It’s Christmas time in ad-land. Millions gathering their friends and family, sodas, seltzers and snacks galore to the hallowed TV temple or bar of choice. Poised for attention and primed with alcohol, nearly a third of America will spend the evening of February 7th indulging in the most anticipated game of the year. But trust us, it’s not the fans who are on the edge of their seats. It’s the advertising folks.
Super Bowl Sunday has a longstanding tradition for its ground-breaking advertisements, and hefty budgets to boot. Brands and companies will shell out millions to make sure their voice is heard during and inbetween play of the big game. The expectations are always high for the ads, and many are released early, not only for fans to have something to look forward to and watch in full during the big game, but to test the waters and see if their ad will be a hit. Increasingly, Super Bowl TV ads have been less efficacious in recent years, so brands are trying harder than ever to grab your attention and engagement, branching out beyond the big game and finding new ways to engage in the Holy Week of advertising that early February brings. We love it, and we know America does too. This year, however, Coors is taking this standard to a whole new level.
Ever dream about beer? Coors wants you to. They’re ASKING you to. Researchers and marketers teamed up in a brilliant crossover to implant dreams into people. They use targeted dream incubation to “induce people into dreaming about imagery associated with the brand, like mountain streams, snow and refreshment”, writes E.J. Schultz in AdAge. The experiment uses a stimulus film given to viewers before they sleep, and an 8-hour soundscape they listen to as they slumber.
Sound unethical? Maybe, but they claim otherwise. Coors is making this completely optional. They say that volunteers are quite eager to take part in this strange marketing ploy, to see if a company can really advertise in the last frontier of advertising – your subconscious dream state. This is not an involuntary broadcast that will make the masses hypnotized; rather a wild experiment to go along with their campaign that could generate some serious buzz. Coors need this to be a viral hit and have lots of folks chatting about this only, mainly because Anheuser-Busch InBev controls the national beer advertising rights to the game on CBS. They have for years. Brands will try to work their way around ANBEV in a variety of ways, but Coors takes the cake, or foam, in our opinion this year.
Have fun watching, experiencing and of course, snacking this year. But keep your eyes and ears open in between the plays. Brands are making bold moves this year, and it’s good to keep up with them. We won’t ask for pages of notes, but try to find the “why” for the ads. Why did the narrator say that? Why did the brand place their ad here? And why on earth am I dreaming about mountain ranges and seltzer beer??
By Micah Hill