I know there was a fair amount of eye-rolling yesterday at Budweiser’s Canada-only Super Bowl ad featuring the Automatic Game-Synched Home Goal Light. A traditionally-styled WiFi-driven goal light that fires off when your team scores, whether you are watching the game or not? Fun? Sure. But at 150 bucks? Maybe not so much.
And yes, that first sentence there was a bit of a mouthful. Sorry.
Ahem. First impressions aside, this thing looks like it could be a hit. Not only has it gotten national media attention in the U.S. – where the ad did not play – but the first round of product is Sold Right Out. You can pre-order for the next batch, but you won’t see your toy until the end of the regular season. That’s okay for knowledgeable hockey fans, since the playoffs are the real show anyway, but it means that supporters of the always-hapless Maple Leafs will be left out in the post-season cold again. A pity, since in the Toronto area the folks from Bud will even drive out to your cave and install the thing for you at no extra charge.
Worth pointing out, part 1: Regardless of any profit or loss associated with this project, this is already a win for Bud. People are talking about it, people are hitting the web page, and even jaded and cynical mopes like me are linking the ad like crazy. In an age where traditional marketing has gone into the toilet, this is a heck of a clever play.
Worth pointing out, part 2: Budweiser is an advertising partner of the NHL and it seems odd that they weren’t able to use actual NHL game footage in the ad.
Worth pointing out, part 3: The connectivity is provided by a wildly clever little slice of silicon built by a wildly clever little start-up called Electric Imp. It’s a self-contained Wi-Fi reciever, addressable processor, and output stack crammed onto what is more or less an SD card. If your product can pack an SD slot your product can now be both connected to the Interpipes and configured on the fly. Two days ago Electric Imp was an interesting little curiousity. But after yesterday … something tells me you are going to be hearing about these guys (or at least using their products, whether you know it or not) a lot.
And yes, I want one.