Why Digital Advertisers May Want to Revisit The Icons of the 80's

Why Digital Advertisers May Want to Revisit The Icons of the 80'sThe Broncos weren’t the only ones to get manhandled during the Super Bowl last night. A number of commercials broadcast during the game also flopped according to viewer reactions.

One of the night’s biggest standouts, however, was the Radio Shack commercial featuring some of the biggest icons of the 1980s.

RadioShack shrewdly used Sunday’s game to usher in the company’s new brand positioning with a 30-second ad featuring ’80s icons.

The ad was meant to shed outdated perceptions of the brand for consumers in need of a reintroduction to RadioShack, the company said.

“When yesterday’s stars triumphantly return, they become hot again and very valuable to advertisers,” says Rebeca Anteni, an independent marketing consultant based in Kalamazoo, Michigan. “After Arsenio came back on Donald Trump’s ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ he soon found himself back with a new late night show. So I think the 80’s, it’s pop culture, and celebrities will be hot proprieties for advertisers this year based on the reaction to Sunday’s ad.”

The ad, titled “The Phone Call,” features icons from ’80s pop culture who show up to reclaim the technology of their decade, helping the brand turn the page on the RadioShack of the past. The spot opens in a throwback RadioShack store; an associate receives a warning phone call before familiar ’80s personalities including Hulk Hogan, Mary Lou Retton, Kid ‘n’ Play, and Alf, among others, barge in to “take back” their technology. What’s left is a sleek, modern store that serves as an introduction and invitation for consumers to shop the new RadioShack.

“This is a bold, strategic move for RadioShack, and we’re using the Super Bowl as the platform to get people to rethink RadioShack,” said Jennifer Warren, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at RadioShack. “This ad is meant to grab attention, make viewers laugh, and let people know, it’s out with the old and in with the new RadioShack.”