Area Marketing Pros Favor Uber Eats, Crypto, EV Ads

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The commercial for Uber Eats’ new service was a clear favorite Mahoning Valley advertising and marketing professionals watching the Super Bowl.

Ads for electric vehicles and financial services this year joined ads for snack foods and beverages that typically dominate the Super Bowl.

Several Mahoning Valley advertising and marketing professionals weighed in on their favorites among the spots that aired during the contest Sunday evening.

George Farris, CEO of Farris Marketing, was among those who singled out “Uber Don’t Eats” as the top commercial among this year’s ads. The spot highlighted the message that the delivery service delivers non-food products.

“This TV spot clicks all the right boxes.  It’s attention getting. It’s memorable. It’s humorous and uses lots of celebrities,” Farris said. 

“Attention-getting memorable spots would make most advertisers happy. But what makes this spot a super marketing hit are its surprising and unexpected scenarios. The hilariously absurd scenes in this spot guarantee it will be shared by millions of people on social media, many times,” he continued. “Hence, the $6.5 million Uber Eats paid for this spot now becomes a much more cost effective media buy.”

Additionally, the repetition of sharing will generate new customers who want to try to Uber Eats. “Or maybe they just want to own the bag that lied,” he said.

Jeff Hedrich, president of Prodigal Co. and Brand Scan Process, said the three best ads overall — based on their combination of entertainment value and strength of actually selling the product in a memorable manner – were the Uber Eats ad featuring Jennifer Coolidge, the Rocket Mortgage commercial with Anna Kendrick and the Verizon spot featuring Jim Carrey.

“Rocket Mortgage and its Barbie concept was the best from a pure entertainment standpoint,” Hedrich said. “However, Uber Eats wins overall for its brilliance in announcing their new service — delivery of products besides food — by showing funny, edgy scenes of people eating non-edible products. This spot created instant, memorable awareness of a company’s pivot into a new service.”

Sarra Mohn, owner and president and Jet Creative, said national commercials seemed to be “lackluster and trying too hard,” but joined Farris and Hedrich in calling attention to the Uber Eats spot.

“If I had to pick the commercial that seemed Super Bowl-quality, I suppose Uber Eats wins for me,” she said. “It had that classic comedic setup that you know is leading you to a fun reveal. I don’t think it needed all the celebs to make it work either, so that further ensures the concept was stand-alone.” 

The commercial that resonated with Rob Palowitz, president/CEO of Palo Creative, was for Coinbase, an exchange to trade bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Though it wasn’t necessarily his favorite or the best, it seemed the most aligned with its business model and what the company was based on – risk.

The ad featured a black screen, music and a QR code randomly zigzagging across the screen.

“At first you’re wondering what was going on, waiting to see if there was going to be another screen or something else happen. Then, when nothing else was happening and those precious, and expensive seconds were due to expire to the next spot, you found yourself in a mad rush to grab your cell phone to hurry up and hover your camera over the QR code before it disappeared to see where it took you,” he said.

“Luckily I got it done and it took me to a landing page to get people to sign up or sign in, offering an offer to each individual who did so,” he continued. “I thought it was risky to do, being it took some interaction by viewers to capture exposure, but stayed on target to their core. Cryptocurrency is risky to trade and volatile and that ad spoke that all the way. Therefore, they get my vote for really going outside the box and taking a huge risk.”

Steve Cross, creative director at iSynergy, singled out FTX, which connected its sole Super Bowl spot to its Twitter account for an omnichannel strategy.

“If users followed their Twitter account and retweeted the Super Bowl ad, they were entered to win 7.54 bitcoin. The bitcoin give-away amount was determined by the time their ad played,” Cross said. “FTX is able to quantify the effectiveness of its campaign by the amount of Twitter followers gained.”

In this case, FTX added nearly 200,000 new followers as of Monday morning, an increase of nearly 70% from Feb. 1. “Being able to tie in multiple channels and have a build-up leading into the Super Bowl turned the spot from an ad into an activation strategy of a larger campaign – winner, winner,” he said. 

Lauren Lindvig, co-founder of Bliss 360 Marketing, also liked the Coinbase ad as well as the ad for the GM Silverado.

“Both are the perfect examples of how to target 35-45 age demo,” she said “The Sopranos and the Office are two shows I’ll never get tired of watching, therefore the ads were so great — simple and easy to enjoy while understanding what they were advertising. The gorgeous shots of the truck were pretty fantastic, too.”   

The collective winner among the commercials was the electric vehicle, said Jim Houck, president of the Houck Agency, Youngstown.

“I counted five electric vehicle spots from automakers like Chevrolet, BMW, Kia Polestar and GM as a parent company, and each took a different approach, from straightforward to nostalgic to humor to robot dog and retro movie character,” he said. “What they all had in common, though, was an amazingly cool looking vehicle that looked nothing like early version electric vehicles and that collectively told the story that the electric passenger vehicles movement is among us and here to stay.” 

Among those, Houck picked BMW’s spot – which featured Arnold Schwartzenegger as a retired Zeus — his favorite. It had A-list celebrities, a catchy and relevant song Eddy Grant’s “Electric Avenue”), the element of surprise generated by Schwartzenegger’s appearance, and “beautiful product worthy of a big splash,” he said.

“And hey, if Selma Hayek is the third or fourth most memorable aspect of a 30-second commercial, then that’s truly a production that has a lot going on in it,” he added.

Among the EV spots, the star was General Motors’s commercial spotlighting its Ultium platform that featured Mike Meyers as Doctor Evil – or EV-il — from the Austin Powers movies, said Bill Rusu, content marketing manager for 898 Marketing.

“This commercial had everything you look for in a Super Bowl ad including a big comedic premise, exciting celebrities and a sense of nostalgia that was perfectly tuned to the audience of people most likely to buy an electric vehicle,” Rusu said. “Not to mention that in a sea of sameness promoting new EVs, a little Doctor Evil went a long way in helping GM cut through the clutter.

“Plus, the Ultium platform that will power GM’s electric future is going to be built in Lordstown. So I had to give a few brownie points for the local connection,” he added.

This afternoon, return to for observations from local business and community leaders on last night’s commercials.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.