Maserati Do A Saab in 2014 Superbowl Commercial

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Superbowl ads? Great entertainment for the viewers (mostly) but the jury’s out on whether the advertisers get good value for money. One thing’s for sure, you have to do something that generates significant buzz in order to justify the price of entry.

Maserati seem to have done just that according to the post-game ad analysis because a lot of people are talking about the company’s ad for the new Ghibli.

Here it is:

Yeah, nice. No doubt about it.

Maseratis always sound great and look great. They’ve had some trouble keeping the car together in the past, but it remains a very desirable nameplate for me.

What caught my eye the most wasn’t the narrative, the sound or the look. It was this final graphic at the end.

MaseratiAd

I was immediately reminded of the tagline Saab were starting to use in some markets just before things went south – Anything But Ordinary. Saab used this for the launch of the second generation Saab 9-5. I guess it must have been late 2010 or thereabouts.

Here’s the ad they shot for it. There was a microsite on the web with the same theme, too.

I seem to recall having some discussion back around the time of the Saab campaign as to whether it was better to talk about what you are, or to say what you aren’t (i.e. ordinary). I’m running off memory here, but whilst the words Anything But Ordinary ran together nicely, they didn’t really say what the car was.

The same thing goes with the Maserati tagline IMHO. Why not say what you are instead of talking about what you’re the opposite of? Especially when you’ve got a kitbag of desirable goodies like Maserati.

There’s a lot riding on the success of the Ghibli. I’m not suggesting the tagline will have anything to do with whether or not this car is successful. That’ll be down to the quality of the car itself. But every little bit helps, right?

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10 Comments

  1. I liked the ad. It kept my interest the entire time. However, the small glimpses of the car were good as I now want to see what the caf looks like.

    Your question about ordinary is good. I like unordinary cars. I like driving something different from the rest. So, it resonates with me. So, how can you capitalize on that and also say what you are?

  2. I like Andy’s comments, and I like ‘unordinary’ cars, too.

    The advertisement fits their market. If you want what everyone else wants, you aren’t thinking Maserati.

  3. I’m not an ad expert, but the ad seemed to resonate well with the local Fox 8 News team. One said the ad had her wondering what the product would be as she watched it, and after finding out, the first thing she did after the game was get on the internet to find out what a Maserati was and whether she could afford one.

  4. I agree Swade. Would be better with two words.

    Drive Extraordinary

    Simple, descriptive, and way more emotive and elegant.

  5. They are obviously trying to head-off the common complaint that the Ghibli looks too ordinary, with a Kia rear, Infinity-like front, and fender portholes that most Americans will associate with Buick.
    Reminds me of the famous Infinity US launch campaign which also avoided showing the product and supposedly did 10 year’s worth of damage to the brand. I’m not convinced about that, they clearly also missed the mark with their product (compared to Lexus).

    Funny thing, if you go to maserati.com today, you wind-up on a landing page that shows this ad, with no obvious way to navigate to the rest of the site! The only way out is to listen to the commercial again. That’s 1995-bad in web terms. Nobody does that anymore, and for very good reason: it immediately flips what was a potential sale into a “you are wasting my time” moment.

    I wonder how this will play out. The product seems competitive enough (if plain), but the campaign feels deceptive (I am assuming that most people who can afford a Maserati can recognize BS). It’s like a commercial parody with some blurry product shots tacked-on at the end.

  6. I forgot to mention that the “big picture” is really what’s fascinating about the Maserati Superbowl ad. Fiat-Chrysler is trying to create a real world-class luxury brand, which is something that the Big-3 haven’t had since the 1960s.
    It’s a huge task, one which only Lexus and Range Rover have successfully done in the past 40 years. Mercedes failed with Maybach, GM and Ford keep failing with Cadillac and Lincoln. It’s a big play, and I wish them the best.

  7. So without checking the web, I recognized Quvenzhané Wallis as the girl from “Beasts of the Southern Wild”. I had to look up and check the director, which is not the same as the movie, which earned Ms. Wallis an Oscar nomination a couple of years back. It is unfortunate that the commercial is very much like the movie, yet shows a luxury life style, opposite the “bathtub” that is the wetlands around Southern New Orleans. So no, I do not like this at all, it is a poor rip off, which could coincide with the state of the car brand as well. Just my two cents. So if you want to watch something interesting, inspiring and reflective, watch the movie instead.

  8. Nico: Thanks for noting that. I missed the movie, and hence, missed the association. But with or without it, I too did not like it. Without the movie context, I got the impression that this was about a war or a Guerilla resistance. Sorry, folks at Maserati, if you go to war, I’m off.

  9. I am sorry but I just can’t believe this ad. It does not ring true, yes this is a niche luxury brand but having a little kid behind a wire fence, in some back yard, factory workers, suburban alley ways, telling me a wonderous story. I just can buy it. they should have just had cut shots of outback roads, mountains, the sea, lots of wind, rushing to the big city and bang, the frantic energetic car shots and then the sign off. Now that sign off is so long, the copywriter should’ve known better.

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