Chrysler and Doritos Super Bowl Commercials Score Big
For the second year in a row, Chrysler captivated the Super Bowl audience with a two-minute, cinematic commercial that shines a light on the rebirth of the automaker and the city of Detroit.
“It’s Halftime in America” ran, appropriately, during the game’s halftime commercial break and proved to be as inspirational and grit-stirring as an underdog coach’s locker room pep talk.
“This country can’t be knocked out with one punch,” Clint Eastwood’s gravelly voice proclaims. “We get right back up again, and when we do, the world’s gonna hear the roar of our engines. It’s halftime, America—and our second half’s about to begin.”
The social media buzz surrounding Chrysler’s ad has carried on through Monday, with some declaring it the best ad of the night and others criticizing what they believe to be a thinly veiled political slant.
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne insists that the ad has “zero political content.”
“I think we need to be careful, and God knows, I mean I can’t stop anybody from associating themselves with a message, but it was not intended to be any type of political overture on our part," Marchionne says. "The message is sufficiently universal and neutral that it should be appealing to everybody in this country, and I sincerely hope that it doesn’t get utilized as political fodder in a debate.”
While Chrysler’s spot was certainly successful in terms of public captivation, it was actually Doritos that won the distinction of best commercial in USA Today’s annual Super Bowl Ad Meter consumer panel.
The “Man’s Best Friend” ad, created by freelance graphic designer and musician Jonathan Friedman was the sixth winner of Doritos’s annual Crash the Super Bowl commercial creation contest.
Friedman says he borrowed a friend’s Great Dane and spent only $20 on dog treats, a cat collar and a bag of Doritos to film the ad. It was an indisputably wise investment; Doritos is rewarding him with a $1 million cash prize and a guaranteed future project with The Lonely Island—the hit-making comedy group led by Saturday Night Live’s Andy Samberg.
The Crash the Super Bowl promotion just may be the most brilliant thing the Doritos marketing team has ever developed. Doritos just has to foot the (admittedly substantial) broadcast bill while the public eagerly does all the legwork. Crash the Super Bowl ads have nabbed the number one USA Today Ad Meter spot three times in the last four years.
“For us, this reinforces the fact that this is turning into a bit of a franchise,” says Tony Matta, Vice President of Marketing for Frito-Lay North America, which produces Doritos. “You don’t have to be a professional filmmaker or a professional ad agency to compete with the best [ad makers] in the world and take home the biggest prize.”
How AWS helps NASCAR delight its fans
AWS needs no introduction to readers of Technology Magazine but we rarely get an opportunity to look closely at how it serves the sports sector. All major sports draw in a huge supporter base that they want to nurture and support. Technology is the key to every major sports organization and enabling this is the driving force for AWS, says Matt Hurst, Head of Global Sports Marketing and Communications for AWS. “In sports, as in every industry, machine learning and artificial intelligence and high performance computing are helping to usher in the next wave of technical sports innovation.”
AWS approaches sports in three principal areas. “The first is unlocking data’s potential: leagues and teams hold vast amounts of data and AWS is enabling them to analyze that data at scale and make better, more informed decisions. The second is engaging and delighting fans: with AWS fans are getting deeper insights through visually compelling on-screen graphics and interactive Second Screen experiences. And the third is rapidly improving sports performance: leagues and teams are using AWS to innovate like never before.”
Among the many global brands that partner with AWS are Germany's Bundesliga, the NFL, F1, the NHL, the PGA Tour and of course NASCAR. NASCAR has worked with AWS on its digital transformation (migrating it's 18 petabyte video archive containing 70 years of historical footage to AWS), to optimize its cloud data center operations and to enable its global brand expansion. AWS Media Services powers the NASCAR Drive mobile app, delivering broadcast-quality content for more than 80 million fans worldwide. The platform, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaStore, helps NASCAR provide fans instant access to the driver’s view of the race track during races, augmented by audio and a continually updated leaderboard. “And NASCAR will use our flagship machine learning service Amazon SageMaker to train deep learning models to enhance metadata and video analytics.”
Using AWS artificial intelligence and machine learning, NASCAR aims to deliver even more fan experiences that they'd never have anticipated. “Just imagine a race between Dale Earnhardt Sr and Dale Jr at Talladega! There's a bright future, and we're looking forward to working with NASCAR, helping them tap into AWS technology to continue to digitally transform, innovate and create even more fan experiences.”
Just as AWS is helping NASCAR bridge that historical gap between the legacy architecture and new technology, more customers are using AWS for machine learning than any other provider. As an example, who would have thought five years ago that NFL would be using ML to predict and prevent injury to its players? Since 2017, the league has utilized AWS as its official cloud and ML provider for the NFL Next Gen Stats (NGS) platform, which provides real-time location data, speed, and acceleration for every player during every play on every inch of the field. “One of the most potentially revolutionary components of the NFL-AWS partnership,” says Matt Hurst, “is the development of the 'Digital Athlete,' a computer simulation model that can be used to replicate infinite scenarios within the game environment—including variations by position and environmental factors, emphasizing the league's commitment to player safety.”