Best Buy did not have a good 2012. The once-powerful electronics retailer has been closing stores, trimming costs, and cutting personnel. However, the retailer is hoping to pivot for a big re-launch, and what better way to remold a shaky corporate image than with a big ol' celebrity-endorsed Super Bowl ad?
In order to position itself as the hip, awesome way to purchase consumer electronics and media, Best Buy tapped actress Amy Poehler, who is hot off a well-received Golden Globe co-hosting stint, to helm its ad smack in the middle of the first quarter. The ad features a plucky Poehler inundating a Best Buy employee (actor Jake Choi) with an increasingly dissociated line of questions. (We've embedded the full 1-minute extended cut of the commercial below.)
Before even airing, the company promoted the campaign with the hashtag #infiniteanswers, via a web teaser, but the hashtag failed to catch any substantial pre-game Twitter traction (twaction?). A cursory pre-game search found that instead of being used to talk up Best Buy, #infiniteanswers was being used by trolls and weird knife enthusiasts.
But, once the ad finally aired, the official #infinitanswers tag started to fire up with largely positive reactions:
Along with the overwhelmingly positive feedback were some confused (borderline creepy) adorations for Ms. Poehler:
I wish Amy Poehler would've given birth to me.. #InfinateAnswers— Hayley Milburn (@hayboxo) February 3, 2013
I just bought $50,000 worth of merchandise from your website because you used Amy Poehler in your ad @bestbuy Please repeat this every year.— Bobby (@SunnyDewhite) February 4, 2013
Amy Poehler is my spirit animal. I would so do everything she just did in the Best Buy Commercial.— The Real Katie T (@RealKatieTodd) February 4, 2013
Of course, most Twitter people aren't sheep who hashtag whatever the commercial tells them to. To express their feelings for the ad, most articulated their sneeze-sized thoughts in plain, non-hashtag-y English. A search for the terms "Best Buy" or "Amy Poehler" started to show a basic truth: the Internet loves Amy Poehler, even when they don't care so much about what she's paid to shill.
Agreed. I hate Best Buy but Amy Poehler is hilarious. That was good too "@dmorenoofficial: Oreo and M&M's so far with the best commercials."— Braulio Antonio Díaz (@braulioadiaz) February 4, 2013
Amy Poehler should've went to an Apple store instead of Worst Buy. She's their TARGET Demographic to a friggin T.— RobTheIcon (@RobNance) February 4, 2013
Perhaps the extremes of this love-hate relationship between company and spokesperson is best summarized by user @tpmcghee:
Most of the references I've seen to Amy Poehler don't even mention Best Buy? So, great creative but not sure how effective it is.— Tim McGhee (@tpmcghee) February 4, 2013
True. But thankfully, it's not all bad for Best Buy. Just check out this tweet from user @imeister who, due to the ad, is willing to give Best Buy another look:
AMY POEHLER in Super Bowl commercial! I still don't want to go to Best Buy ever, but I suppose I dislike them marginally less now. #faceb...— Isaac Meister (@imeister) February 4, 2013
See, Best Buy, your ad is making some real inroads. Good for you! The future can only be brighter!
If social media is any clue, the ad did provoke people to talk about Best Buy, regardless of whether it was only as a secondary mention to Poehler (which is not the worst outcome from a marketing point of view). What do you think? Did you like the ad? Did it make you any more (or less) likely to want to get your shop on at Best Buy? Sound off in the comments below.