Who won football’s Super Bowl? In my world there is more interest in what ads were more successful than news of the game itself. Which commercials resonated the most with the target audiences? Which ones garnered kudos from creatives at the top agencies? And which ones might give you some shooting ideas?
Spend some time reviewing the ads and you’ll see that you can piggyback on the research that went into the themes and trends in the ads to come up with some ideas for yourself.
I spent most of today doing the “Monday morning quarterback thing” viewing dozens of the ads that I missed by being in one of the only places in the U.S. where the game wasn’t broadcast: an airplane in flight.
Not only are zillions of dollars spent in production and on broadcast fees for the coveted Super Bowl commercial time slots, the research that goes into pre-production creative research is probably the most extensive carried out in the development of any ads produced.
Themes that dominated this year: kids, humor (mostly of the ninth grade boy type), the economic downturn and, of course, that perennial favorite for guys of all ages who watch football: sexy women. No surprises except that advertisers have figured out how to try to sell products by talking about why no one has any money to buy them.
THE ECONOMY. A free breakfast for all Americans is offered in one commercial and an online broker’s ads traded on the failing economy. Not much inspiration for still photographers except to take the theme and try to find new takes on the old story of recession. My fav of ‘the economy sucks’ themed commercials: here When things are bad, the good old days seem better. This commercial plays on a nostalgia theme and is my pick for the best of show.
HUMOR. With a full minute of airtime to make a joke, it’s easier to be hilarious than when you must capture it in one click of the camera. As a consequence still photos that try to be funny almost always fail. Still images that are successful are less likely to be hammed up, staged shots than the grab shots you capture spontaneously as they unfold or at least look like you had your camera handy at exactly the right moment. Rule: keep the images looking as spur-of-the-moment as possible…your job is much harder since you don’t have audio.
Many think this is the funniest ad and it has at least three stock photo ideas in it. Can you find them? Some critics say that the message was dated since people are holding on even to jobs they hate. I personally liked this one in the get-a -new job category. Or this ad combining a little sexy, with a little money and its funny.
SEX. The Super Bowl is broadcast at family time for TV ratings and so the use of sexy in the ads has to be restrained. The same need for restraint in sexy visuals applies to still photography for Dreamstime. Unless you put your images in the unfiltered content section, avoid frontal nudity and overly sexy images of women and men. Here’s a typical Super Bowl ad use of female anatomy
CUTE THINGS. Many of the ads featured over the top cute children and animals. Who can resist? Especially if the theme also includes humor such as the Talking Babies campaign here and here
FOOTBALL The hoopla IS all about the game so no surprise that players and football themes were popular ad subjects as famous names in the game took on off field roles of product spokesmen. The only football players and game shots Dreamstime can accept must have all trademarks, logos and non-model released players removed and be for editorial licenses only as the faces of celebrities and team logos are forbidden in advertising without a prior multi-million dollar endorsement deal.