Alas, even a nearly 40-minute blackout couldn’t take the attention from this year’s Super Bowl ads. We saw ads from everyone from advertising veterans to newbies. We saw several identity spots and product launches, and a ton of network-related spots. The NFL got in the mix too, perhaps trying to clean up its own image to the football faithful and their friends.
All in all, there are some things to talk about.
Holy Celebs, Batman!
This year had a surprising number of celebrity appearances. From M&M’s to Mercedes-Benz, Budweiser to Tide, celebrities were out in full force this year. Tide, with Deion Sanders (or Leon Sandcastle), played on the always-floating rumor of Primetime coming back to the NFL. Mercedes-Benz used the creepy demeanor of Willem Dafoe to highlight the choice of making the deal with the Devil or the market.
Nowadays, that’s a toss-up.
Where’s the Beer?
America doesn’t pair a lot of things together, but when it comes to football, parties, and tailgating, one thing is clear: beer is there. We counted only six beer-related commercials: five from Budweiser and one from Beck’s. Both brew players were introducing new products, too; Black Crown for Budweiser and Beck’s Sapphire. Though the Budweiser voodoo ads featured Mr. Wonder (and the delicious Zoe Saldana), they did not, in our opinion, stand up to their usual comical, storybook form. But Bud did bring back the Clydesdales, and the “Brotherhood” spot got an “aww” from many in our audience.
How About Those Newbies?
The new companies and advertisers did quite well. The Sodastream spot was compelling, especially when we have all experienced having to get rid of or rushing to replace flat soda (and we all have those weird friends that swear by flat soda). Gildan did a nice job for their first time, probably invoking fun conversations about “that favorite shirt” that was lost due to casual and not-so-casual encounters. The GoPro Hero2 spot was cute.
Here’s to the Controversy! Wait, What Controversy?
Advertisers and agencies seem to be getting more reluctant to ruffle some feathers during the big game. The VW “get happy” ad faded into the background, probably due to the extra attention it has already received. GoDaddy’s “Big Kiss” spot was more gross than controversial.
Then came the faith ads. Scientology’s “To the Curious” and Ram Trucks’ “God Made a Farmer” will surely get some people up in arms. We saw nothing spectacular from either one. The Church of Scientology seems to be starting an outreach campaign. The Ram Trucks ad felt like it was about 15 seconds too long. But then again, we’re not the farming, truck-loving sort. But Ram was looking to connect to the Heartland, the place where people still have family-owned farms and do the hard work that doesn’t get done unless they do it themselves. If that’s the case, then the ad was very poignant, and done well.
Ram Trucks Ad:
Best Response to Blackout: Oreo
During the power outage, Oreo’s team (assisted by agency 360i) put out an image on Twitter that went viral. Here it is below. Classic.
Now the part you have been waiting for: Which ad spots rocked?
Our Top 5: (in no particular order)
1. Best Buy “Asking Amy”
2. Audi “Prom Night”
3. Gildan “Getaway”
4. M&M’s “Anything For Love”
5. Sketchers “Man vs. Cheetah”
1. Oreo’s “Library Fight”
2. Cars.com “Wolf Drama”
3. Hyundai “Team”
4. Lincoln “Phoenix”
5. Milk Mustache
1. GoDaddy.Com “Big Kiss”
2. Calvin Klein “Concept”
3. Century 21 “Life Saver”
4. PepsiNEXT “House Party”
Here’s a link to see and vote on all the spots that ran during the Super Bowl. Tell us who you think was hot or missed the mark.
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.