Dealer: ‘Congratulations Patriots’ ad a ‘calculated risk’

A still image of the advertisement by Subaru of Muskegon congratulating the Patriots after their loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — A Muskegon auto dealership behind a Super Bowl advertisement gaining national attention is standing by its decision to congratulate the Patriots.

Right after the game, Subaru of Muskegon’s silent spot aired on WOOD TV8, congratulating the Patriots, despite the Philadelphia Eagles’ 41-33 victory over New England.

Images of the advertisement quickly spread on Twitter, Facebook and Reddit.

Monday, Subaru of Muskegon took to Facebook to explain its decision behind the 30-second spot. The dealership said it purchased the ad Wednesday evening and had until noon Friday to submit the final version.

“Our owner, Scott Campbell, thought it would be a good idea to put ‘Congratulations Patriots’, because they had the best chance at winning and even if they didn’t win we would be congratulating Patriots on a great season and get some buzz on social media over it. This was not intended to be a slam on the Patriots or minimize the Eagles win. This was a last minute calculated risk and Superbowl (sic) commercials are all about getting attention for your brand and that’s exactly what we wanted to accomplish,” the dealership posted on Facebook Monday.

WOOD TV8 Director of Sales Jason Unger issued the following statement:

“In regards to the Subaru of Muskegon Super Bowl commercial that aired immediately following the game, this was not a mistake or mix-up by anyone at the station or Subaru of Muskegon. The client, Scott Campbell wanted to send a congratulatory message to the New England Patriots in the advertisement and he knew he was taking a calculated risk by doing so,” he said, adding the spot was not actually incorrect or offensive.

“If nothing else, this commercial demonstrates the power of broadcast television and its ability to drive a conversation online for our advertisers. The results of this commercial will provide Subaru of Muskegon a buzz in the community for weeks to come,” he added.

Subaru of Muskegon’s sales manager said Monday they have yet to see an uptick in sales.