Tag Archives: Super Bowl

Sadvertising: Baskin-Robbins Best Food Ad of 2014?

My close personal friends at Bon Appetit have named this Baskin-Robbin’s ad the best food advertisement of 2014.

Well, Bon Appetit, you just unknowingly combined two of my favorite things: ice cream and wall-to-wall VO. 

Noooo, I’m kidding. Advertising and food.

As many of you know, in my real life, I’m a producer of TV commercials and video content at an advertising agency. And as all of you know (probably more than you want to), I love food. So, this post was kind of right up my alley.

But…best food ad of 2014? For real?

Listen, I think it’s visually striking. But there’s a real lack of concept here. Beauty shots of ice cream with an announcer talking for a full :15 seconds about Cappuccino Blast customization. Not something I’d really remember or would ever want to go and watch again.

If I can make a small tweak to my friends from Bon Appetit, I may say that this is the most effective food advertising of 2014. After viewing the spot, they measured the desire that people had for Baskin-Robbins. Corporate adver-lingo quote: “Baskin-Robbins excels in its ability to drive consumer Desire.” WOOO.

But does efficiency translate to quality? In the advertising world, there are many awards for creativity (Cannes! One Show!), but there is a separate award that measures a campaign’s effectiveness (The Effies). From an industry standard, there appears to be a delineation. 

If I had to tell you the best food ad of 2014, it would be this.

Because this is the best ad of every year forever amen.

But seriously, folks.

So often, food advertising is focused on driving people in store/restaurant. These ads rely on relatively unappealing product shots to entice people in for $12.99 or $9.99 or $0.99. Thus, creating a blah ad with blah food.

In my opinion (cause this is my blog and everything is my opinion. YOU’RE WELCOME.), I think that the best food ads of 2014 actually give something to the viewer. Something new. Something sad. Something happy. But SOMETHING, as well as showing beautiful food

In no particular order, here are my favorite food ads from 2014:

Mel’s Mini-Mini Mart from Oreo

Now, in full disclosure, Oreo is a client at my agency. I don’t work on them directly, but they seem to be pretty rad. I do eat my fair share of Oreos, so you know, I’m pretty much ready whenever they want to work together. (THOSE MINT OREOS, THO.)

I love this spot. I think it’s charming, it’s clever, it’s illustrative of the product’s key benefits (they’re mini! great for snacking! all fit in your hand!) and the cookies look great. I want to eat them all. 

Newcastle Super Bowl 2014

This was hands down my favorite (non) Super Bowl ad this year.

Firstly, Anna Kendrick has become one of my favorite actresses. She’s talented and funny as the day is long. And, she did a quirky video for Kate Spade, and I was kind of obsessed with it. Newcastle gets points for casting.

Secondly, Newcastle really went for it here. It was a wink and a nudge to the industry in both content and tone (their website had animatics and focus group footage, which can’t be funny to too many people…) It’s nice to see something so tongue-in-cheek from a beer advertiser. They aren’t usually known for their subtlety. 

Meet Me at Starbucks

I tend to like the funny stuff. But this is an emotional piece from Starbucks that speaks to their global reach in a way that makes them seem small and intimate. Personal even. It’s touching, at times funny, but very sweet. And major points for technical/production difficulty.

McDonald’s Minimalist Out of Home

I admit fully that every link I’ve posted thus far has been 1+ minutes. So, for my final food ad of 2014, I give you the simplest of all. The out-of-home/billboards that were done in Paris for McDonald’s. McDonald’s food is iconic, so why not let the icon speak for itself. This is powerful yet simple and incredibly clean. I’ve never wanted a Big Mac more.

via Adweek

via Adweek

So, those are my best food ads of 2014.

Am I a food or advertising expert? Nah. I’ve got tons to learn about both.

But I’ve been doing them both for awhile (30 years of eating and going strong! 8 years of advertising and going strong!) So enjoy the opinions of a professional advertiser and an amateur eater. (I’m going to maintain my amateur status so I can eat in the Olympics.)

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to find myself a Big Mac.  

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Disappointment, Thy Name is Oikos: Super Bowl Blah

Growing up as a small child (yes, at one time this six-foot-tall lady was a small child) (and I suppose everyone grows up as a small child) (can you use this many parentheses this close together?) (and now punctuation?)

Ahem.

Growing up as a small child, I loved a television show with all of my heart. You may have heard of it. It was the smash hit show called Full House.

Of course, as a small child, I called it the wrong thing. I called it ‘The Little Girl Show.’

I know, I know.

Cut It Out

Cut It Out

I’m sorry, did I say that I LOVED Full House? I mean, I still currently love it.

The bond between Danny, Uncle Jesse and Joey (he is NOT Uncle Joey, you IDIOTS) is undeniable. And the sacrifices that Jesse and Joey made in their lives to help raise those girls after Pamela died…

I know I sound silly. But I love that show, as do many others, and tons of other shows from our childhood. Perfect Strangers. Family Matters. Growing Pains. Bad though they may be, they still hold a place in our hearts. (Also, Full House isn’t bad.)

You have to believe that I was trepidatious when I heard that Dannon’s Oikos was going to reunite the men of Full House for a Super Bowl spot this year. I’ve loved John Stamos from afar for so long, but the previous Oikos spots have been, well, witless.

So, when Oikos pre-released their SuperBowl spot and I watched it and I was confused. Here it is for you.

I had so many thoughts.

1)   You’re a yogurt company. Why are you pre-releasing your Super Bowl spot? Also, you did a teaser, too. And a website. I hope to God you have the full cast reuniting for the actual spot that airs. Because if this is it? Yikes.

2)   Also, the best part of the SuperBowl is the commercials. Why prematurely ejaculate all of your creativity a week before the big night? But, I digress.

3)   Oh, Oikos. Are you trying to be the sexy Greek yogurt? Is that why you have John Stamos in your spots? The Greek yogurt you don’t feel naughty about after a night in the sack? I ask this because that is a steamy kiss and…I’m sorry, was she about to….lick your pants, sir? LICK THE YOGURT OFF OF YOUR PANTS, SIR? WHAT ARE WE INSINUATING WITHOUT ANY SUBTLETY AT ALL????

4)   The rest of the spot? I dunno. I think it was underwhelming. These dudes have been best friends for literally decades and that’s the best you got? And if you’re going for an in-joke from a TV show, go for it. Get B. Saget in the Danny Tanner uniform and have him cleaning a vacuum with a dust buster. Get Joey with Mr. Woodchuck. Gimme a Kimmy Gibbler on a unicycle. But this was halfway and did not play on my nostalgia so much as upset it.

What do I know, though? Maybe I don’t know anything about advertising. (I do, though.) Or about Full House. (I DO though.) I mean, I only cried when the series finale was aired on May 23, 1995.

….and I cried again when I watched in on TVLand like a month ago.

I suppose I’m saying one’s nostalgia has to be protected. A generation’s collective memories cherished and preserved. And when they are trotted out to sell a product (as I know they will be), let them be treated lovingly.

And not with a spraybottle and a cum joke.

All in the name of yogurt.

UPDATE!!

Now, THIS is how you do Full House. Thank you, Jimmy.

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I put my hand upon your hip: Weeks Later Super Bowl Dips

The Super Bowl was a couple of weeks ago, and I celebrated in the best way I knew how: by making dips.

Oh, also, watching Beyonce. And the football game.

And how does one best enjoy a fantastic dip? By singing 1996’s platinum hit by Freak Nasty, Da Dip. (That song actually went platinum. Google it.)

In case you forgot the lyrical genius, it goes a little something like this:

I put my hand upon your hip. When I dip, you dip, we dip.

THIS IS WHAT IS IN MY HEAD EVERY TIME I MAKE DIPS.

Also, sidenote, do you know the lyrics for this song? Cause I’m pretty sure it’s about sexy times. So I’m pretty surprised that I was allowed to dance at middle school dances to it. But…let’s be honest. In the scheme of sexy time song lyrics, it’s pretty mild. My future fake children will most certainly not be allowed to listen to the radio. Because songs these days are more explicit than a sex ed class. This point is perfectly illustrated by musical phenoms CDZA in this amazing video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgigpC-xAB8

Anyways. Dips. I took these two dips to my friend Emily’s Super Bowl party a few weeks back (yeah…I’m THAT behind on my blogging). I wanted to bring something football-ish, so I went for a buffalo chicken dip. And then I had to balance the supremely unhealthy buffalo chicken dip with something healthy but still delicious, so I also made roasted eggplant spread which is all vegetables.

Emily outdid herself on the spread. Her crostini selection was out of this world. (Carrot harissa crostini with crème fraiche? Yeah. That was REAL.) The best part about it all was that there were 5 people at the party and when you divided the number of snacks by the number of people, there were 1.5 snacks per person.

Seems like a perfect way to celebrate Freak Nasty. I mean the Super Bowl. I mean, what?

Buffalo Chicken Dip, from YumSugar

  • 2 8-ounce packages of reduced-fat cream cheese
  • ¾ cup cayenne pepper sauce | I used Frank’s RedHot. Also, for milder flavor, reduce the cayenne pepper sauce to 1/2 cup.
  • ½ cup ranch dressing or bleu cheese dressing | I used blue! Or rather, bleu!
  • 1 ¼  to 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cooked and chopped (3 to 4 chicken breast halves or about 3 cups chopped)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese or mozzarella | I used cheddar.
  • Tortilla chips, crackers, or vegetables, for serving | Tortilla chips, pita chips, celery sticks and cucumber slices work great here.

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spray a 1 ½-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine cream cheese, pepper sauce, and ranch dressing in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring frequently, until melted.

Stir in chicken and about half of the cheddar cheese. Stir until combined.

Spoon into prepared dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake 15 minutes or until hot and cheese is melted.

Serve warm with tortilla chips, crackers, or vegetables.

This dip reheats really well, or is even great cold.

Roasted Eggplant Spread from Barefoot Contessa Family Style and FoodNetwork.com

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded
  • 1 red onion, peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the eggplant, bell pepper, and onion into 1-inch cubes. Toss them in a large bowl with the garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are lightly browned and soft, tossing once during cooking.

Cool slightly.

Place the vegetables in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the tomato paste, and pulse 3 or 4 times to blend. Taste for salt and pepper.

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