I'd given up on Super Bowl ads. But with the explosion of major companies (who can afford the price tag) now adopting green initiatives or bringing sustainable products to market, I got excited again. The NFL Championship game could have been a powerful platform for companies with something green to crow about to claim eco-leadership.
What a let down. Now I can say with certainty, "The thrill is gone."
Like you, I expect a high level of creative, humor, production values and surprises with each year's big game. But, don't we sort of expect that the rest of the year, too?
Fortunately, when it comes to communicating eco-forward initiatives and technologies, there's been some very cool work out there already, and I expect the new year to bring a flood of sustainability marketing to the tube.
That said, I'm siding with John Grant on this one: the most important green marketing will take place in New Media. It's something I've written about here before, and it seems to have borne out by the dearth of the green ads that ran yesterday.
Here was the one Superbowl spot that had anything approaching environmental significance, but alas fell short: this ad for the GMC Yukon Hybrid.
It wasn't that the "greenwash" radar picked up heavy static (that's a subject for another post); it was that I just didn't think it worked. Never mind inherent contradiction of a hybrid SUV because there's clearly a market for them. I just found the creative premise to be tired and the payoff weak. It makes sense to create a feeling of intimacy and dreaminess with the simple black and white animation. Good. I even agree that the green message here has to be about mileage improvement, and I'm not going to argue how much or how little an increase to 21 mpg in the city represents.
But the copy just felt like one platitude after another, followed by an awkward, tortured payoff "50% Better City Mileage in a Full Size SUV Is Now A Reality."
Ouch. When I see spots like this, I see beautiful production values. But I wince for the creative team. It's got to be really really hard to pull off this kind of thing.
Oh well. My message to green marketers and Patriots fans is this: there's always next year.