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.

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20 Responses

  1. jewelspcdc@yahoo.com'
    Juliana

    Hi Jon,
    It’s Juliana from Washington Semester way back seven years ago! (Wow, we’re old!!) Anyway, I came across “So Good,” and I love parts of it even though I’m not as much of a foodie as you clearly are. I just participated in many of the would you rather polls and can’t wait to give them to my husband when he comes home to compare our results…Stay well and enjoy everything!

    Reply
  2. lucas.chute@gmail.com'
    Ruca Bangs

    Dear juliana, I don’t know you, but generally, if you are a woman and are married, Jon wants very little to do with you. Keep reading though. Mike Huckabee is a lunatic.

    Reply
  3. some girl

    how can you not get it? lol. the only people who wouldn’t turn their lights on at the sound of the honking horn would be the people who CAN’T HEAR IT. (omg, duh). I like the commercial, though. However, it’s not Pepsi who came up with the idea, so I kinda hate that they’re getting all the credit for it…

    Reply
  4. Katie

    I love this commercial! I am hearing, but I am learning ASL at Purdue with a Deaf instructor. I read some of the comments on the youtube site for this commercial and the comment above mine, and I don’t understand how people don’t get the joke!!!!!

    Reply
  5. feebleguy

    I don’t know. I can hear, but I don’t turn my lights on when I hear someone outside of MY house. My wife and I usually turn all the lights off and hide in the basement.

    Reply
  6. kwolph@abrahamharrison.com'
    katie

    Completely agree with all points stated within the article about Pepsi taking a chance, the deaf community taking center stage, and more attention placed on commercial because of the utter silence of the ad. I can see how people ‘don’t get’ the joke. Why does the entire block look like their electricity is out on Super Bowl Sunday, including Bob’s house that is throwing the party?
    To hear more commentary on this Pepsi commercial and all the others, tune into Firebrand Monday, Feb. 4, 11pm on ION TV. http://firebrandmonday.smnr.us/. You can also catch up with any commercials you missed Sunday night on http://www.firebrand.com. Enjoy!

    Reply

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