Subconscious Influence in Super Bowl Commercials 2015

It’s the Olympics of Advertising.  Each year, the top ad firms go all-in to make the best commercial for Super Bowl.  At $4.5 million per 30 second spot, it must be in its finest shape, a lean and rugged beast of persuasion that makes you buy that product.

Each year, I like to write up an analysis of the games these commercials play.  By being more aware of their methods, we are more in control ourselves.  We are more able to spot what in us has been influenced and decide if we want to keep that or not.  I’ll give an example.  Last year’s Super Bowl’s Axe commercial featured their new “Peace” scent to promote an image of mature love.  it’s a heady floral scent that I had found somewhat unpleasant.  I’d never wear it.  However, about a week or so after watching their video of powerful images and symbolism about 20x, I found myself paying for it at the store.  I had even sprayed the thing and thought it smelled rather nice.  To be clear, their advertisement warped my perception and changed the scent.  Let’s call that a hallucination.  The spell has since been broken and I can smell it as I first did; the influence of the commercial had faded.

Commercials influence us in unexpected ways.  They are subtle and often undetectable to the person being influenced – it just feels ‘right’ to buy it.  Knowing the game and spotting their influence can help put us put ourselves more in control and let us know ourselves better.

Dove: “Real Strength”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoqWo3SJ73c

I remember the prior age of advertising when it was common for a company to repeat it’s tagline or phone number ad nauseum as we, involuntarily, succumbed to it boring into our brain. Dove knows this drill and has broken out the power tools to brand themselves on our brain.

If Dove didn’t have to move a mountain, they might have used more subtle sophistication. For about 60 years we have been repeatedly imprinted upon that Dove is a lady’s brand. In 2004, they started doing some deep brand imprinting with their “Campaign for Real Beauty” where they use “real women” and empowering messages that go right to the heart of women’s issues of self-condidence and worth. The ad campaign was quite powerful. But now they hope to market men’s product. Mountains will have to be moved.

And here’s the rub. If Dove does a wonderful job at making it’s soap more manly, the women’s sales will faulter. The company’s success is based on women’s sales, so they can’t have that. Instead, Dove will have to change the meaning of manliness. This is the mountain.

Men are tough physically and emotionally. Only the weak show too much emotion or pamper themselves. Some believe a majority of the homophobia issue has arisen out of fear of loosing one’s manliness. A look at the insults will show most are directed at the insulted being in a subordinate sexual position, being subjugated by another man, in the insulter’s mind. Being subjugated such, he is less of a “man.” A look at hardened soldiers and criminals will produce images of men, rarely women. Wherever one comes down on the issue personally, we can safely say that “manliness” prevents many guys from ever trying many things.

Men won’t buy women’s soap, even if it says “Men” on it. That’s why Dove has brought out the sledge hammer to hit a single concept into our head about 40 times in 45 seconds. Watch the commercial again. You’ll not see them rebrand their soap; you’ll see them rebrand being manly. To do this, they’ll need something deep, emotionally powerful, and widely experienced by men: the affection of fatherhood.

Dove will emphasize the parts of manhood that overlap with men’s notion of women, caring. In the commercial, this is shown as parenting, and often of physical affection. During the 24 visual instances of parenting, we are repeatedly hit with 15 “Dad!”s Dove has had to pack that ground so densely because caring as part of a public identity is generally an uncertain and unstable path for men to tread.

Dove also moves in on men from the opposite front. Dove tells us, “Care makes a man stronger.” It will make us more manly even as we move into ‘womanly’ emotions.

Once we’re loosened up and those emotional neural pathways lit up, Dove moves in to do branding work. While we’re still humming with the warm and fuzzies, Dove displays an image with several men’s products (below). The timing is just right to have maximum effectt, and I want to talk about the spacing of the products too. It uses an advanced principle. In short, they trick the eye into being strongly drawn the white flare behind the products. Once the eye rests there, the logos are well-placed to have our recently aroused impulses of affection and protection coupled with them. (Think Pavlov and his bell).

It is little known that one doesn’t need to look directly at the logos for this to be super-effective. Our unconscious constantly reads, decodes, and understands things in our peripherals. If something is important, it let’s our conscious know – that’s usually when/why we shift gaze over to it. Those Dove logos are fully understood and those emotions will in some degree return when we see those logos again. The more times we see the commercial and the stronger we feel, the stronger the association becomes. Here, the association is multiplied by having three instances to the logo right on the edge of the peripherals. The arrangement in the image is gorgeous.

The final thing Dove does to rewrite our image of manhood is their final text only screen (below). “Men +Care.” When we read this we invoke not just an understanding of men, but also some feelings about it. Small things like this actually have much bigger effects than we realize. Many will actual shift their posture and physiology if you ask them to speak that word aloud. Dove is after our physiology so that they can link to selling soap. So we have some physiological response to the loaded word “Man” which begins to get linked to “+Care.” Just like before, manliness is blending with womanliness. The addition sign turns out to be pretty important because the statement “Men Care” is more highly to rejected by the people Dove is targeting. “Men Care” is a factual statement we can reject. “Men +Care” is merely basic maths and is difficult to keep out.

Some other psychological effects were achieved with the movement in the letters and the blinking/appearing of text on the screen. It is unwieldly to discuss them here, so we’ll leave that for another time.

I will comment on recent developments in the soap industry as I see it, which is partly guesswork. Axe led soap sells to male youth or at least they owned the heart of that demographic via bikini-clad sexually ferocious girls who would tackle teenage boys to the ground the moment they sprayed on Axe. Axe sat as king here until Old Spice made a bold move of rebranding. Old Spice has long been known as your dad or grandpa’s deodorant. Without new growth, the brand could only dwindle as their customers passed away in their age. Old Spice had to take a drastic measure of tackling Axe . . . much unlike a bikini-clad babe and more like an intense and sweaty football player. With a single commercial (“I’m on a horse”), they crushed through Axe’s defensive line and were well-supported by many new fans. It is on this field of disarray that Dove enters, carefully and tactfully.

On this field, Axe’s promise of sexual potency has been wavering. It has been roughly pushed aside by Old Spice’s spokesman who exudes sexual potency. He’s “the man your man can smell like,” and he’s “on a horse.” However, Old Spice hasn’t promised sexual potency, but rather virility itself. Axe has responded to this loss in market share by revamping their image into mature love (See 2014 Super Bowl commercial). I think this also has something to do with their core loyal customers growing out of their teenage years and into full families with wives and kids. Axe has to push images that fit their new mature identity or lose them. This maturing is a fertile field for Dove to step onto with their “Men+Care” campaign. It is the flower that grew out of the battlefield of teenage hygiene.

In summary, this commercial is masterfully done. The incredible number of repeats was a bit brutish in my opinion, but I do understand they need to do so much work on our associations of manhood in a short amount of time. It is brilliant they found a way to do this that doesn’t affect their primary market relating to women while also increasing maturity and compassion in the world.

Budweiser: “Lost Puppy”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAsjRRMMg_Q

Budweiser’s 2014 puppy spot was among the highest level of art. Masterfully done, people referenced it throughout the year. It made powerful connections and imprints in our brains. This is called “branding.” Because last year’s ad did so much lasting work on us, this year’s ad merely has to reference it to bring it back. For a discussion on 2014′s ad subliminal mechanisms and tricks, please read my Super Bowl advert article written at that time.

This year, the thrust of the theme, metaphors, and message is much the same as last year’s. Like Pavlov’s dogs, reinforcing the association goes far. Budweiser wants us to see their logo, think, “That rings a bell,” and then salivate for their tasty brew. In fact, Budweiser purposefully reactivates your memory (and feelings and associations) of last years spot. Beyond opening with the Budweiser horse and then immediately showing the puppy, they actually show an iconic frame from last year’s commercial. Take a closer look at the lost puppy poster.

I will briefly explain more those associations and some of the work Budweiser did on us in this year’s spot. As I previously have gone into great detail explaining why and how, I’ll leave the discussion here on this more surface level.

Budweiser sells “Connection.” It uses connection in different ways to associate their label with those feelings. This is often done through metaphor, like in this commercial. Sometimes it is quite outright, like the “Wuzzzup!” adverts or many of the Bud Light spots.

Metaphor is often more powerful than showing something outright. For example, the Clivesdales are metaphors. They are supposed to represent Budweiser itself. If you pay close attention, you may notice that the colour of the horses are like the colour of the beer, the foam of the beer resembles the white trimmings on the horses, and the horses are almost always surrounded by a colour of red quite similar to Budweiser’s logo. Without saying it directly, without knowing it directly, those horses have become Budweiser. Which is great because now they have wonderful tool for stories. Notice how it is the Clivesdales rescuing the puppy and bringing it back home. Budweiser looks out for you like that, they want us to believe. Also, the horses are strong and powerful creatures. It’s not like they couldn’t find a goat with similar brown and white markings. Also, the horses in their pivotal moments are in a team. They are experiencing friendship and connection, which is Budweiser’s metaphor. All these small things mean something to our unconscious. In Budweiser’s ads, every element is accounted for directed for maximum effect. This is their stories get referenced year round.

It is widely believed that every story has a loose basic structure called The Hero’s Journey. Throughout time and across culture, this story structure appears repeatedly. We end to feel unsatisfied with stories that don’t have this structure. Here’s how Budweiser used it to further work its way into our hearts.

(1) Ordinary World: it is important for the hero to start in his ordinary world. Here, the puppy is hanging out in the barn in a bed of hay. (2) Call to Adventure and Refusal: the hero is drug out of his ordinary world and must begin his journey. Here, the puppy becomes trapped in the trailer which is then taken out on the road. (3) Meeting the Mentor: the Clivesdale is the puppy’s mentor or boon. This element was actually placed in this story between 1 & 2, and that works just fine. This is what we mean when we say it is a loose structure. (4) Crossing the Threshold: there needs to be a point where the hero decides to be fully committed to the journey. Here, the puppy decides to escape when the trailer accidentally opens and it becomes lost in the world.

(5) Tests: the hero must overcome small tests. Here, the puppy sits out the rain in a box and overcomes plowed furrows with some difficulty. The symbolism there is strong but not obvious. It would more obvious if the puppy had to conquer a mountain. (6) Ordeal: this is the big trial. The hero often prevails in the trial with the help from the mentor or boon he received. A hungry wolf appears and may eat the puppy. The Clivesdales hear the puppy yelp, break out of the barn and come to its aid. The wolf runs off in fear of the Clivesdale’s strength. (7) The Return with Magical Elixer: the hero returns home to the ordinary world and shares the benefits of his journey. This may be treasure, a talisman, or even knowledge. Here, the Clivesdale’s bring the puppy home much to his owner’s joy. The elixer in a Budweiser commercials is going to be friendship or connection.

Turbo Tax: “The Boston Tea Party”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XTwbgmWRrA

This is a fun commercial that takes a dangerous gamble.

National narrative is close and dear to our hearts. It is the story we collectively tell ourselves about ourselves or others. As such, it is ripe with emotion. Turbo Tax chose to get at one of the deepest narratives of American identity, the Boston Tea Party. It goes straight to the heart of who we are as Americans. Ron Paul utilized it’s strength to break records for fundraising in a single day. It spoke loudly to modern Tea Party Republicans whose clamouring rose to national prominence as the narrative resonated easily in their people even when their arguments were poorly articulated. Turbo Tax gambled against potential backlash by rewriting our narrative.

In this commercial, the ship is being ransacked by Americans (don’t worry, it’s for liberty and justice, as I’m sure you’re well aware). The British have absconded on a small boat and call to the Americans. They attempt to negotiate a truce. In response to “No taxation without representation!” They respond, “…What if it were free to file your taxes?” A deal is struck and they become friends. The commercial then jumps to battles which are stopped mid-fray to friendly banter and back-slapping. George Washington stops and reverses course midway across the Delaware.

Displaying this version was a gamble. When stories are formed, even historical ones, the ideological aspects take precedent over the factual. When facts don’t fit the ideology, that story may not be retold, the facts may be abstracted to a degree where they become true, or facts may be made up to fit. This is how myths are created. Remember the false story of George Washington chopping down the cherry tree? How about his wooden teeth? Or throwing the silver dollar across the Potomac? All false, all myth. Ideology can stand the test of time when facts don’t.

For Turbo Tax to rewrite such important ideology of who Americans are and how we got here, to rewrite such an important blueprint on foreign diplomacy as the Boston Tea Party, can go really rather wrong if they misstep. I think they took some rather bold strides, but with art stable enough to pull off a decent commercial. They could have taken the concept, conformed to national narrative, and made a more influential commercial.

Turbo Tax should have stumbled based on their revision. Free filing of taxes doesn’t resolve the whole “no taxation without representation” issue. We don’t feel satisfied upon hearing it. That’s the ice on the ground Turbo Tax may not have seen. However, a clever element kept them steady. In order to keep the narrative, and our hearts, stable, we need to see the British get trounced. We need to see America in a place a strength over them. Turbo Tax delivers.

Turbo Tax cuts to different scenes of the Americans and Red Coats making friends, but with Americans firmly in control. First, the British on the boats are sissified. The advert makes them effeminate in speech and movement. They are also at American mercy. Following the negotiation is a scene of a wounded-paralyzed Red Coat sitting against a barrel. He is befriended by an American who adjusts his collar and then brusquely pats him on the head as he walks away, upsetting the Red Coat’s wig. In another scene, a lady of the Revolution agrees to stop fighting with a Red Coat. That’s when the frame expands and we see that she has already ran him through with the knife on her musket. The Red Coat falls down dead. In this way, the ideology of the story stays much the same, even though the facts have changed. We, the audience, are for the most part ok with this.

Building a more ideologically persuasive commercial, Turbo Tax might have shot a spot where they rush the Red Coats and the boat when forced to pay taxes and pay to file taxes. The collateral damage of the tea on the boat makes all the more sense if the director intrinsically ties arrogant elitist sipping of tea to the offensive tax man on the dock.

In the end, this was a fun commercial. It didn’t do much in terms of branding or compelling us to buy its product. It did play with a powerful narrative in a way that made it interesting.

Nationwide – “Make Safe Happen”/“Dead Kid”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKUy-tfrIHY

The most talked about commercial of the Super Bowl in social media. However, of the 230,000 mentions during the game, only 12% were positive. About 66% were negative. (Amobee, a digital marketing firm). Despite what many would describe as a backlash, this commercial may fill Nationwide’s pockets with many millions. Their game isn’t obvious, so I’ll describe it briefly below. Then we’ll discuss why their commercial wasn’t a success in the standard sense, and couldn’t be. It seems they made an attempt there anyways.

Some make make money by selling. Others increase profits by saving. Nationwide must have realized that they were hemorrhaging literally billions of dollars every year to preventable accidents. In 2013, Nationwide paid out $13.8 billion, resulting in a net operating income of $1.3 billion. If just some people are slightly more careful, Nationwide can save hundreds of millions. If people were only slightly more careful for just a short time, Nationwide will likely save dozens of millions.

How can we get people to be slightly more careful? Scare ‘em! Danger is everywhere in your home! Your kid will die! This explains the rather brutish nature of the commercial on a national day of revelry and parties. I would like to note that this is a horrible focus for an ad campaign, but it does work as a one-off. It is really quite clever and will save them more money than selling insurance over one commercial ever could, many times over.

Aside from that non-obvious game, the rest of their game was quite poor. They could have done some good branding, metaphor, or association work so that we might reach out to them later. Their commercial will not be driving people to their offices to speak with an agent. It didn’t instill the proper feelings in us, though it seems they tried to.

After Nationwide succeeded so well in creating a negative charge in us (e.g., alarming us so badly), they immediately try to tell us that they can help keep our kids safe. “Together, we can make safe happen” is announced as a mom protectively carries her daughter in her arms. The thing is that we still feel too awful. Nationwide hasn’t brought us down at all. We can’t get to where they want to take us, though in a normal situation we may feel quite comforted by the mother-daughter image.

We stay upset for more reasons. Nationwide hasn’t offered any solution to the problem they present to us. “Your kid will drown in the bathtub.” “The tv will fall and crush everything below.” How can Nationwide help here? How can Nationwide “make safe happen?” They can’t. They don’t even suggest how we might do it ourselves, like fastening the tv to the wall. As a result we continue to feel awful even as they tell us they can help make it safe. Of course, you may guess that if they did lessen that negative charge for us, we would be less likely to be more cautious and thereby ruin the primary money-making element in the commercial.

This was a brilliant commercial by Nationwide in that it might save the company hundreds of millions of dollars. Nationwide’s attempt to link itself to safety and protecting our children fell rather flat. I would guess only a rare person made that connection (the guy who woke up after most the commercial was through).

GoDaddy vs Budwesier

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAsjRRMMg_Q

GoDaddy has learned a hard lesson in messing with a brand backed by powerful metaphors and subliminals. Budweiser isn’t just the “King of Beers.” It’s the the King of Subliminals too. GoDaddy made a royal mistake, and it had to yank its commercial before it even aired on tv. I will also discuss how GoDaddy was able to mirror Budweiser’s then-unaired commercial so perfectly.

Budweiser has spent several fortunes creating associations in us at the deepest levels. When competitors try to use those associations to sell their own product, it backfires and it tends to sell the original imprinter’s instead. GoDaddy’s situation is more dire. They trample and befoul Budweiser’s images and subliminals causing a strong anti-body reactions in us against GoDaddy.

Two metaphors are primarily used by Budweiser. They use the Clivesdale to represent Budweiser itself. Once that association was made, we then subconsciously understand the horse’s actions to be Budweiser’s. If the horse busts into an office and whisks cubicle slaves away on its back, we understand that Budweiser can offer relief to those folks. If someone hurts the horse, we understand that they are trying to hurt Budweiser. The other metaphor they use is that of Connection. It shows up in many forms. In the 2013 Super Bowl, it was the man’s affection and connection with his horse that represented his love for Budweiser. Last year, the puppy had the connection with the horse (and the puppy became associated with Budweiser).

GoDaddy goes out of its way to invoke a Budweiser ad, and all the powerful associations inherently in it. One of the first frames is a “Budweiser red” coloured truck with the right kind of puppy sitting in it. The associations are activated in us within the first few frames. They invoke the right music, during a Hero’s Journey, and the puppy eventually returns home to the red barn.

But then GoDaddy creates anti-body reactions in us. GoDaddy has a woman reminiscent of Cruela DeVille, snatch up the puppy and we learn the barn is actually a puppy mill. She ships off the puppy to some anonymous internet buyer as the puppy whimpers and the van door slams like the door of a prison cell. First, we are upset that happens to any puppy, and this puppy has special import so we are even more upset. Cruela (GoDaddy) has hurt the wrong puppy.

GoDaddy’s tactics through the years has been to shock us often sexually, and by doing so get attention. They seem to have the philosophy, “Bad news isn’t bad news; no news is bad news.” This has worked well for them. However, they never messed with someone else’s well-developed subliminals before, and they did so now in a negative way.

Breaking the Hero’s Journey was another big mistake. In short, virtually all successful stories throughout time and cultures follow a simple formula. You can read more about this in my article focusing on Budweiser. Here, GoDaddy follows the pattern right up until the moment when the puppy returns home. At this point, the hero/puppy is supposed to share whatever he learned or earned in his journey. Instead, he is ripped away from his home by Cruela. It breaks the Hero’s Journey and that sits uneasy with us. Another Super Bowl ad broke the Hero’s Journey this year: Nationwide’s “Dead Kid” commercial. It is not coincidence that there was a backlash against both of these.

GoDaddy was able to copy Budweiser’s ad so perfectly without looking because it understands the steps of the Hero’s Journey and know Budweiser has been using it. Anyone can do it. If we were to make an ad based on the Hero’s Journey and Budweiser’s last year’s ad we might have the following plans:

People talked about the puppy all year., so we have to use that. We know we need something to separate the puppy from the horse beyond their control, let’s have the puppy get lost. If he gets lost on the road, it’s nobody’s fault and it makes for an excellent journey. Now that the puppy is lost, we need small trials for him to overcome. Let’s give him a barrier of about his height because that’s pretty symbolic. Oh, and rain is an obvious choice, but we can’t have the puppy soaked, so we’ll put him in a dilapidated box. Finally, the puppy has to return home, which is the red barn. Looking at the images below, that is exactly what we saw.

In summary, let GoDaddy’s mistake be a lesson to us all. When one invokes something, it brings with it a host emotions and associations. When those associations have been masterfully crafted through the years with millions and millions of dollars, be very carefully indeed.

KIA – Pierce Brosnan’s “Getaway”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJ-mwaDODt8

Some ads are almost very good. However, an element misplaced can bring down the house of cards. This is the agency, David and Goliath, that brought us the magically brilliant KIA “Matrix” commercial last year. I had high expectations yet ended up confused.

Their over-arching theme is good. The specific instances of the theme can be good. However, the agency’s failure tumbles out of misunderstanding how audiences relates to a protagonist. To understand the theme, we first need to know KIA’s audience. It’s seems quite niche. KIA is aiming at those who want to get away. This audience has too much stress in their life and enjoys retreats, like, say, to a secluded cabin getaway on a snowy mountain. So the theme used to attract them is something like “KIA transforms or takes you away from those stresses.”

The symbols used to repeatedly play out that theme are nice. We see a missile launcher turn into a moose, and a sniper turn into an owl, benign woodland friends. There are subtle audio tricks helping the listener make the thematic connection. The advert plays anxiety-producing action movie music. However, at most moments of transformation, the music goes silent and we hear something soothing, like the breathing of a moose, the deceleration of a car, or the peaceful silence of a secluded cabin.

Yet the ad just doesn’t work. The protagonist prevents the symbols from properly attaching to the theme. We have the habit of “wearing” the experience of the protagonist. His struggles become our struggles; his losses are our losses, and we can feel them too. Here, Pierce Brosnan is the protagonist, and we are with him in his struggle up the metaphorical mountain. At each moment when the symbol transforms from action-adventure to mild manners, Brosnan is confused, perplexed, and ill-at-ease. This action adventure star’s world has just been turned inside out, and he shows it. We feel it to some degree right along with him. This is where the ad falls apart.

For the ad to be effective, we need to feel peace when the images transform from violent danger to friendly woodland creatures. This is the crux of the commercial. It is a metaphor for the stress in our lives and how KIA can change that. However, we don’t feel peace. We feel what Brosnan is feeling which is anything but peace. We are already well in Brosnan’s experience: we’ve been trained from watching him in movies and from being immersed in his stress in this commercial. So, when he gets confused and uncomfortable at all this tranquility, at the very metaphor this commercial rests upon, we do too. We never enjoy the peace KIA intends us to. Instead, sudden peace means confusion, dis-ease, unpleasant feelings.

They deeply misplayed their protagonist in other ways still. They subtly make Brosnan undesirable so we feel aversive to him. In every office shot of Brosnan, of which there are 10, he is framed in darkness with busy business people doing busy movements behind him. It feels even more cramped and cluttered because we see them through the office’s glass door and window which is like a foot or two behind Brosnan. It’s not a good feeling. Compare this to the executive talking to him. In 7 of his 8 shots, he is framed against the open sky, and low-rolling hills, and a sun that is nearing to set. It is the shot of tranquility, the theme. Futhermore, the exec’s suit is subtly the mountain, his peach shirt the muted approaching sunset, and his tie the sky (later also tied to the lady awaiting romance at the cabin). Also notice how in most shots of the exec, the image either becomes brighter or the sun grows more pronounced.

This seems to be confused thinking. Are they trying to make us disfavor Brosnan, the protagonist? If so, at the summit of the mountain when Brosnan finally “gets it” we don’t care as much as we could; we don’t “get it” as much as we could. KIA seems to give the executive most of the subliminal benefits of brightness and tranquility, but we are trained to be suspicious of executives on tv and the exec is a side character whose experience we never enter, though he does narrate Brosnan’s imagination, which turns out to be uncomfortable and confusing. Honestly, I don’t think the agency considered it beyond the level of “Brosnan means stress, so give him negative subliminals” and “The executive leads us to tranquility, so give him good ones.” However, wearing Brosnan’s experience, we are repeatedly led to confusion and discomfort. Brosnan scowls in reaction to some transformations. Therefore, we don’t like the executive as much as the agency wants us to. We don’t care as much as we could for either character. The agency falls flat here.

In summary, the ad breaks down based on confusion of how protagonists influence the audience. When the protagonist has strong repeated feelings that cut against the very theme and metaphors this commercial rest upon, there is going to be trouble. When the protagonist is given powerful but subtle marks that create discomfort in us, we are less there with him, and he loses the power of his purpose. Together these lead to a confused conflict in the audience. It’s like there are two kids in the pool making waves with their boogie boards, and the audience is being tossed about in the turbulence. It’s choppy and no well-formed wave will ever reach the edge.

This year, David missed Goliath and fell himself with his own stone.

In Summary

Super Bowl Ads tend to show deep thinking about influence. In a mere matter of moments, they need to imprint on us so deeply and effectively that the brand can at least recover the $4-8 million they spent on the commercial. This is not done through rational discourse of the pros and cons of their product. Rather, deep imprinting and association persuade and sway us such that some brands (Buddweiser) neither talk about nor even show their product in some ads. These are the new subliminals affecting us daily. What soap are you using? What car are you driving? What did you drink? There is a reason it “felt right” looking at the product, and a reason your system was so flooded by this association that no “wait a minute” feelings could rise to stop you from choosing it and handing over your cash.  We are affected by these subliminals at our deepest levels.

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