SUPER BOWL HOPES FROM THE HEARTLAND

From Member John Godsey, North America Co-Chief Creative Officer, VMLY&R

I’ve been living in Kansas City for over a decade.  And if you live in KC, you probably love great barbecue and you most definitely love the Chiefs.  Not just because they have the most impressive record in the NFL and are going to the Super Bowl for the second year in a row—but because they have heart.  I’m not even a huge football fan and I love the Chiefs.  I love how, win or lose, they make you feel every second of the game.  Like how every sporting event should be. Like how your life should be.  And, like how every Super Bowl spot should be.

Of course, the best Super Bowl spots have always been the ones that make us feel the most.  But somewhere along the way, in our quest to fit in as many celebrities as possible in hopes of a blip on the Ad Meter, we’ve forgotten that this is the only opportunity where for 30 or 60 glorious seconds, we can take a brand’s ethos and hit more than 100 million Americans right in the feels.

This doesn’t mean we should play a requiem on their heartstrings.  After the year we all just had, tear-jerkers are probably best left for another time. But I hope the ads that go for the laugh, skip the cheap jokes and reach for the belly laugh.  That the ones that try to inspire, make us want to stand up and throw a chair. That the creators of this year’s spots forget about rankings in the Ad Meter and go for the rankings in our collective memory.

This is the year we could all use another Mean Joe Green trading his jersey for a Coke or a Darth Vader kid starting a car with his superpower or a badass heroine throwing her hammer into the face of oppression.  Not only do we need it, but we will all actually pay attention to it.  Because rather than being at a Super Bowl party making small talk over the buffet, or at a crowded bar jockeying for another beer, we will just be with our close family members, parked in front of our 75-inch flat screens ready to take in every emotion those 30 or 60 seconds can throw at us.

So, I hope we don’t squander this opportunity.  And we remember that just like the teams playing the game, the ads with the most heart always win.  Go Chiefs.


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