Super Bowl 2018 Ad Awards: The Heart Grabber

Posted on
February 8, 2018
If you want better sales, connect your product or service to an ideal. 

I’m giving away 3 Super Bowl ad awards for 2018. 

Read about my 3 categories here:

Today’s award goes to the brand that grabs the heart. And today you are lucky! I’m going to show you a brand that did a great job and a brand that did a poor job a this! 

When the heart is grabbed oftentimes what is happening is a brand is pointing to a philosophical problem their product or service solves.

A philosophical problem says there is something larger going on. Somehow this brand is making a statement about how life ought to be for humanity. You can read more about the philosophical problem here: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Brands who connect their products or services to an ideal create tremendous value to their customers and will create very memorable commercials!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

So I’m going to show you two brands that played the philosophical card and ironically they both manufacture cars. One is Toyota and one is Dodge. 

I’m not going to tell you which one I loved and which one I did not like yet. 

I’ll let you be the judge: 



So the “Heart Grabber” award goes to Toyota and the “You tried to manipulate and play with my heart” award goes to Dodge

Let me explain why.

Toyota did a great job keeping the story of Paralympic athlete Lauren Woolstencroft front and center in the commercial. We were drawn into her story of beating the odds to win 8 gold metals and then were given a glimpse of how Toyota is a part of helping bring mobility to all at the end of the commercial.

Toyota actually has a mobile solutions branch of their company! This commercial is authentic to who they are as a brand. You can read more here:

Throughout the commercial never once did you see Toyota taking the position of the hero. Lauren Woolstencroft was the hero and Toyota was the guide that helped her win the day. 

And look at their philosophical statement at the end: “When we are free to move anything is possible.” 

Wow! That’s a statement about humanity and how life ought to be lived. 

Now let’s move onto the Dodge Ram commercial. I’ll try not to be too negative here, but I disliked this commercial greatly! 

Martin Luther King Jr. is a person who evokes emotion and passion. I’m watching the commercial being moved by his words, but then Ram truck keeps popping up onto the screen. 

The first time we see the Ram truck, MLK is saying “That’s a new definition of greatness.”

I about had my fill of the commercial when they somehow tried to connect Ram truck with the pains of childbirth! 

Oh man! This was a rough one. 

Ram used the phrase “built to serve” as their tagline. I think where they went wrong is their images of humanity doing great things were too powerful for their message. They tried to sell Ram truck as a truck that helps humanity be great when in the end Ram tuck is just a truck. 

Sure maybe Ram is a great truck, but their philosophical statement felt disingenuous and manipulating. If they somehow, like Toyota, actually provided greater value to humanity then the philosophical statement would have worked. 

I think Ram overreached here. 

I had a friend post the Ram commercial with some different MLK statements. You might get a kick out of this one after watching the first one! 


As a brand, connecting what you do to the philosophical is powerful and will create tremendous value with your customers.  

However, don’t overreach! Make sure it fits! 


Posted on
February 8, 2018