Friday, 30 January 2015

SuperBowl Ads and Going Back to the Future

As SuperBowl XLIX is fast approaching, the world’s most expensive and creative ads start coming to light as well. As outsiders to advertising, you’d just think they keep getting more and more creative every year, and if not creative, at least more and more crazy and attention grabbing. But a little blast from the past by BMW can really help everyone enjoy a time when we didn’t exactly understand all of our newest technologies in order to help explain their new automotive concept. And of course, there’s no better time of year to put a brand new idea out there than during the SuperBowl, when the most viewers from around the world tune in to watch American Football players create a piece of history of their own.

The video below is a quick look at how confused we really were by a new technology. How no one understood it, yet, today, we couldn’t live without it. This technique is known as creating familiarity. It's one step in a long line of things put in place to help create and display value in products for consumers. It is masterfully brilliant, comparing unfamiliarity with the internet in 1994 to unfamiliarity to renewable energy in cars in 2015.

By reminding everyone how it felt to be confused by something new, BMW created the gateway into encouraging consumers to try and understand their newest all-electric car. Some users are opposed to change, yet change still happens over time and is something we adapt to without realising which direction or stance we even came from in the first place. That’s exactly what BMW is portraying here. It may seem confusing now, but in 21 years, it will be something we can’t live without…and hey, it will be much better and safer for our environment, cities and health.

Another interesting concept that the ad more subtly displays is the amount of change both Katie Couric and Bryant Gymbel have gone through. Their vocabulary didn’t even include the word for the “@“ sign in 1994, and by the end of the future portion of the ad, Bryant asks Katie if she can twerk. Additionally, Katie went from asking her assistant Alison, off-stage, to look something up for her, to calling her on her cell phone from the car. These transformations really help viewers from any part of the USA and other parts of the world come together on and relate to our modernisations.

Well done BMW; SupwerBowl viewers will really enjoy the ad, because it won’t be like all the overplayed and repetitive ones. People will never get tired of being reminded of humanities’ accomplishments.

Christine Drpich
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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