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Can cute dogs, artificial intelligence, and avocados win the Super Bowl?

Avocados From Mexico is using IBM’s Watson and a Super Bowl ad to match people with their perfect dog adoption.

Can cute dogs, artificial intelligence, and avocados win the Super Bowl?

Considering the Super Bowl has long been considered the biggest, broadest, most high-profile advertising opportunity for U.S. brands, marketers tend to cast a wide net with their commercials. Hence the onslaught of celebrity cameos. This year alone will feature Chance the Rapper, Lil Jon, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Christina Applegate, 2 Chainz, and more. But Avocados From Mexico is taking a different tack, instead employing a perfect storm of attention-seeking advertising: cute dogs, AI, social good, and of course, avocados.

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While the brand’s ad has merely been teased, we know much more about it than just the dogs and Kristin Chenoweth. There’s also an entire site that promises to match you up with the best adoption dog fit for your personality and lifestyle. And it’s not just a general suggestion–the brand has teamed with both Adoptapet.com and IBM Watson to actually suggest a specific dog that’s up for adoption in your area.

Avocados From Mexico has created Match Dog Com, which asks users to log in using their Twitter handle. Watson’s Personality Insights platform then analyzes your entire tweet history to get a picture of your personality, lifestyle, habits, and preferences, then takes Adoptapet’s vast database of available dogs to find the right one for you.

[Screenshot: courtesy of Avocados From Mexico]
Ivonne Kinser, head of digital marketing for Avocados From Mexico, says that since the brand doesn’t have the financial resources of its Super Bowl competition, it needs to depend on creativity to have an impact. “The competition is very tough,” says Kinser. “We’re competing with the world’s biggest brands with much bigger budgets than we have, so we have to be very creative in order to break through the clutter. We have to be unexpected. And having top technology associated with fresh produce is absolutely unexpected.”

Kinser says the brand’s goal for the Super Bowl is 4.3 billion social impressions. This may sound like a lot for little green fruit amid a crowd of chips, beer, and cars, but last year Avocados hit those numbers and, according to Salesforce, was both the most mentioned advertiser on social media for the 2018 Super Bowl and had the top hashtag in #Guacworld.

The key for Avocados From Mexico is balancing fun creative with technology that isn’t just for tech’s sake. “One thing is how cool the technology is, but if it’s not serious, if it doesn’t provide users with a real value, it’s not worth it,” Kinser says. “Because there are millions of games out there that will entertain people for a minute or two, but this is something that’s not only entertaining, but [also] offers real value.”

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About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.

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