Sunday, I was zoning in and out of watching the Super Bowl while mainly wondering how many potato chip crusted pickles were socially acceptable to eat in one sitting. (Thanks Chrissy Teigen.)
But one of the ads made me do a double take, pause, rewind and repeat. This was mostly because I was trying to figure out what the hell was going on in the glorious chaos that is the Proctor & Gamble “When We Come Together” spot.
OK…What Just Happened?
After a chili mishap leaves Sofia Vergara’s fancy party a hot mess, the Proctor & Gamble gang—including Mr. Clean, the Charmin Bear, the Old Spice dude, a bulked-up Rob Riggle as the human embodiment of Bounty paper towels, and others—come together to clean it up.
On top of the randomness and hilarity of the entire situation, I noticed text would appear in the corner of the screen, saying things like “America’s Choice: action hero.” I hadn’t done any research or watched any of the ads in advance this year, but the text made me think that perhaps this was a joint creative effort between the American people and P&G. That people had voted to see the ultimate outcome.
This was indeed the case. In the days leading up to the Super Bowl, P&G led people to a website where they could help build the ad in a “choose your own adventure” style poll. The scenarios with the most votes created the final version of the spot, which was kept a surprise until it aired during the Super Bowl.
Getting the Audience in on the Action
Interactive video is becoming more popular and is a great way to engage with customers and allow them to be part of your brand experience. This was a particularly brilliant choice on P&G’s part for the Super Bowl. Fans already have so much invested in watching the commercials. Now they could help create one too. With so many Super Bowl ads being released early year after year, keeping the anticipation alive with the mystery of what would make the final cut was a smart move.
Plus, engagement with the content extended well beyond the one-minute airtime. Whether it was those who went to the site in advance and voted for their favorite scenarios, or the people like me who curiously went to the site after the fact to see what the alternatives might have been—it was a party everyone wanted in on, and I’m happy P&G extended the invite.
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