How do you know your local car dealer’s ad congratulating the wrong team for winning the 2018 Super Bowl somehow wasn’t a major bust? Because the internet exists, that’s why—and, um, you’re reading about the bizarre commercial here.
So what happened is this: A Subaru dealer in Muskegon, Michigan, was given the opportunity to purchase 30 seconds of local-station air time during the Big Game at the very last minute. This left the dealer scrambling to put together a spot in time, resulting in a silent clip displaying only the business’s website, the logos of its dealership network and Subaru, and “Congratulations Patriots!” In case you missed it, the Patriots didn’t win the game.
According to the dealer’s Facebook response to the kerfuffle, the decision to include congratulatory language for only one team was calculated. The Patriots “had the best chance at winning and even if they didn’t win we would be congratulating Patriots on a great season and get some buzz on social media over it.” Why the gamble? After submitting the ad last Friday, the dealer said, it couldn’t be altered.
As anticipated, the shame-vironment otherwise known as Twitter immediately took notice when confused viewers on Sunday began sharing photos of the obviously erroneous spot. Say what you will about there being no such thing as bad press, but we’re curious what a dealer on the western coast of Michigan was doing taking sides at all in a Super Bowl matchup between two teams based hundreds of miles away. No doubt a couple of photos of Subarus conquering the sort of winter weather that afflicts Muskegon wouldn’t have had nearly the same effect. As the dealer noted in its Facebook response to the ad today: “Superbowl [sic] commercials are all about getting attention for your brand and that’s exactly what we wanted to accomplish.” Well played?