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My favorite Super Bowl ad: RPA's Joe Baratelli

RPA's chief creative officer Joe Baratelli

Ahead of Super Bowl 51, The Drum has asked some of the industry’s most influential people to reflect on their favorite Super Bowl ad of all time and discuss why it stands out to them.

We’ve also asked them to give their thoughts on whether they think social media has helped or hurt the effectiveness of the coveted Super Bowl spot. Over the past few years, many brands have chosen to leverage the power of social media by releasing their Super Bowl spots online days before the game in hopes of garnering additional buzz and maximizing reach – but a good number of brands still prefer to take the traditional route of surprising viewers on game day.

Up until the Super Bowl, we’ll be featuring responses from agency founders, creatives and CEOs. Today we feature Joe Baratelli, chief creative officer of RPA. Find out why Snickers’ Super Bowl 44 spot starring Betty White, below, is his favorite.

What is your favorite Super Bowl ad of all time?

The one that keeps coming into my mind is Snickers – You’re not you when you’re hungry – The first one with the guys playing football with Betty White.

Why did you love it? What made it stand out?

The script was hilarious. The girlfriend line is biting. And a surprising end. It makes me laugh every time.

In your opinion, was it ultimately a success for the brand?

Yes. It was so on target with the subject. They’ve taken that formula and run with it. It has now become a classic Super Bowl staple the last few years that has Snickers on top of the charts every time. It’s one of those “wish I’d done that” spots.

What do you hope to see from this year’s crop of Super Bowl ads?

Hoping to see some smart, original and entertaining work that has a heart for the brand. The trend is toward babies and puppies, and it’s known to be the case to the general public. I have a feeling the audience is seeing through that these days. High production value always brings those heartwarming and funny spots to the forefront on the lists. But my hope is there will be more strong, unique work that rings true for the product advertised.

Social media has changed the way brands approach their Super Bowl advertising strategies. Do you think social media has helped or hurt the effectiveness of Super Bowl spots?

Social media has been a boon for the attractiveness of advertising in general. People aren’t interested in ads unless it’s the Super Bowl. The excitement in the weeks leading up to the actual broadcast is due to the ability to tease, or outright release the spot early. No one was able to do that in the past. Social media adds to the awareness and interest in the brands overall. For me it legitimizes what we do as advertisers and amplifies what is a huge investment for our client. It makes them stars.

To read the other interviews in our series, click here.

To keep up with which brands are advertising in the Super Bowl this year, check out The Drum's dedicated page here.

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