February 7, 2013

Taco Bell, SodaStream are on trend for the Big Game

Posted by: in North America

Two of the commercials that ran during Sunday’s Super Bowl showcase trends we’ve spotlighted in recent years. In one of the funnier ads, Taco Bell depicts a group of 80-somethings enjoying a night of youthful escapades, reflecting a shift toward more positive views of aging. Set to a Spanish cover of Fun.’s “We are Young,” the spot opens with a night nurse tucking in a nursing home patient. The elderly man soon sneaks out to meet his friends for a night on the town that includes making out with strangers in a club bathroom and getting tatted up. The pranksters end up snacking in a Taco Bell parking lot and zip home just before daybreak. “Live más,” concludes the ad.

Our perceptions of aging are changing, a trend we termed Celebrating Aging as part of our 2012 forecast; indeed, the spot seemed to strike a chord. The clear distinctions between “old” and “young”—as determined by the body’s limitations and social mores—are breaking down. With a longer life ahead and fewer set expectations for each decade, people across the age spectrum are feeling younger in general and more positive about aging. Increasingly, youthfulness knows no age limit.

A Super Bowl spot for SodaStream, the at-home soda maker, taps into The Devil Wears Packaging—the idea that brands must adapt as the “green” spotlight focuses on the environmental costs of packaging, one of our trends for 2010. The ad colorfully illustrates how small efforts, such as using SodaStream rather than buying and discarding soda bottles, can add up to a tremendous reduction in waste. A series of smart-looking people playfully pound the tops of their SodaStream devices, and as they fizz, we see plastic soda bottles bursting in warehouses, trucks and stores. A voiceover proclaims: “With SodaStream, we could have saved 500 million bottles on game day alone. If you love the bubbles, set them free.”

The company’s original spot was rejected because it clearly marked two major Super Bowl advertisers, Coca-Cola and Pepsi, as environmental villains. Showcased on SodaStream’s site, this version has racked up some 4.5 million views in seven days. Since consumers are more likely to embrace environmental ideas they can easily conceptualize, SodaStream was smart to visually depict the potential impact of its device.

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