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Two Super Bowl ads killed by the clock

Advertisers often create both long and short versions of the same commercial. There are sensible reasons for this. Unfortunately problems happen when you try to cram a big, 1-minute concept into half the time. Here are two 2013 Super Bowl commercials that worked well in longer edits, but lost something when cut down to 30 seconds.

First, here’s Hyundai’s “Team” ad for the Santa Fe SUV, an commercial by INNOCEAN USA. Below is the extended edit, clocking in at 0:47.

And here it is again, cut to 0:30 for the Super Bowl.

The 0:47 spot has a much funnier ending. It also has a few extra details like the firefighter kid patting the man he rescues on the head. Together, these details separate a good commercial from a great one. Conversely, the 0:30 spot feels rushed and unambitious.

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Then there’s Allstate. Allstate, working with Leo Burnett, previewed a new ad showing its “Mayhem” character through history. Before the game, Allstate released a 1-minute-plus version and talked the ad up in the trade press.

But nobody saw this ad on TV, and here’s why. The ad was set to run as a 30-second version at the end of the Super Bowl, but Allstate and its ad agency weren’t happy with the edit.

“We couldn’t get the 30-second version… to where we wanted it for the Super Bowl placement,” Allstate’s marketing SVP Lisa Cochrane told Ad Age after the game.

Instead, Allstate ran this older ad as a replacement:

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I can imagine how many frustrating conversations must have occurred at Allstate and Burnett before they decided to abandon their Super Bowl commercial and rerun an old one. That’s the consequence of trying to cram an ambitious, cinematic concept into half the time. There are plenty of simple, memorable, cheap 30-second spots. Less can be more.

— By Daryl Lang. Filed under Advertising, Television

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