Well, another Super Bowl is behind us, and with it are all of the over-thought, dubiously strategic, creative-for-creativity’s-sake commercials.

As with every year, the time between the on-field action (such as it was) was filled with gems and duds in almost equal measure. Usual football fare of beer, soda and snack foods were all being hyped along with mobile network providers, cars and even skin care.

There were even a couple of brands representing the building product industry – competing brands, no less! That offered a delicious opportunity to comment on the virtues of the two ads.

The two competing brands are in the home security space – ADT and SimpliSafe. This has been an interesting category to watch in recent years. The growth of brands in this category has been fueled by equal parts of consumer fears and the availability of intuitive in-home technology.

Both ADT and SimpliSafe nodded to those trends during their Super Bowl ads. One just did a better job than the other.

ADT Says “Trust Us”

Let’s start with ADT, arguably the most well-known home security brands in the category. Their ad features Drew and Adam Scott, known for their HGTV show “Property Brothers,” and for each having a voice indistinguishable from the others.

In the ad, Drew and Adam take turns telling the viewer that “real protection” is about more than devices like doorbells, door locks, voice assistants and cameras. In the process of telling us that, they show us how the gadgets can enhance a home’s security.

But it’s about more than fancy electronics. Home security is about knowing those devices carry the ADT name.

So what they’re saying is, “ADT is better because it’s ADT.” That’s not exactly convincing.

Home security is an inherently emotional issue. The ADT ad defaults to features, benefits — and implied brand strength — devoid of an emotion… instead relying on the endorsement of perfectly groomed TV personalities to connect with consumers.

At the end, Drew (or Adam – we’re not sure) says we’ll “be hearing a lot more from them and ADT” this year, prompting millions of TV viewers to say to themselves, “So what?”

Where ADT missed an opportunity, SimpliSafe seized it.

SimpliSafe Shows Empathy

In one of the more clever ads of the game, SimpliSafe acknowledged consumers’ fears, but did it in a tongue-in-cheek way.

The ad follows a man as he’s barraged by news and reminders that people and technology are invading our privacy and our lives. He hears about people stealing packages, robots taking his job, drones photographing his every move, and voice assistants listening to his private conversations.

One after another, the rapid-fire situations offer examples of real-life frustrations people experience. It all starts to feel like too much until the end… when the voice-over says, “In a world full of fear, home is the place you should simply feel safe.”

We think SimpliSafe does a far better job of capturing what home security should be all about. A feeling of safety. A refuge from the outside world.

Through this ad, SimpliSafe demonstrates that they clearly understand the consumer mindset. Gadgets and devices are nice, but they’re not what people care about. And they certainly don’t care which brand thinks it’s the most trusted.

They care about their fears, and not having to worry about those fears when they’re at home.


Any good advertising is grounded in a focus on the target audience and a firm understanding of what’s important to them. SimpliSafe demonstrated that empathy, while ADT just shouted about features and benefits.


Let Kleber and Associates turbocharge your Content Marketing strategy and show you more return on your bottom line. Contact us today for a personal presentation of how we can add metrics to help you determine ROI and allow for marketing innovation that will really move the sales needle — saving your business both time and money in the process. Our team will be participating in February at both the International Roofing Exposition (IRE) in Nashville as well as IBS/KBIS in Las Vegas. Let’s plan to connect!