About a year and a half ago, my agency was approached by a company out of Omaha called Salesgenie to do Super Bowl spots. Apparently the CEO had picked us because he saw some of our work and liked it. Naturally, we were stoked. The whole creative department worked on the assignment, and we pitched several ideas to the CEO. He thanked us, said he liked the work, but his board wasn't convinced that the Super Bowl was a prudent use of their budget.
Apparently, they changed their mind, because they did run an ad on the Super Bowl last year. It was written by the CEO himself, and was voted the worst ad of the 56 Super Bowl ads by the USA Today poll. Here it is:
The commercial looks, feels, and has the production quality of a 1980s porno, but according to the CEO, the company made three times as much money from the ad as they spent on it. That was enough to encourage the CEO to write two ads for this year's game. Today, blogs and message boards are going bonky today calling them, particularly the second one, racist and offensive. Here they are:
Pretty bad. Offensive? Probably depends on who you ask. But they raise some interesting questions, I think:
1) What's their deal? Salesgenie's strategy is to intentionally do bad ads, as explained in this article. And if it makes the company a profit, that's good, right? Are brands crazy for trying to get people to like them when all they have to do is get people to talk about them?
2) Is there no difference between being famous and being notorious?
3) The CEO of Salesgenie is an Indian man. Does knowing that make the first one less offensive?
4) Where's the line between so bad it's good and just bad?
5) The Superbowl's audience is mostly American, and the country can hardly be held accountable for every ad our companies air, but I felt embarrassed and not proud at all for being in advertising, and even a little American when I saw these. Anyone else agree?