We’re going to open an old wound here, so get ready. It will be worth it.
Of the six car ads run during the Super Bowl, that chauvinistic Dodge Charger “Man’s Last Stand” ad was scored as the least effective across the board. It also, surprising no one, came in dead last in with female viewers, per the2010 Hoffman/York PURSEuasion Report on Super Bowl advertising effectiveness to women. According to a report from Kelley Blue Book, while the ad got very high ratings on a quick poll asking Bowl viewers to name favorite ads, that didn’t translate into increased traffic on kbb.com’s model information pages, which is used as a measure of ad effectiveness in generating auto sales. On that scale, again theDodge Charger came in on the bottom.
Keep that in mind as we take a look at this.
1136 victims in total were snagged, with over 1.5 million users watching their reactions live on SKY Sport. The two weeks following the event, the Heineken subsite received over 5 million unique visitors, plenty of blog and news coverage, and some seriously heavy YouTube/socnet love.
Okay, so beer and cars is maybe an apple/oranges comparison. Generating interest in buying a car is a different proposition than making people spend money on booze, sure. And what about the question of further the “domineering women controlling their men” stereotype in advertising? Well, Heineken’s approach with its American advertising has leaned toward the less offensivemen and women sure are different stereotype but remember the “soccer swindle” ad was aimed at an Italian market where sexism is more entrenched. Even still, though, the Italian ad “punchline” not only relies on a feel-good surprise, it turns the tired “us vs. them” conflict on its ear, saying, literally, “Let’s all enjoy this together!” This, as opposed to the reinforcement of chauvinistic resentment that fueled the Dodge ad fail.
So, hey, if you’re going to spend a gabillion dollars on a single ad, why not end up with something that’s not only massively effective, not only twists a stereotype, but leaves everyone involved with a smile on their face?