Meta’s Super Bowl ad by Anomaly New York teaches an old dog new tricks

Many Americans find the Brits’ obsession with schmaltzy Christmas ads quite baffling, and the feeling is often reciprocated when it comes to the overblown Super Bowl spots that come thick and fast at this time of year.

Meta (owner of Facebook and Instagram) and agency Anomaly have chosen an out-of-work animatronic dog to tempt us into the metaverse, which they want us to access via one of their $300 Quest 2 virtual reality headsets. In this ad, the dog gets to meet up with his old band mates via a headset, which seems to be enough to make him happy.

The nostalgia of returning to a former life, which includes revisiting Simple Minds’ 80s hit “Don’t you forget about me,” seems a little bit sad, and most definitely at odds with the relentless futurism of the metaverse.

MAA creative scale: 5

British agency Lucky Generals continues to display an admirable understanding of American Super Bowl sensibilities. Their annual big game ad for Amazon features Scarlett Johansson and her real life husband (comedian Colin Jost) living in a world where Alexa can read their minds — and chooses to repeat their thoughts out loud, with amusing consequences.

The self-deprecating humour is very British, but Lucky Generals’ spots are usually popular on the other side of the Atlantic too.

MAA creative scale: 8

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall is a journalist and editorial consultant and is the former Europe Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.