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 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 Keith Cartwright, executive creative director of BSSP. Below, find out why Wendy's 1984 "Where's the beef?" ad is his favorite Super Bowl spot.
What is your favorite Super Bowl ad of all time?
I’m probably alone here but I’d have to say Wendy’s “Where’s the beef?"
Why did you love it? What made it stand out?
It was nothing more than a stripped down set, a small cast, a giant bun with a small patty, and a line that Clara Pellar made famous, “where’s the beef?" I was 10 years old watching the game with my brother and dad, and I distinctly remember all of us laughing out loud. I laughed at the time because it was funny, now realizing that I was probably laughing at an insight that came from a focus group. Ironically this commercial came out in 1984 and was arguably overshadowed by another commercial for a small computer company. That said, they both changed the way we look at advertising. Where 1984 defined the epic Super Bowl mantra, "where’s the beef?" redefined humor for the industry.
What do you hope to see from this year’s crop of Super Bowl ads?
Tell me a story in 30 or 60 seconds that makes me think about that brand in different way. Relying on stunts, crowdsourcing or pure shock, although at times effective never really do much in the way of showing how talented this industry can be.
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 certainly helps broaden the stage. I don’t think anyone can argue the effectiveness of social media.
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.