How relevant should an ad be to the product it sells?

I posed this question in last week’s post about this year’s best Superbowl ads. Well, it looks like I wasn’t the only one to notice that many agencies are going for a funny, emotional, or memorable impact that doesn’t necessarily relate to the product being sold. SNL aired a hilarious, over-the-top sketch about this very thing this weekend, which you catch watch below.


My thought on the subject is that if an ad doesn’t move the sales needle, it’s failed its primary function. However, if a commercial is memorable and impactful, it may not have to sell a specific product—it can be aired for brand recognition purposes only. In these cases, the spot has to be relevant to the core brand message. In the Cheetos example above, speaking up for political causes does not fit the bill.

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below!