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What B2B marketers can learn from Super Bowl ads [2022]

Super Bowl LVI was about the Rams, the Bengals… and the commercials. In this episode of “Death to the Corporate Video,” Guy and Hope discuss the best and worst Super Bowl ads in 2022, and what B2B marketers should learn from them.

A few key takeaways:

  • Keep it simple, stupid. You only have 30 or 60 seconds. Make sure you aren’t trying to cram too much in there.
  • Say your brand name. Integrate your product into your spot. Make sure your product couldn’t easily be swapped out for another. If I can swap the logo out at the end for a competitor, chances are people aren’t going to remember which crypto company made it (for example).
  • Make sure the audience knows what your category is and, ideally, your value proposition. Especially in B2B, don’t assume that everyone knows what you do, or that anyone will take the time to find out. Make sure you tell them during your slot!


Guy Bauer: Sally Seashells. Seashell. Yeah. 

Hope Morley: Oh gosh. Don't make us say that. She sells seashells? 

Hope Morley: Hello, and welcome to Death to the Corporate Video, a podcast about how to make B2B ads your prospects actually want to watch. I'm Hope Morley. 

Guy Bauer: I'm Guy Bauer. 

Hope Morley: And we are coming to you today the morning after the Super Bowl with a very special episode where we are going to celebrate advertising's biggest holiday - the Super Bowl.

We're going to talk about the ads from last night and what B2B brands can learn.

And just before we get started, I have to say this. Guy, I'm sorry for your loss. You are a lifelong Bengals fan. It did not go your way last night.

Guy Bauer: It didn't, but I don't know. The older I get the less I'm actually tied into the results in a good way or bad way. Like if I ran into any of the Bengals on the team right now they wouldn't even, they wouldn't know I'm a fan.

I'm just, it's just a very weird thing. Like you want to see them win, but I also, I guess I don't care anymore. Maybe I'm just trying to rationalize. But what's funny, as they were winning playoff games my phone would blow up with people I haven't spoken to in years. Guy, oh man, congratulations. Good luck. Good luck in the Super Bowl. 

And then when they lost, like not one text, like I'm like you don't, you understand? Like, it's not like I'm like crying right now. I'm not on the team. I don't play there. Yeah. I mean, that's the thing it's like, I don't know. I've just been in a confusing spot this morning. So close but it's so far away. But we'll get them in 30 years. We'll be back. 

Hope Morley: Well, let's talk about something that we are sure of, which is good ads. I hope you were able to pay attention to the ads during some of the commercial breaks. 

Guy Bauer: I was telling my in-laws, I couldn't go to the bathroom last night because usually in every other Super Bowl I go during the game.

But last night I couldn't miss any plays and I couldn't miss any commercials. So I had to go during station promos. I don't know if you realize like at the end of the spot. 

Hope Morley: You're like I have 15 seconds.

Guy Bauer: That's the only time I could go pee. Okay. My overall impression of the night of advertising was okay. 

Hope Morley: Yeah.

Guy Bauer: Okay. In a Larry David voice. Okay. It was not bad. There were good ads.

Hope Morley: It's still, you know, when it comes down to it, a lot of the Super Bowl ads are very safe. Like they take a big bet on production budget and on paying celebrities a lot of money to star in the ads, but they're really not groundbreaking works of art that are really necessarily going to move the needle on what advertising is doing, you know, over the next couple of years. I think that there's a couple of themes and things we can pull out of the ads that I saw, but overall it's not, I didn't really see anything that I was so blown away by the creative.

Guy Bauer: I agree. There were definitely great spots and I have a bunch of notes and a bunch of misses, I think, too, but there were no –. And this goes back to this whole thing that we've spoken about on this podcast, but that the idea is the thing like the macro. The nugget, like the actual premise is the biggest thing.

Hope Morley: I'm sorry to interrupt you. Cause I just want to make a point about this. I think the idea and the writing though, because some of these had an idea and very high production value, but then the story fell apart in it. So it's like they had this like nugget that was actually sometimes a good idea.

And then they, you know, didn't have great copywriters or it got destroyed in committee or who knows what. So it's like, it starts out great. It's kind of like an SNL skit sometimes that like the first 10 seconds, you're like, oh yeah, like they've got something here. And then it just like disintegrates in front of you.

Guy Bauer: So one that I think of when you say that is the Flavor Town, Bud Light Seltzer with Guy Fieri. I thought that that was a great premise. 

Hope Morley: Yeah. Yeah. I thought that  one was okay. 

Guy Bauer: But I thought the writing. So once they come in with the spiked hair and you’re like, oh, who are these people? And then you get the reveal, the twist about 10 seconds in, 15 seconds in, it’s Guy Fieri. He's like this mayor of Flavor Town. Great. But then from there, the writing is like, I declare this lots of flavor and everyone's like flavor! Like there was no other –

Hope Morley: They were stretching it to like 30 seconds. Yeah.

Guy Bauer: Yeah.There was like nothing there after the reveal.

And so I, when you say the writing, I think that's the one that comes to mind. Great premise and just kind of like the tail end of the spot, just kind of falls off a cliff. I thought they could either elevate it. Maybe there was someone else that can come in, you know, Guy Fieri is universally hated, you know, maybe Nickelback came in at the end or something, or I don't know.

I feel like there was a way they could have done something to acknowledge his standing. I don't know. He's a great guy though. I mean know, but Yeah. Anyway. 

Hope Morley: Yeah. So my example of the one that I thought had a good premise, but it fell apart was the BMW Zeus and Hera spot, the electric car. Because again, I was like, oh, Zeus would drive an electric car, great idea. And then they got Selma Hayak and Arnold Schwartzenegger, great.  

Guy Bauer: But then. like, 

Hope Morley: But then the story that they gave them made no sense. Like they retired to Palm Springs and then like electrical stuff was malfunctioning around him, but then they gave him an electric car. It didn't make any sense.

Guy Bauer: I didn't understand that twist because he was getting upset that everyone was like, Hey Zeus, uh, give me a charge. Right? Everyone was running out of power. And I guess the thing is that this car doesn't run out of power? 

Hope Morley: But then like, he didn't know how to use a microwave. It just didn't make sense.

Guy Bauer: I agree with you actually now that you 

Hope Morley: And he blew out the power grid. As I was watching it, I just, I don't get it.

Guy Bauer: I agree with you and that's why I didn't even note that spot, even though it had huge celebrities in it. I didn't even note it down as anything probably because it just fell apart. The premise didn't like, there was no logical conclusion to it. I agree. I agree. 

And it was the night of electric cars and crypto basically. Right? I mean, Everything was either –

Hope Morley: was an electric car or crypto. Yeah.

Guy Bauer: I thought the crypto Larry David, we actually pitched that to a client a few months ago, not with Larry David in it, but that exact concept. So there's a little bit of envy in that.

Hope Morley: I thought that spot was great. That was a perfect use of a celebrity. Like if you're going to use a celebrity, you know, it's like the perfect use of his default character. Well done. Funny premise. 

Guy Bauer: Well, and the logic is —

Hope Morley: Perfect. 

Guy Bauer: What I pitched to our client is they're trying to pitch the next generation of something and you don't want to be that naysayer that's wrong all the time. And his delivery. He was just Larry David. They were just like, just put him as Larry David. I thought the production design was great. And I remember the brand name Crypto, right? 

Hope Morley: No, it was FTX. 

Guy Bauer: See, that's the problem!

Hope Morley: That's the problem. You didn't remember which crypto ad it was.

Guy Bauer: And that's why crypto.com is probably in the best position out of everyone. Maybe besides Coinbase. Okay. So Coinbase ad was pretty genius because,

Hope Morley: The QR code, right? 

Guy Bauer: Yeah, the DVD menu. So me and Jen, my wife were like fixed on that. And it actually went on so long that it went on for 10 seconds. I was like, yeah, it's probably too late to scan it. It's probably going to turn off. And then it kept going on. I was like, all right, well, let me take out my phone. And then I took out my phone, scanned it. When I saw Coinbase, I'm already a Coinbase member. But then there was enough time and then it ended on hitting the corner and me and Jen cheered and her parents were like, what?

It was the perfect homage and it physically got me to take out my phone and take an action. And then at the end yell out like the Bengals just scored a touchdown. I mean, so really well done then. 

Hope Morley: I didn't see it live. I saw that one online and when you just watch online you're like, what is this? This is dumb. But I can see in terms of a creative use of your 60 seconds on somebody's screen, it really was one of the few spots that tried to do something different and got people to engage.

I heard that the landing page crashed or their app crashed because they got so much traffic. So it worked. And it reminded me a little bit of last year, the 15 second Reddit spot that got everyone to pause their TV to read it. Do you remember that one that they only bought 15 seconds?

And so I, again, it was that same vibe to me of trying to be interactive and trying to just not blend into the noise of the rest of the Super Bowl ads.

Guy Bauer: So here's a takeaway. It's the use of a mystery. And so many brands want to spell everything out. And the idea is like, get people to interact via solving a puzzle. 

So actually, you know what, I'm going to award them most effective. That wins my most effective award of the night because I went to a landing page and then cheered out loud when it hit the corner. And you're right. They use the medium of live TV the best because online that doesn't make sense.Or if you know what I mean, it's just not, there's no like 

Hope Morley: It's not one that you're going to send around the next day. 

Guy Bauer: Right.  

Hope Morley: But it was actually playing with the fact that it was live. You have a captive audience trying to get them to do something right then. 

Guy Bauer: Yeah. Speaking of crypto. So crypto did the LeBron James one. 

Hope Morley: I think I missed that one. 

Guy Bauer: That had awful CG. He was talking to himself of the past and himself, like in 2003. It was wondering if he's too young to enter the NBA or whatever. But the CG character was beyond terrible, like not good at all.

See the thing is, and all these crypto things are going with the, they're all following the creative of you don't want to miss this, like get in now. That's the message of all of them. All right. So Coinbase was my most effective. What do you think was the most effective?

Not most creative, but most like effective in getting to remember a name. 

Hope Morley: So, you know, when I was watching these, I noticed a lot of them had kind of a really tenuous connection to the product. Like you could interchange different products or different brands and it wouldn't matter, which is a huge problem because then it's not going to be memorable. You'll remember the content, but you're not going to remember which brand did it. One that I thought was really effective with a good connection to product was the Pringles ad where the guy got his hand stuck in the can because no other chip brand can do that. You know, a lot of people are talking about the Paul Rudd Seth Rogan Lays commercial, which I thought was fine, but you could put any chip in there.

There was nothing about that spot that you're like, oh, this is a Lays commercial. But the Pringles ad you're like, yeah, like that can only be done for Pringles.

Guy Bauer: If I could give you a virtual emoji it would be the 100 emoji. I think you're exactly a hundred percent. Actually Pringles I thought was the best ad of the night. I have it here, bolded on my thing. I was laughing out loud at that. Like how they took it even to his death. Like I thought it was, and you're exactly right. And I didn't even think of that, but you're exactly right. The method of their can is the creative. And so you can't mess it up. Yeah. Lays can be swapped for Ruffles and it's the same thing. In fact, Lays can be swapped for Pepsi. Like it doesn't matter. 

Hope Morley: It was that they were just like, oh, let's put Paul Rudd and Seth Rogan together. You know, they happen to be eating chips. They could have been eating McDonald's.

Guy Bauer: And the other thing that Pringles, because my wife, Jen was like, isn't that bad for their brand though? Saying that the thing. And I'm like, no, I don't think so. Like, well, people get stuck in it. I don't think that's doing brand damage. 

It's the same thing as Taco Bell. Taco Bell knows who eats Taco Bell, it's people like me. And I thought their commercial was a complete miss. I didn't understand it. 

Hope Morley: It was the clowns?

Guy Bauer: Yeah. I didn't get it.

Hope Morley: I didn’t get it. 

Guy Bauer: Maybe I'm just completely out of touch. I didn't get it. But the people who eat Pringles, I guarantee you are people like me too. I thought that was amazing. It was such a simple idea, just so well done. That wins my favorite and I have that bolded here. I thought that was incredible.

Hope Morley: Yeah. Because I saw a lot of ads had that loose connection to the product. Like the avocados one that they're tailgating in ancient Rome. That's again like, why ancient Rome? What do avocados have to do with ancient Rome?

Guy Bauer: Well, so I have one noted here. The Toyota Paralympic, the blind brother. Great story. Great story. You're watching it, you know, feeling emotion and then it's a tie-in to Toyota and the tagline is Start your Impossible. 

Hope Morley: What does that mean? I thought the same thing with that tagline, I was like, wait, how, what? This is a car.

Guy Bauer: That should have been a Tide ad or something. Great. And so well done, so well done. And I just, I was like, wait, so wait. Huh? Where did that come from? It’s probably because they have some kind of Paralympic sponsorship. 

Hope Morley: Yeah. They have like, yeah,

Guy Bauer: They're like, figure out something with them. Well done, but I didn't understand the tie-in at all. I don't think of Toyota when I'm trying to Start my Impossible. I think of Toyota when I want to pick a car that if I'm a serial killer, so you can't identify my car because everyone has one. That's what I think of. 

Speaking of the avocados, I thought there were two big themes I saw. The first one is tons of historical references. 

Hope Morley: Yeah. Two spots with Declaration of Independence shots. 

Guy Bauer: Yeah. Caveman with Jason Bateman, you got the Larry David crypto, avocados, lots of that stuff. And the other thing I noticed was there were six spots that I would put, or five here, that I would put as nostalgia.

Hope Morley: I have a note about that too. Yeah.

Guy Bauer: All right. So the five I have, or the GM Dr.Evil, E-Trade baby, which is kind of crazy that we're nostalgic for a commercial. 

Hope Morley: But out of all the nostalgia ones, I do love that E-Trade baby. 

Guy Bauer: Oh, yeah.

Hope Morley: Brilliant. I loved it.

Guy Bauer: Yeah. Yeah. It was like the start of an action movie, like Rambo or something. Yeah.

Oh no. I thought that was incredible. To be honest with you, and this is why they do nostalgia, I thought all five were great. 

Hope Morley: Well, let me hear the other ones that you have.

Guy Bauer: They did their job. 

Guy Bauer: Guess, go ahead. 

Hope Morley: Okay. So also, Jim Carrey, the cable guy. 

Guy Bauer: Yep. 

Hope Morley: I had the Cheetos ad with Push It as the song with the animals singing. So that one just because you know, we're nostalgic for nineties hip hop. Now, I would put the T-Mobile spot with Zach Braff and the other guy from Scrubs in that bucket. 

Guy Bauer: I didn't have that, but yeah.

Hope Morley: But that's nostalgia too. The Rocket Mortgage Barbie dream house. 

Guy Bauer: Yep. 

Hope Morley: Those are the ones I had.

Guy Bauer: Ah, you're missing The Sopranos. 

Hope Morley: The Sopranos! Again, the EV car. Yeah, I missed the Sopranos one. Yeah.

Guy Bauer: But I also didn't understand that one.

Hope Morley: So I've never watched the Sopranos, so I didn't get the reference.

Guy Bauer: Well I watched every Sopranos episode and I guess, I think maybe they're trying to call back to Tony dying and they meet up where Tony died? I don't know. 

Hope Morley: Was he driving a Chevy truck in the original opening?

Guy Bauer: Oh, yes, he did drive a Chevy truck. Yes. He drove like a Chevy Tahoe. Oh. So maybe that’s it.

Hope Morley: So it's just that she's the new generation. And then the new generation is the EV truck?

Guy Bauer: Ah, okay. So yeah, I need Hope to figure out all my commercials. E-Trade baby. Awesome. And, The Cable Guy is actually my favorite Jim Carrey movie. So I thought that was cool. But to me, the GM Dr. Evil, literally, I was smiling the entire spot.

Hope Morley: Yeah, I was like, as I was watching it, you know, you're like, Austin Powers? What? This reference is 20 years old now. But it worked, I liked it. It used all the same dynamics from the Austin Powers movies like him taking on Scott, his kid and they brought back the other characters too. And it was funny. 

Guy Bauer: What's her name, Frau? 

Hope Morley: Something. Yeah. And Number Two.

Guy Bauer: Slapping him? Yeah.

And exactly right. I feel like it wasn't written by advertising people. It was actually written by a screenwriter. But it didn't feel like it was copy.

It felt like, just like his movies that kind of meander into these scenes that kind of just sit. 

Hope Morley: Right. It sat. Like it started to move forward and then like she would hit his hand and keep like, pull it back. You know, it stayed in that conference room or war room, whatever you want it seen.

Guy Bauer: Yeah, I thought that was great. Oh, and then one other one that I just always love. Maybe love is a strong word, but the Turkish Airlines Morgan Freeman. Turkish airlines just always does a good job. They're just good. 

Hope Morley: That was, again, that to me, that's like a really good connection to what they're actually selling. You know, bringing people together, especially coming out of the past two years when people didn't travel as much, a lot of us were like separated from family a lot, especially if they're in different countries.

I thought that was really good. And I thought it was a good use of a celebrity because using Morgan Freeman for what he's good at, which is dramatic voiceover, not trying to put anything else on it. Yeah. I thought that one was really good too.

Guy Bauer: Yeah, I think you're right. And the word, or the picture of bringing countries together as like, oh, that's like their thing and yeah. You're exactly right.

Hope Morley: It was very much an end of pandemic ad without having to say anything about the pandemic.

Guy Bauer: Yeah. They always do good ads and they always get overlooked. They're never in the USA Today thing. But they come out with new ads every year and I always think of Turkish Airlines. So, I mean, it's doing its job. 

I thought while it was a good idea, it was made for advertising people only was the Cutwater Here's to the Lazy Ones, which is a parody of here's to the, the Apple spot here's to the– I can't remember. What is it like? Here's to, it's not the brave ones, the crazy ones! Here's to the crazy ones, the renegades, whatever. I mean, they just parodied an Apple ad who, if you ask 

Hope Morley: 99% of people. They don't remember it. 

Guy Bauer: They don't remember it. I barely remembered as an ad person. And so yeah, it was made for ad people. 

Hope Morley: No, that one was kind of a miss for me.

Guy Bauer: And Cutwater, I had to look it up before we did this thing to figure out what the brand was. I couldn't remember it. And that's the thing if you do the Super Bowl. And that's why maybe it's like WeatherTech. I never liked their commercials.

Even last night’s looked like it had higher production value at least, but I didn't even understand it. It was just people coming in and putting their products in. But you remember the name WeatherTech. So I guess it is effective. I think a big lesson is you're doing this so people remember your company name. 

Guy Bauer: Make sure you have a logical tie-in and say your brand enough,

Hope Morley: Say your brand all the time. Like that was something with the Barbie dream house house ad. They said like Rocket Mortgage, Rocket Home a bunch of times throughout the spot. Like it would have been easy for them to have written that in a way that you'd just bring in the brand at the end, but they had like a really clear, she kept pulling out the app.

She kept saying Rocket Mortgage, Rocket Homes and over and over again. And so I actually remember. Which is because you could've made that for Zillow or Redfin, like that could have been made for a lot of different brands, but they made sure that you remembered who it was.

Guy Bauer: The brand that best did this was Gong, which is a B2B ad. And the way they get you to remember Gong is just by having gongs all over the place. And the gongs even drown out when the guy tells you what Gong does, that's how brave that creative is, but how smart it is because it's Gong.And I remember gong.io.

Hope Morley: Well, let's talk. So there were a couple of B2B software ads in here. So let's talk about some of these, because this is a B2B podcast. So a couple that I noted. Monday.com had one, Salesforce had one, ClickUp, and QuickBooks Intuit, and then Gong were the B2B… oh, and Squarespace, I guess .

Guy Bauer: Sally Seashell. Yeah. 

Hope Morley: Oh gosh. Don't make us say that.

Hope Morley: She sells seashells. So let's talk about those software ones. Cause I thought there were some hits and misses within that category. 

Guy Bauer: All right. What are the hits? 

Hope Morley: I liked the Squarespace. The seashells. Oh my God. I don't want to say it. 

Hope Morley: What I liked about it was it was beautifully shot and it was well-written like, it was 

zippy copy. And they put a gen Z celebrity. A lot of the nostalgia spots, a lot of the celebrities are aimed at older people, but using Zendaya, she's younger, she's hip, but she has broad appeal for older generations too. So I thought Squarespace was a hit for me. 

Guy Bauer: I agree, I think, and what they did was I call them grunt value props, but they don't go deep in functionality of Squarespace. They just tell you that you're going to grow your business and that they could take you from zero to hero and they're out. They just give you the value, you know, the value props and the end desired future state, and then they're out. So yeah, I agree with you. And the method by which the rhyming of the thing, seashells and all that stuff, that's a good delivery method to keep you engaged. And you're right. It was beautifully shot. So I agree. I agree with your analysis there. What else?

Hope Morley: So my biggest miss in that category was ClickUp, the Declaration of Independence one that the concept of it was that it was version control. So I was watching these with my husband who's a data scientist and has nothing to do with marketing or advertising. That spot ended. He was like, I have no idea what that product is. And I don't care and I already forgot what they're trying to sell. And I've heard of ClickUp and I know that it's like project management software, but if I didn't know that I would not have gotten it from that ad at all.

Guy Bauer: I agree with you. I had zero clue what was going on. Here's the thing, right? There's great ads, then there's good ads, and then there's mediocre ads and then there's bad. There were very few bad ads. Actually, I wouldn't label any of these bad, I guess the Cutwater, but that's not really bad. 

Hope Morley: Yeah, it was just like, blah, like it was a miss. 

Guy Bauer: So I don't think there were any bad ads. Where ClickUp goes is the mediocre where you don't even remember it enough that it was bad. In one ear out the other. I agree with you. I didn't understand what it was selling. And then once the tagline came up at the end, I was, I, it, And it just like, you know, I went and got another wing. 

Hope Morley: And to me ClickUp is more of a startup, like kind of a challenger brand. So you're going to be using the Super Bowl. You have to tell people what you are. They were assuming, I think, that people knew what they are. It's like, you're not Kia. You're not a brand that people know. You really have to tell people who you are. 

Guy Bauer: ClickUp is like Monday? 

Hope Morley: Yeah.

Guy Bauer: Okay. I thought Monday’s was whatever, all of their ads are just to me, like whatever. They are the noisiest brand. And we used to use Monday. I didn't like it.

Hope Morley: I like them. I do like them. 

Guy Bauer: You do? I never liked it. And I hated it because it was like, I put that post on Monday. I'm like Monday! No, that needed to go on Thursday! No, like monday.com. 

Hope Morley: Yeah, you always have to say that, and that's their ads too. They're always monday.com like stupid name choice. 

Guy Bauer: They used to be daPulse, which I guess Monday is better, but you know, none of their ads to me are anything. But you just see their logo. The logo is very colorful. It's got a unique name, so I guess it's effective. It's working for them. But yeah.

The one that was whatever was Salesforce. I mean, I didn't like it.

Hope Morley: I didn't either. 

Guy Bauer: Nothing there. 

Hope Morley: I mean, talk again about something that has very little connection to the product. They spent so much time taking swings at Meta and Tesla for going to the moon. Every brand now making fun of going to Mars was the theme of the night. But they, again, it was like, you got Matthew McConaughey and it just felt like a waste to me.

Guy Bauer: And like, how does that tie into team earth or whatever?

Hope Morley: Yeah. And I'm like, wait, but you're like, you're, you're, you're like, I don't know.

Guy Bauer: I really liked the production. I liked how they made a sixties version of Conniff Sprach Zarathustra. I don't know if you picked up on that. But it was like that dan, dan, dan. 

Guy Bauer: So the production value was great. It had like the markings of something cool.

Hope Morley: Yeah, no, it was just kind of whatever.

Guy Bauer: Kind of whatever. Yeah. And then Gong, I felt Gong was just, they nailed it. I thought that was, that's a great use of the Super Bowl time. It's funny. It's Gong. 

Hope Morley: And QuickBooks. So they're almost always in the Super Bowl and this year. 

Guy Bauer: What was the QuickBooks spot?

Hope Morley: The QuickBooks one was the DJ Khaled “All I do is win” song. The old woman with the cat. And then I, so at first I was like, I didn't get it.

I thought that they, like that use of that song. Because I'm like, oh, your business is winning because you're using QuickBooks. But then why is there a woman with a cat?

Guy Bauer: Actually, it came up right before this call, I went through and like scanned them all. It came up in the thing and it was, and I was like, I just don't get it.

Like it just, yeah. Maybe I'm out of touch. I don't know. I didn't get it. 

Hope Morley: Yeah, some of the software ads were just, I wasn't blown away by them.

Guy Bauer: I think they're trying too hard.

Hope Morley: I think that was ClickUp’s problem. I think their creative team went in thinking like this is a Super Bowl ad so we have to do something crazy. Let's do a historical thing with the Declaration of Independence, instead of taking a step back and being like, how do we use this 30 seconds effectively to tell people who we are?

Guy Bauer: And I think the lesson from Pringles is keep it simple, stupid, and Gong. Keep it simple, stupid. I mean, even the cable guy. I think it's Verizon. Yeah.

Yeah, Keep it simple. It's like, if you've seen the movie, they're just calling back the things, the GM Dr. Evil, like, don't try to like, do I think that's where the Zeus thing falls in. They were just trying to do too big of a story. 

Hope Morley: It's like you've got 30 or 60 seconds.

Guy Bauer: Right. I think that's the big lesson. I thought the other one very simple, Sam Adams, your brother from Boston. It's guys drinking beer, playing with the robots, and then it has a nice punchline “Call security! They are security. “

Hope Morley: Yeah.

Guy Bauer: It was funny. And this is so tied to the brand. I actually drink Sam Adams.

So like I felt like, Yeah, that's their brand. Very simple. And the avocados one is like, wait, I need to sit down. 

Hope Morley: Yeah, I have no idea how, why.

The one other one I liked that we didn't talk about, I liked the Planters Mixed Nuts one. I thought that was cute. Again, it's the product right there, it's maybe not a real debate, but it's something that you can't talk about that ad without saying “mixed nuts.” I can talk about some of these other ads without ever mentioning the product, but that one you can't.

Guy Bauer: What's funny is none of the crypto spots have anything to do with crypto. They're all about just risk-taking like you should, you need to take risks. I wonder if it would be more effective, like the Larry David one, I still, you just told me the brand name. I can't remember. 

Hope Morley: FTX. But I've never heard of them.

Guy Bauer: There should've been a thing. Larry David going, like, what kind of name is that? And actually that could have been a thing, like to get you to remember the name, like FTX. 

Hope Morley: I wanted to talk about that because that was booking.com. Their premise was that they were making fun of the fact that they were called booking.com. But to me, I was like, who is anyone confused? Or is anyone talking about how booking.com is a bad name? Is anyone really making fun of their name, that you're going to do a whole campaign around how you have a stupid name?

Guy Bauer: And Idris Elba is one of the most beloved celebrities, I would say, like up there with Tom Hanks and the use of him was just, like, does this relate to Idris Elba? 

Hope Morley: No, that one was a complete miss to me. Like that was on my list of just like what.

Guy Bauer: And I never even think of booking.com, but what is it, is it Expedia?

Hope Morley: Yeah, it's just like one of those, which we didn't talk about. I actually liked the Expedia ad with Ewan McGregor. Again, a good direct message. It was travel instead of buy things. Done. You know?

Guy Bauer: Yeah, I thought it was good. It was good. It had shades of that SAP Clive Owen one that I really love where he's like walking through stuff. It's a similar tone of voice, but then, yeah, the Expedia spot pivots away. That was good. 

Hope Morley: Were there any other misses for you that we didn't talk about?

Guy Bauer: I mean all the ones that I'm not mentioning to me, I guess, you know what I mean? I only point out the ones that I really hate and the ones I love. 

You know, what's funny is like, you want to pay attention to ads at the Super Bowl. We're all there to pay attention to the ads. And to have people who make ads go, what was your ad about? is kinda not good.

If you think about our clients who are making B2B ads, not in the Super Bowl that are usually digital, online, it just shows you what you're up against. You are up against the lack of attention and caring to dissect and figure out your story. You gotta be the Pringles guy. Simple thing. 

I would say one of the spots we've ever made is premiumbeat.com and premiumbeat.com is said 

Hope Morley: Talk about saying the brand name throughout. 

Guy Bauer: Yeah. And you know what? It was tied in with their product PremiumBeat, you know what I mean? It's part of their whole thing. So I think the takeaway to me is if you can organically tie the brand and what it does into the creative and say the name a bunch, that's a winner. 

Hope Morley: I have to come away from it knowing what you do and then a value prop, like Squarespace, you know?

Guy Bauer: When you say I need to know what you do, a lot of B2B brands think of that as an explainer thing that talks about features and benefits. I just need to know your category. Like, are you a project management thing or are like, I think Gong is sales enablement, right?

Gong, you know, sales. I just need to know your category, even if I don't know your exact thing of what you do, at least just the realm of where you are and yeah to come away with not understanding, like in the case of ClickUp, not good. 

Hope Morley: No. And one other miss that I thought that, I think there's a good takeaway from is the Kia electric vehicle with the robot dog, to me, that was a big miss because the end of the spot, if you remember, it's like this robot dog chasing the electric car and then the dog's battery dies and it's supposed to be like cute.

And then the guy saves it by plugging it in, but I'm like, the biggest fear that people have with electric cars is that you're going to die on the side of the road and that there's going to be nowhere to charge it. Why would you put a battery dying as like a plot point in your Super Bowl ad?

That, to me seems like why would you remind people of what their biggest fear of buying your product? And if you want to be addressing people's concerns, you have to do it more directly.

So it's like either I felt like either you were kind of ignorant of that or like, I don't, I don't even know.

Guy Bauer: Or it made you aware of batteries? Yeah.

I agree. And I thought the creative was whatever. I mean, they're trying to put a dog in and it kind of shows you that we humans don't have an affinity for robotic dogs. We have an affinity for alive dogs.

Because I didn't feel any like, you know, endorphins or whatever, looking at a dog. Speaking of a commercial though, that does bring up objections in a funny way, was the YouTube TV, where it's like, no long-term contracts. I love signing long-term contracts. It makes me think like I'm an athlete signing a contract. And they brought up all the benefits and then showed you how silly you'd have to be to object to these benefits of YouTube TV.

I thought it was pretty smart. 

Hope Morley: Yeah. Yeah, that was good.

Guy Bauer: So all in all, I mean, now that we go through these, there was no moment where anything spoke to my soul that I'll never forget. I'll probably forget all of these. So for that reason, that's why I'm like, eh, it was okay. But lots of good stuff. Lots of good little stuff. 

Hope Morley: Yeah. To sum up our biggest takeaways, the biggest thing is just when you're making an ad, don't assume that people know what you do, especially if you're in the B2B space. Like you have to get that category across. You have to get that, the key benefit across in your spot. We don't want to assume that anyone's going to give you any more time than the 30 seconds that they've already given you. So if you have to then go look up what ClickUp is after the ad, you know, 

Guy Bauer: No, 

Hope Morley: Maybe that'll work on some people, but really you need to give people a reason to take that next step.

Guy Bauer: The ClickUp wasn't intriguing enough to go solve the riddle. Whereas Coinbase was. 

Hope Morley: Yeah, they took it so far that it was like a puzzle and they gave you time to like, get your phone and scan the QR. So that they were doing it as a gimmick, they were purposely withholding information as a gimmick. When I'm talking about something like ClickUp or the QuickBooks “All I do is win” things that just got confusing and muddled, like you're not trying to present a mystery to anyone.

Guy Bauer: Right. They were mysterious just because they missed. It's kind of like Tommy Wiseau after the fact saying The Room was a comedy. No, no it wasn't. You missed! So yeah, I agree. And just keep it simple, stupid. Oh my gosh. Be the Pringles ad. Be the Sam Adams, be the GM Dr. Evil, very simple premises. The Gong. Just simple, simple, simple. Say the name of the brand, show the thing enough and go and you're out. And then people will remember. 

Hope Morley: All right. Any final thoughts?

Guy Bauer: I wish the Bengals had won. 

Hope Morley: There's always next year.

Guy Bauer: Yeah, regarding ads no. I think I'm going to go cry though.

Hope Morley: All right. Well, thanks for listening to today's episode. If you agree or disagree with anything, if you loved that Kia robot dog, let us know. We're across all the social media channels at Umault. That's U M A U L T. And you can find us on our website at umault.com. Thanks for listening.





Picture of Guy bauer, founder of umault

Guy has been making commercial videos for over 20 years and is the author of “Death to the Corporate Video: A Modern Approach that Works.” He started the agency in 2010 after a decade of working in TV, film and radio. He’s been losing hair and gaining weight ever since.

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