Super Bowl 2017

“Football” by Jeff Turner is licensed under CC BY 2.0

This year, I did the unthinkable. I didn’t watch the Super Bowl. I had what I think is a good reason — I’m learning how to produce online courses, and I’ll talk more about that in a sec. Anyway, I was knee deep in one of the learning modules Sunday and lost track of time.

I’m a huge fan of the Super Bowl. Not the game itself, really. The commercials. I watch solely for the commercials. I’m not gonna say I don’t get caught up in the game, that’s just not why I’m there. I’m there for the ads. One year (2013, maybe?) I even live-tweeted the ads. I’m a complete and total geek for the ads.

This year, though, I only saw two or three of the commercials. Budweiser and T-Mobile and Kia (nice touch on the Bonnie Tyler). So I went hunting for the replays. Because there’s always a lot of commentary about the replays.

For instance:

  • GNC is thinking of suing Fox for banning their ad over the presence of DHEA in some of their products. (Watch the 30-second spot here.)
  • Ad Exec’s think National Geographic’s “Bad Romance” is the best Super Bowl ad of 2017. Can we please be done with the sticking out of the tongue, Albert Einstein?
  • Cards Against Humanity (CAH) put up a fake Super Bowl ad with the accompanying explanation (which I would think is genius, except for all of the other fake everything these days.)
  • CAH is not wrong about the cost. Budweiser needs to sell almost 5 million six-packs, for example, to make back the cost of a Super Bowl ad. H&R Block would have to sign up 285,796 users, and Wendy’s would have to sell 963,391 burgers.
  • Depending on who you talk to, it’s either the wisest way to waste money, or advertising is in a death spiral.
  • Probably the most interesting thing I learned from this year’s advertising “after-party” involved the making of the Hyundai ad. It didn’t run until after the Super Bowl because they were capturing and editing footage of the game in real time with soldiers and their families to illustrate what real sacrifice looks like.

So yeah, no Super Bowl ads this year. And I gotta say, the “after-party” without the event itself isn’t nearly as fun.

What was fun was figuring out how to offer online courses, though, and HeyAmyLou is going to go all in this spring, offering our first ever digital training. We’re super excited to think that we’ll be able to reach a bigger audience, in the comfort of their own space, while continuing to provide cutting edge content. Watch this space for more details in the coming weeks, and for a chance to help us test run our inaugural course.

And until then, February’s deal is still on. Looking to put up or refresh a website? We’ve got everything you need to make it happen. And, my domain registration company is currently having a sale, which means even more savings for you!

P.S. If you’re interested, my 2016 Super Bowl Write Up is here, 2013 is here, and my first ever, 2012, is here (although the video has been taken down).

© copyright HeyAmyLou 2017 – All rights reserved


Super Bowl 50

Initial thoughts. I haven’t finished watching all the commercials yet, mostly because I didn’t see the Cindy Crawford / James Corden Pepsi remake, the only one I really wanted to see.  So here are some thoughts on what I’ve watched so far:

Snark in commercials – it works. At least for Budweiser. I honestly wasn’t paying attention until the words “Not A Fruit Cup”. And then I laughed out loud.

Steve Harvey, and T-Mobile, win the night.

click here to watch “Not Backing Down”

The Jeep spot also wins the night, for very different reasons. This spot was just good. No bragging, no gimmicks, just 75 years of solid.

click here to watch “Portraits”

Dollar Shave Club’s Zeek The Dirtbag Razor = Gross. Enough said.

Major Brands Airing PSA’s

Budweiser did it., did it. PSA’s are necessary, and I believe in them. PSA’s without a call to action, especially in a market with such a large and diverse market? No.

Budweiser’s Don’t Drink and Drive: Calling people who abuse alcohol a bunch of names and then admonishing them not to drink and drive has never worked. Paying Helen Mirren to do the same in her lovely British accent won’t make a difference.

NoMore.Org’s Domestic Violence: Better than Budweiser. Last year’s (their first ever) brought the room full of people I was watching the game with to silence, though. That was an effective PSA.

Colgate. Straight to the point. And relevant here at home, too, given the crisis in Flint, Michigan.

click here to watch “Every Drop Counts”

Their first-ever Super Bowl spot and they chose not to sell a thing. And the call to action is something we can all do. Doesn’t take a lot of effort, doesn’t require any additional steps, texting for more info., taking a pledge. Just turning off the faucet.

Of course, my favorite part of Super Bowl commercial watching is what happens outside of the tv ads. Namely what’s happening on Twitter. For all of its ridiculousness this week, Twitter is still the place to be during the Super Bowl commercials. Brand-on-Brand tweets are where it’s at. Reminder, 2013 was and probably will be, my favorite year.

And finally (for now), a word about the half-time show. Not cool. I’m not a fan of Coldplay. Which makes me that much more objective: Do not upstage the main event. Not even if you are Beyonce or Bruno Mars. Shameless marketing, frankly. And then to go out and announce your tour immediately after? Makes me think you’re just out for the money. I lost a lot of respect for both Beyonce and Bruno Mars.

I’m off to find and watch the Pepsi spot. Meet me back here later, I’m sure I have more to say.

(I’ve had a lot to say in the past, too. My thoughts on Super Bowl 2013 are here, and Super Bowl 2012 is here. I wasn’t impressed with 2015’s Super Bowl Commercials and therefore completely skipped writing about them. I have no idea what happened in 2014.)

© copyright HeyAmyLou 2016 – All rights reserved

Superbowl 2013

I’m not embarrassed to admit it. I watch for the commercials. (although last night’s game did capture more of my attention than usual, I’ll admit.)

Early results are in and we now know which spots played well and which not so well.

I haven’t looked, though. My two favorites are based wholly on my own emotional response. 

“Brotherhood” by Budweiser and “Farmer” by Dodge. I can’t pick which one I like better. 

Yeah. I bought it. Hook, line and sinker, even though it reminds me so much of the lion reunion video that went crazy on the internet a while back. Add in Stevie Nicks and I say “done.”


To make this ad, Ram commissioned 10 brilliant photographers including National Geographic icon William Albert Allard and renowned documentary photographer Kurt Markus. 

This one is not without a bit of controversy, though. Apparently made a video in June of 2011 that has a striking resemblance to the Dodge ad that aired last night. To their credit, Dodge says they will donate up to $1M to the FFA Foundation (in support of Future Farmers Of America and their hunger initiative) based on the views their video gets. 

And, Oreo gets special mention. Not for their paid superbowl ad, but for the brilliant way they utilized Twitter to their advantage during the 34 minute blackout. 

Finally, awesome idea. Get people to crowdsource a playlist of songs played last night. Too bad it’s Spotify, which makes sharing such a pain.

Updated: THIS is the best use of Twitter during the blackout!

I’m A Music Geek

Chipotle - Back to the Start


I’m not ashamed to admit it. I’m a music geek. I love everything about music. And yes, I schedule time to watch the Grammys. Live. From start to finish.

I’m also a failure at sitting still. And I’m terrible at watching TV. The fast forward button on the remote control is my best friend.

Sunday night during a commercial break for the Grammys, as I was checking Twitter for the latest updates, letting the dogs out for the 19th time in an hour (good grief), and trying to decide what to have for dinner, I found myself standing still.
The almost impossible happened. I stopped multi-tasking to focus 100% of my attention on listening to Willie Nelson cover Coldplay’s “The Scientist.” As I walked back into the living room to see what I was hearing, I found myself watching a Chipotle commercial.
Except it was so much more than a commercial. Titled “Back to the Start,” it’s two minutes and twenty seconds of stop-motion animation. It’s a short film.
Chipotle got me, Ms. Perpetual Motion, to stop and pay attention to their message. Harder still, once they had my attention they kept it for the full 2:20. Much beyond that, really. I’m still thinking and writing about it today. And I’m seriously craving a Chipotle burrito bowl vegetarian with extra guac.
They asked Willie Nelson, one of the founders of Farm Aid, to lend his voice both figuratively and literally. They chose Coldplay’s “The Scientist” to convey the idea of sustainable farming and “getting back to the start,” and they wrapped the whole message in stop-motion animation that illustrates the genesis of what they stand for as a company: Food with Integrity.” Plus–be still my heart–it has a charitable component. When purchased from iTunes, $.60 per download of Willie Nelson’s cover of the “The Scientist” benefits the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, which provides funding to support sustainable agriculture, family farming, and culinary education.
Then, as if that weren’t brilliant enough, they elected to air their 1st national television ad in the 18-year history of the company during the Grammys. (Willie Nelson has received multiple Grammys on top of being a lifetime achievement award recipient, and Coldplay performed in-house. Slam dunk.)
Why is all this so brilliant, according to me? Let’s look at the stats.
·         “Back to the Start” has been on YouTube since summer 2011.
·         To date, it has been viewed over 5 million times on YouTube.
·         Shortly after its release, it was the eighth most-shared ad on YouTube (September 2011).
·         Since the fall of 2011 it has run in 10,000 movie theaters nationwide.
·         “Back to the Start” was named by AdWeek as one of the 10 Best Commercials of 2011, coming in at #2 behind Volkswagen’s “The Force.”
·         It was listed by Zeta Interactive as one of the top 10 ads to generate online buzz in 2011one of only two ads to make that list without debuting during the Super Bowl.
To sum it up, an old YouTube viral video that has been shared millions of times and won a couple of awards last year was just repurposed as a TV commercial aired during a music awards show with the largest viewing audience since 1984. They can’t improve on that marketing strategy if they tried. But I’m betting they will.
Now it’s your turn. What are your thoughts about Chipotle’s marketing strategy?
What do you think about stop-motion animated short films as advertising? Is this the next trend in “traditional” advertising? Or is it so unique that once it’s been done it can’t be recreated in a meaningful way without being compared to “that great Chipotle YouTube video”?

© copyright HeyAmyLou 2012 – All rights reserved
(publication on RGA Public Relations New Media Observer Blog Feb 2012 permitted)