, as young people have gravitated away to Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. Now their parents – and grandparents – have taken over Facebook.
So, perhaps it's no surprise that a 73 year-old leading man is the new face of Facebook.
Back in Philadelphia right now on this 33° freezing morning. We are doing something that is going to be VERY special and you’ll be seeing it soon, so hang in there and go for it!!! #KeepPunching pic.twitter.com/xokvSaYVFx
— Sylvester Stallone (@TheSlyStallone) December 16, 2019
After all, how many Gen Zs could even ID Stallone, much less know about Rocky, Rambo, and his other movie touchstones?
Full disclosure: Chris Rock is also featured in the campaign, and The Drum posits the main message may be something along the lines of “whatever you rock, there's a Facebook group for you.”
Be that as it may, what does it say about Facebook that they're using a star best known to Medicare and AARP members? Is it recognition they're showing their age, and comfortable marketing their platform to their aging social media community?
Or is it something more strategic than that?
In radio broadcasting – especially in Classic Rock circles – we've learned that even older icons often have juice among young consumers. Stallone – like Tony Bennett, Bernie Sanders, and Led Zeppelin – has proved to be a transformative brands.
To that point, a look at the comments to Stallaone's tweet above reveals love, respect, and adoration from a wide variety of fans of all ages. Stallone – especially because of the “Rocky” franchise ‘ transcends generations, perhaps making him the perfect spokesperson for the world's biggest social media site.
Oddly, the Jefferson Airplane may have just joined the same club. While bands like the Stones, AC/DC, Aerosmith, and even Norman Greenbaum could have won Grammys if there was a category called “Best Classic Rock Song Featured In A TV Commercial), “White Rabbit” has not been a classic that has been widely used by marketers. Some of it could be the obvious drug references to this psychedelic anthem.
And so, a new Celebrity Cruise TV campaign makes perhaps the most creative and bizarre use of a Classic Rock song in years. The “Alice In Wonderland” inspired m “White Rabbit” is now being used to market their voyages to a considerably younger generation of travelers. Here's the spot making the rounds these past couple weeks:
We're talking about a song from 1967 that imagined tripping in a much different way than Celebrity Cruises' “Wonder Awaits” (promoting great deals and “Free Drinks!”).
So, who is Celebrity Cruises talking to?
Adweek's Ryan Barwick tells us TBWA's Lucky General agency is the mastermind behind the campaign. Celebrity's CMO, Peter Giorgi, explains how “Wonder Awaits” redefines the cruising experience, stressing the unexpected, the stunning, along with a departure from reality.
But here's the kicker, and the impetus behind choosing an anthem that's considerably older than every one of their luxury vessels. James Fox, Lucky Generals managing partner, provides the campaign's rationale:
“We want viewers to see Celebrity the way we see Celebrity: as a modern and progressive brand with an incredible and unique product. We hope to convey the same feelings of wonder and intrigue you get from being on a Celebrity cruise in a fresh way.”
Progressive, incredible, unique, wonder, intrigue, fresh.
Using a soundtrack that's more than a half century old.
Maybe the Q1 sales contests at Classic Rock stations should feature a Celebrity Cruise.
It might turn them on to a whole new way of seeing the format.
Somewhere, Grace Slick is laughing at all of us.
And remember, “Feed your head.”