Two celebrities from the 1980′s – Johnny Carson sidekick Ed McMahon and rapper M.C. Hammer expound on the joy of selling all of one’s gold possessions for cash with numerous ironic references to their own troubles.
This ad is brilliant not because of the execution – which looks similar to dozens of late-night cable ads – but because of the media placement on the Super Bowl.Â Trained as we are to spot irony and wait for the punchline, this ad delivers exactly because the punchline never comes.Â We expect an Energizer bunny to interrupt the ad, but it doesn’t happen.Â It really is a spot featuring Ed McMahon and M.C. Hammer mocking their own bankruptcies and faded celebrity for the online equivalent of a pawn shop.Â As such, this ad was one of the 10-most remembered ads of the Super Bowl even though it came from a brand with no brand recognition and cost a fraction of many of the other spots on the show.Â Probably the most brilliant media placement decision of the decade.
Even if the service is necessary, seeing the ad connected to the Super Bowl reminded us just how far our nation has fallen.Â Â It’s never a good sign when the bottom-feeders look like the most savvy marketers.
Branding Bottom Line:
A brilliant media coup that still makes us feel violated.