Something has been bugging me about the recent Super Bowl, and it isn’t the misguided chatter about how Eli Manning is now a better quarterback than his brother just because Tom Brady threw one bad pass and too many San Francisco 49ers were capable of intercepting him at the same time two weeks ago.
No, it’s the spot for Budweiser’s new “Platinum” beer.
You might have forgotten the spot, since it was the first one aired once the game started, and it lacked a certain nut-cracking quality of previous InBev efforts.
Here it is if you need a refresher.
Being an ad man, you might suspect I’m appalled at the lack of product insight in this spot. How there is no way to tell what it is they’re even selling other than beer. How they reference gold for a product called platinum, but put it in a blue bottle. (Bud Light Cobalt, anyone?)
I forgive those things, because this is a Super Bowl spot, and they are not supposed to make sense. Because, this is Budweiser and let’s be honest, if the consumer isn’t smart enough to go online and find out what makes this particular blend of hops and water taste different than any other, then they are probably drinking moonshine anyway.
No, the thing that bothered me is the music track: Kanye West’s “Runaway.”
No offense to Mr. West, who is a fine artist, if not always the most eloquent human being come award show time, but I am somewhat curious about the particular executive who green lit using a song about being an asshole to associate with his precious new brand.
I mean, did anybody involved with this commercial actually listen to the lyrics of the song?
Kanye promoting jerks:
“Let’s have a toast for the douche bags”
Kanye promoting sexual harassment:
“I sent this bitch a picture of my dick”
Kanye explicitly telling the listener to “run away as fast as you can.”
I’m guessing it went down something like this:
The creative director wanted the song because it was moody, but he told the client it sounded aspirational.
The account guy pitched it as a popular artist, and a low level employee at the client remembered seeing it performed on MTV.
The main client asked if he could hear the whole song, but the agency only played the instrumental track. The client made a mental note to find the video on YouTube, but quickly forgot about it when told his box seats for the Big Game weren’t as good as Chrysler’s.
And then, the world watched the Super Bowl, most paying little attention to the spot as they cared more about the cost of the ad time than they did the fact Kanye West made more money for some tinkling piano keys than the entire crew filming the commercial probably got for making a blue bottle of beer look appetizing.
Of course, I will be ordering one up the next time I’m out to see if it was worth the effort, so I guess everybody wins in the end, anyway.