If you tuned in for the Justin Timberlake performance last night – er, we mean, the Super Bowl – there’s a 50/50 chance you were just in it for the commercials. We like football as much as the next American, but just like every marketer, we really love watching the ads.
We asked some of our team members to share their favorite Super Bowl ads and why they liked them. See what they said below – and keep in mind, each 30-second Super Bowl ad cost more than $5 million!
I really liked the Tide ads this year. I liked that they were short and started off looking like ads for other products, but at the end of each, David Harbour appears to announce that it is a Tide commercial. During one of the many Tide commercials, he states, “If it’s clean, it’s got to be Tide,” which pulled all of these seemingly random ads together to show that any commercial could be a Tide commercial if it features clean clothes. It was a simple concept with only a few words that made me question whether all of the Super Bowl ads were for Tide. I thought this was brilliant.
My favorite ad was early in the game, but it came in hot with Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman lip syncing/rapping Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliot, respectively. I loved the pairing of these two worlds that are opposites in my mind (Game of Thrones/Busta and GOD/Missy Elliot), but I have to say I don’t know what the commercial’s message was. It was a bad case of the vampire effect, where the message gets lost in the epicness of the spot. Nonetheless, it gave me quite the belly laugh and I rewound to watch it again a couple times.
One of my favorites was the Winter Olympics’ ad featuring Lindsey Vonn. I got chills watching this commercial. It taps into the pride that Americans have for their country and the athletes that represent us, and the strength and resiliency it takes to be successful. I loved the last screen before the end that gave double meaning to U.S. I took it as she is the best of the United States, and she is the best of us – as a collective group. It makes me want to watch all the games in the Olympics, not just ice skating (which is what I usually do).
I also enjoyed the Amazon Alexa commercial. I think all of us have thought at one time or another that having Alexa around is making us dumber. This commercial plays off that joke, which I think actually started when Google became a verb instead of a search engine. “Just Google it” has become “Just ask Alexa.” Plus, I love Anthony Hopkins.
And then there was the ad for Doritos Blaze vs. Mountain Dew Ice. I don’t think I’m any more likely to buy Doritos or Mountain Dew after watching this commercial, but Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman nailed it. I also thought it was a creative way for the two brands to partner. They likely have similar target audiences – so why not pair up?
Finally, there was one ad I disliked and it was T-Mobile’s. I LOVED this commercial when it came on… until the very end. Great message, great execution of the creative, but it felt disingenuous coming from T-Mobile. I don’t need a telephone company telling me this. This is why we preach that brands should only champion causes that are true to business. Nobody wants to be Pepsi with Kendall Jenner. BUT kudos on a fantastic instrumental of “All Apologies” by Nirvana.
What was your favorite?
According to USA Today, the highest-rated Super Bowl ad was Amazon’s Alexa commercial. What was your favorite? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn!