As our countdown to the Super Bowl continues, we enter a new millennium: the 2000s. With Y2K being such a huge letdown, at least we had some great Super Bowl spots, with cats and cowboys and people named Dookie.
Mel Bryant, PriceWeber creative director, takes us through that glorious decade, and shows us how ads can transcend TV and actually affect culture. God help us all.
"One of the strongest things we do for our clients is create an idea or catchphrase that keeps the brand top-of-mind for years by becoming a long-standing part of our culture. There were two standout Super Bowl TV spots during the 2000s that became strongly embedded in popular culture for very different reasons.
"In 2000, a Super Bowl TV spot for digital management firm EDS presented ‘Cat Herding’ as a new way to describe how IT brings order out of chaos. EDS cowboys are depicted as herding cats, similar to the way they herd cattle, only it’s a lot tougher, since cats are much more individualistic. Yet after many scratches, the cowboys on the drive get the cat herd successfully into town. It is wonderfully filmed, complete with the soaring pride that the cowboys take in their mission. Text from the spot describes EDS cat herding: ‘…We bring together information, ideas and technologies, and make them go where you want.’ Today, I still hear people using the phrase ‘cat herding.’
"The second spot from the era that reached cultural mass is the famous "Whassup?” spot from Budweiser featuring the cool friends who just want to hang out and watch the game on TV. While cleverly positioning the Budweiser brand as ‘true,’ ‘Whassup?’ became a cultural catchphrase to cue good times with friends and link them to Budweiser.
"Both of these spots are examples of how powerful, culturally relevant brand ideas can continue to generate buzz and results long after the initial media run is over.”