Pepsi has just released an extremely unique new commercial that will air during the Super Bowl. Don’t adjust your headphones, there is no sound during the entire 60-second commercial. None. The ad is titled “Bob’s House.”
In addition to utilizing deaf actors, the ad attempts to show what it’s like for a hearing person to operate in a deaf world, much as the deaf need to operate in a hearing world. The title of the commercial, “Bob’s House” is based off a joke in deaf culture. Pepsi has also released a 2-minute video, “Bob’s House – - Behind the Scenes of a Super Bowl Ad” that shows how the ad was thought up, created and produced.
I’m impressed by Pepsi’s innovative thought process and risk-taking. Their willingness to produce this ad has to be considered a bit of a risk considering the cost of purchasing a Super Bowl timeslot. Who knows how the majority of viewers will respond to a sudden 60-second break in all sound during the middle of the Super Bowl? While the risk is that people will look away when they aren’t hearing sound, I predict the opposite will happen: the lack of noise coming from the television will cause the average viewer to watch the commercial even closer than they normally would.
Additionally, how often are ads really written for, or targeting deaf consumers? I would guess rarely, if at all. Pepsi definitely deserves praise for making an appeal to consumers in the deaf community and producing for them the type of ad they are not used to seeing.
Full disclosure: the company I work for is promoting this ad for Pepsi, although I personally have no involvement with, or connection to, this campaign or client.