Super Bowl commercials that advertise two products: effective or confusing?

Posted by James Glade

This Sunday’s Super Bowl brought something seldom seen:  two different products in one commercial.  Companies often promote a charity in a commercial, but they seldom promote an entirely different product, especially one made by a different company.  This format saves on cost but is it effective or just confusing?

The most notable double ads come from Proctor & Gamble’s Old Spice, and a joint effort by GE and Budweiser.

General Electric and Budweiser made the most obvious joint effort during the Super Bowl.  The commercial starts out in traditional GE fashion.  Factory workers tell us how much they enjoy working for GE, and about all the good GE does for the world by making turbines.  But wait!  There’s a twist even M. Night Shyamalan would be proud of.  GE helps make beer.

The second half of the ad starts with a worker saying “When people think of GE, they typically don’t think about beer.  A lot of people may not realize that the power needed to keep their Budweiser cold, and even to make their beer, comes from turbines made right here.”  The commercial cuts to the GE factory workers giving lessons in a local Budweiser bar about power being needed to make beer.  One patron asks “Wait, so you guys make beer?”  A factory worker informs him “No, we make the power that makes the beer.”  This tells the patron and the audience that without GE there would be no Budweiser, so they all have a toast to both.  This left me imagining a bar across the street where a patron learns that without water there would be no life on Earth, and decides a toast to water is in order.

This commercial missed the mark for me.  The worker was right:  when I think of GE I never think of beer.  Why combine them in an ad?

The best combination ads air February 6 and highlight two Proctor & Gamble products.  The Old Spice combination ads have been available online for a few days and hope to get some post-Super Bowl attention.

The first ad starts as a typical Bounce commercial with a motherly looking woman listing the benefits of using the Bounce dryer bar. Just as the audience is settling in they hear Terry Crews yelling before he bursts through the wall on a jet ski and takes over the ad for Old Spice.  Crews claims that Old Spice body spray is “so powerful it sells itself in other people’s commercials.”

The second ad in this series begins as a Charmin freshmates commercial before Terry Crews busts his head through a toilet and his arm through a wall and claims “Old Spice Body Spray is too powerful to stay in it’s own commercial.”  These ads also advertise two different products, but they fit with the Old Spice campaign and give Proctor & Gamble a two for one deal on airtime.

I’ve come to expect Old Spice ads to be ridiculous and in your face, so when Terry Crews flies into a room on a jet ski, I got excited and found it hilarious.  When Budweiser sneaked it’s way into a GE commercial I found it unexpected and awkward.  What do you think of the two products in one ad approach?  Are there any products that would work as well as Old Spice in this format?  Comment below.

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3 responses to “Super Bowl commercials that advertise two products: effective or confusing?

  1. i think if there was to be a cheese commercial maybe some form of summer sausage could burst through a wall on some type of recreation vehicle. i think they go quite swimmingly together.

  2. Chevy and Twinkies. VW and Star Wars. Telefloral and porn. It all makes sense.

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