My favorite Super Bowl ad: BBDO's Robin Fitzgerald

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.

Robin Fitzgerald

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 teasing or 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 Robin Fitzgerald, chief creative officer of BBDO Atlanta. Below, find out why Tide's original "Talking Stain" ad is her favorite Super Bowl spot.

What is your favorite Super Bowl ad of all time?

My favorite is from 2008, Tide’s Talking Stain ad.

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

I didn’t just love it, I hated that I didn’t make it. So, it was a complicated emotion. I just remember that I laughed out loud when I saw it, and that doesn’t happen too often. It’s a simple ad, but you can tell there were lots of great choices made to keep it that way: deciding that the stain would speak gibberish instead of actual words; letting the awkwardness hang in the room as the super comes up over the final scene “Silence the stain, instantly.”

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

Absolutely. Who was talking about washing clothes on the Super Bowl? I’m not sure about business results, but I still see those Tide stain removing sticks in the checkout line, so that must be a good sign.

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

Simple, insightful stories that ring true for each brand. They can be funny, they can be heartfelt, but please pull back on the overpromises.

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?

It’s always been an event to have a spot in the Super Bowl, but with social media a much bigger part of the mix, a spot just feels like it’s less of the “main event.” Failing to capitalize on social media to help gain a bigger bang for your Super Bowl buck is inexcusable.

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

To find out which brands are advertising in the Super Bowl this year, visit The Drum's dedicated page here.

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