USA Today’s Ad Meter tracks the immediate responses of a panel of viewers to advertisements during the Super Bowl and ranks them best to worst. This year Budweiser’s “Dog Trains a Clydesdale,” FedEx’s “Pigeon Carriers Can’t Compete With Fed Ex,” and Bridgestone’s “Critters Scream Before a Near Miss” were the top three fan favorites.
What is surprising about these three Super Bowl ads? Well, none of them featured stereotypical bikini-clad women enticing men to buy beer or used sex to sell their products. Instead, Budweiser, FedEx and Bridgestone’s advertisements featured animals as their stars to tug at the heart strings and tickle the funny bone of viewers. In the Budweiser ad, a Dalmatian becomes a personal trainer to a dejected draft horse eager to make the team pulling the famous Budweiser beer wagon. The Dalmatian trains Hank the Clydesdale to the tune of the Rocky theme.
While many companies, such as Victoria Secret, still chose the “sex sells” route, Super Bowl fans responded more positively to the ones that did not. Therefore, can companies turn down the “sleaze factor” and still have successful advertising campaigns? Maybe society is tired of pushing the sex appeal envelope.