Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein divulge the secrets of the Super Bowl
When he sits down on Feb. 2 to watch the matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, Jeff Goodby will be wearing a New England Patriots jersey.
Goodby is a diehards Pats fan, although his partner Rich, co-founder of Goodby Silverstein & Partners, will be rooting for the hometown Niners. It's just part of the yin and yang that make this pair so different and yet so cohesive.
"There's just a spirit between the two of us," says Goodby, who, with Silverstein, is teaching a MasterClass in advertising, joining a group of top-level instructors in other disciplines, including Serena Williams and Bob Iger.
"This is the most clients we have ever had in one Super Bowl," says Silverstein. "You can't imagine what it feels like when you are in a living room with a bunch of people who haven't seen the ads. They look at it differently than we do. I actually think they are more forgiving than we are."
Adds Goodby: "We look at it as an art form. They look at it as pure advertising."
So what makes a good Big Game ad? "It is not the time to do something that's rationally right for your brand," says Goodby. "It's time to do something that makes people like you and that's connected to your brand. And a lot of times those things get unconnected and people do things that are likeable and funny but don't have anything to do with the brand."
Among the funny and likeable ads from the agency this year is the Cheetos spot featuring MC Hammer that shows people getting out of uncomfortable tasks because they have that orangey "cheetle" dust on their hands. Silverstein says he didn't even see the teaser campaign until he came across it online. "I didn't even know we did that! I thought it was brilliant."
Silverstein also says he doesn't place too much stock in the USA Today Ad Meter anymore. "There are so many places to see the ads now. It used to be [the Ad Meter] defined what people thought." Goodby quips that there are so many polls that "I bet the avocados ad does well in the Grocery Fruit Monthly poll."
In the podcast, the duo discuss some of their Super Bowl top hits, such as the E-Trade monkey ("We just wasted $2 million") and the Budweiser Lizards, Frank and Louie. They also talk about Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg advertising in the game ("If they do something with a funny edge, it will be a mistake," says Goodby. "It will be oddly inelegant."), the inclusionary nature of many of the spots, the boundaries of taste in Super Bowl spots and the demise of Mr. Peanut. (Note the podcast was recorded before the death of Kobe Bryant.)
"Advertising has made my life very good," says Silverstein. "But sometimes I have to step back and go, 'Oh my God, it's only advertising.'"