This year the focus was still on American workers, American factories and American raw materials — but it also made a point of saying “At Weathertech, all we do is create the highest-quality automotive accessories, including laser-measured, custom fit floor liners.” And floor liners got a lot of screen time.
“We are taking a more retail approach this year,” said CEO David MacNeil. “The ad costs over $4 million and I have to sell product to pay for it — pretty simple.”
Was it boring, or effective?
What did the experts think of the ad?
Advertising Age's Ad Review gave it just one-and-a-half stars (down from three stars last year).
Ken Wheaton wrote: “Getting in front of millions of Super Bowl viewers might be worth $4 million, especially if you're in a category that doesn't have a lot of big-ticket, national advertising. They'll remember your name next time they're in the store! But that only works if they see your ad and, sorry, guys, but this is the Super Bowl. And this sort of low-key, straightforward product ad is basically a 30-second bathroom break.”
Adland.tv also gave it a lukewarm review: “This year it seems all ambition has been lost and WeatherTech treats us to an ad showing floor mats being made, people carrying things in factories, and repeating ‘This country' & ‘America' a lot. *sigh* And here I was hoping for WeatherTech to become a new Masterlock, an unexpected brand to consistently win new customers after airing a quirky super bowl ad.”
On Twitter, @Adrants called the ad the “Most boring yet most informative commercial of the night.” @Adweek complained “Bland creative just feels so out of place on this stage.”
So did it work? Was $4 million worth it?
My opinion: through its big spending on advertising and focus on quality, American-made manufacturing, MacNeil has become one of the rare plastics processors that's become a household name. Anecdotally, at least, I know people who have purchased Weathertech floor mats, and I doubt that they could name any other brand of plastic floor mats.
That's a real success story for a Bolingbrook, Ill.-based thermoformer and injection molder that started out pretty small.