Corn chips, cars, and…Alex and Ani.
For the second year in a row, the Cranston, R.I.–based jewelry brand bought ad time during the Super Bowl—this year to promote that its products are American made.
The company’s ad aired in 27 markets, including big ones like New York City, Los Angeles, and Atlanta—giving it a million and a half more viewers than last year’s ad, which ran in 11 markets. The ad cost $2.75 million to air, and another $500,000 to produce, CEO Giovanni Feroce tells JCK.
Amid images of run-down streets, Feroce intones: “This was once my street. It’s time to turn the streetlight back on, to turn the ‘Closed’ sign around. This street does have a name. This is Main Street. Where we are made in America, with pride, with peace, with positive energy. Alex and Ani.”
Feroce says the ad led 30,000 people to visit the company’s website, causing it to crash. “We should be able to pay for the ad within a day or so,” he says. “It just makes sense with Valentine’s Day coming up.”
The ad deliberately didn’t specify what Alex and Ani’s products were, he adds. “We are building a brand,” he says. “It doesn’t matter what the product is. It’s all brand awareness.”
He adds that the company plans to extend its brand into other areas—with beauty and cosmetics next, followed by handbags.
But the most important message, he says, was that its products are “made in America.”
“More importantly for the jewelry category they are made in Rhode Island, which was once the center of the jewelry industry,” he says.
The commercial definitely caught some people’s attention, at least judging by comments on Twitter, with some saying they “loved” the ad, even if it felt a little incongruous.
“I like how Alex and Ani threw a commercial in there for all the women who pretend to like football,” one person wrote.
Wrote one man: “Alex and Ani. Reminding drunk guys that valentines is around the corner.”
Still, many complained the company didn’t identify what its products were.
“Sooooo…What’s Alex & Ani though?” one woman wrote. “It’s made in America. That’s all I know.”
But it’s hard to argue that it got people talking about—and perhaps a bit more familiar with—the brand.
“Alex & Ani’s SB commercial was just so they could correct everyone mispronouncing their name,” one woman wrote.
Or as another put it: “My dad just asked me who Alex and Ani were.”