Some marketers use the Super Bowl year after year to bring relatively similar creative, emphasizing a single positioning with a consistent tone and recognizable voice. Best Buy is not one of those marketers. The tributes to Steve Jobs that followed the Apple CEO's death in October 2011 led the retailer to conclude that contemporary stars live in Silicon Valley, not Hollywood. So the retailer and Crispin Porter & Bogusky traded in the celebrities from their Super Bowl XLV ad in 2011 -- Justin Bieber and Ozzy Osbourne -- for inventors such as Philippe Kahn, an early camera phone developer, and Kevin Systrom, who developed the social photo platform Instagram.
The tribute to innovators had serious nerd cred and even a sense of humor (the segment on the addictive app game “Word With Friends” is a nice touch). The link Best Buy hoped to make, the selling proposition in the spot you see here, is that no one knows more about gadgets and how they work together than the chain's blue-shirt sales force.
It was a point that the world's largest electronics retailer badly needed to prove if it was to compete with the likes of Walmart and Amazon, Joe Feldman, an analyst at Telsey Advisory Group in New York, said at the time. “That service side of the business is where they're trying to position themselves," Feldman said. "The fight they are fighting is against the mass merchants and the online merchants."
Although it returned to that mission in the following Super Bowl, Best Buy and Crispin mixed it up again in 2013 with a lighthearted spot starring Amy Poehler as a customer with many questions ("Asking Amy").Send credit info to SuperBowlAdArchive@adage.com.