3 Reasons Why RadioShack’s Super Bowl Commercial Works

Radio Shack Commercial

With so many people either heading to their local Best Buy or reputable mom-and-pop shop in order to take care of their technological needs, it’s very easy to forget about RadioShack. Even though there are still a number of stores that are in business, for one reason or another, they are overlooked. One of the reasons, that I could gather, was the store was simply too stuck in the past. In a lack of effort that should raise the ire of any social media agency, RadioShack seemed reluctant to adapt.

This does not mean that the store did not try, though, and nowhere has that been clearer than in its commercial which aired during this year’s Super Bowl. The commercial opened with two sales representatives from RadioShack, one of them hanging up the phone before uttering, “The 80’s called. They want their store back.” At that moment, a series of icons from the 1980’s come into the store and proceed to take every bit of merchandise in order to make way for the future. Here are 3 reasons why this commercial works.

1. Nostalgia is a powerful tool. No matter how advanced things may become, it’s easy to look back on what you grew up with a sense of fondness. Fortunately, there are many different characters featured in this commercial that it is difficult to find one that wouldn’t be familiar. Horror movie fans from the 80’s would most likely remember the possessed doll known as Chucky. Hulk Hogan should also be recognizable, even if non-wrestling fans were watching, given his status as a household name.

2. It has enough entertainment to keep viewers interested. While the object of a commercial is to sell the audience on a product, service, or in this case an entire store, it should be created in such a way that comes across as entertaining. Fortunately, this is an ad where more than one viewing is required in order to pick up on the subtler references. For example, when Cliff Clavin from “Cheers” is stacking boxes around the 0:30 mark, it’s easy to overlook vintage video game character Q*Bert, hopping from one piece of merchandise to the next in the same shot.

3. RadioShack has proven itself to be self-aware. The fact that the company had enough humility to put forth a commercial that made fun of itself should speak volumes. It’s apparent that there are fewer customers going to those stores, especially when given the prevalence of other retailers that may be able to offer more than the same services. Every business has to change with the times or else it stands the risk of being left behind. Whether it’s unknown as to whether or not this ad will result in greater sales, it’s still a bold – not to mention fun – advertising maneuver.

Photo Credit

Stop Ripping on @JCPenney’s. #TweetingWithMittens was brilliant.

JC Penney's Mittens

It seems like a lot of bloggers and mainstream media publications are talking about JC Penney’s #TweetingWithMittens stunt on Twitter. Most are saying that it was a misstep. As they complain about it, they fall into the trap perfectly. It’s being talked about by journalists, Twitter users, and even other companies trying to get their own clever Tweets into the mix. The jokes on all of them. This campaign worked beautifully. When you consider that they didn’t spend millions of dollars to advertise during the Super Bowl and are being talked about as if they had, the ROI is very apparent.

The biggest complaint I’ve seen is that it’s not like the Oreo brilliance last Super Bowl. That is irrelevant. Lightning didn’t strike twice and it didn’t have to. People are talking about it. Even while a huge chunk of people were embarrassed for their apparent “drunk Tweeting” escapades, they still talked about it. The only real mistake that JC Penney’s made is that they let the secret out of the bag a bit too soon. Oh well. Nobody’s perfect.

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Use Hashtags Instead of Social Icons on Ads

Space Babies

If you ever want a crash course on the latest social media studies but don’t want to spend the money to do them yourself, just watch the Super Bowl. You have to assume that if companies are spending millions to produce and distribute 30 second spots for the big game, they’re going to research what’s working today.

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The Social Bowl

The Social Bowl

When the Patriots of New England take on the Giants of New York—a game that could be decided by kicking a oblong ball made of pigskin through a giant “H” for a most ripping victory—thousands of football fans will converge on Lucas Oil Field and the surrounding areas for Super Bowl XLVI. The vast majority of attendees are sure to use mobile devices to disclose various details of their fun during a full week of events. An unprepared city could experience a social media logjam, but the city of Indianapolis has taken all of this into consideration.
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What Failed: The Digg Algorithm or the Digg Users?

Digg Super BowlIt took around 600 Diggs to get the story Super Bowl XLII Champions New York Giants promoted to the front page.  Are the recent changes in the algorithm the reason?  More importantly, is this a case where the algorithm was doing the “right thing” but was overpowered by the sheer bulk of Diggs?

It took 34 minutes for the story to be promoted from upcoming.  During that time, the Ajaxonomy Bury Recorder showed it to have 17 buries (which means it had a lot more than that).  That could be a reason for it taking so many, but let’s explore further.  This is a screenshot of the Upcoming 45 seconds after it hit the front page. [Read more...]