Retail Rocked the Super Bowl

Posted on Posted in retail strategy

One of the highlights of yesterday’s Super Bowl was off the field – the advertisers who paid an average of US$4 million for a 30 second spot to showcase their messages in front of over 100 million US viewers. And out of all the ads, two that stood out were for retailers.

As part of a relaunch of what has become a tired, out-dated retail brand, Radio Shack aired a humorous commercial entitled: “The 80’s Called: They Want Their Store Back”. The spot features a group of 1980’s TV icons, from ‘Chips’ star Erik Estrada to alien puppet Alf, stripping an old Radio Shack store bare and loading it into a “Back to the Future” DeLorean, before the ad reveals the “new Radio Shack”.

It’s funny, self-deprecating, brave…and as reported in Forbes today. Radio Shack’s stock rose 7% in the wake of the Super Bowl.

Like many Super Bowl ads (including the one for Chrysler featuring Bob Dylan), the Radio Shack effort was big budget. At the other end of the production spectrum though was an equally clever ad for telco carrier T-Mobile, which used graphics only and poked fun at the Super Bowl excess.

Super simple, super effective. When everyone else “zigged”, T-Mobile “zagged” and stood out for doing so.

All the Super Bowl ads are worth watching – not only for their sheer entertainment value, but also as a study in the art of communication. But it was heartening to see retail up there with the best.


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