What a disastrous Superbowl. A major one sided train wreck.
There were few highlights (Bruno Mars may have saved the viewership from bailing at half time) and even worse very few commercials that hit the mark.
Growing up in the 80s (I feel like this is the intro to the Goldbergs TV show) I was consumed with everything that made it up from Twisted Sister to Chips, from the Hulkster to Ghostbusters. Our era was colorful, tacky, fun and memorable with big hair, high tops, tight acid wash jeans and a lot of neon. When Radio Shack unveiled their commercial yesterday it was a huge homage to everything retro from the 80s and it was not only well done but very well thought out.
Look… Radio Shack when I was growing up was the place you went to for that odd Swatch battery replacement or the Atari connector you couldn’t find anywhere else. It seemed like the store of misplaced parts that every other store didn’t know how to market or sell. Fast forward to today, albeit the perception of most people is the same, it’s that same store that sells well… hodge-podge stuff from back in the day and oh by the way “didn’t they go out of business like BlockBuster did already?” No, no they did not. The commercial is a clever and real hard look at how we all perceive their image (including Radio Shack itself) — very dated, with a whole bunch of nostalgia wrapped in mullets and leg warmers.
What’s great about the TV spot from a creative’s perspective is you can totally see the pitch meeting with story boards for this commercial in your head: Old looking store featuring two bored sales guys, phone rings, 80s icons rush in, store gets pummeled, enter the new Radio Shack, end with late to the party 80s character, fade to black. That’s exactly what the commercial was and they didn’t just get stand-in funky dressed actors, we’re talking Dee Snyder, Cliff from Cheers, Hulk Hogan, Chucky, Devo, Teen Wolf, Kid ‘N Play — I mean all these awesome “this is what you think of when you think the 80s” icons were there.
It takes some major juevos to not only recognize your customer perception but to also publicly acknowledge that in front of millions of viewers — during the Super Bowl no less. It had to be therapeutic to them on some level and TV gold brilliance on another. A real opportunity to own up to your current image and what you’re doing to change that. Job well done Radio Shack — job well done.
Just sheer brilliance, Radio Shack is really working the 80s angle. Having a retro garage sale on Twitter couldn’t be more appropriate for this marketing campaign. Out with the old in the with new. Again, great job guys — very smart move. Love it.