Super Bowl Commercial Showdown: Touching Spots Score a Touchdown for Brands
The Big Game is over, and while some may still be talking about that last play call, around our office, what we’re talking about is the commercials. We’re an agency full of creative types, so this is understandable.
So, we asked a few our our Savage’s to submit their favorite commercial. Based on the list below, you might want to first read HBJ’s recent article “Why Marketers Want to Make You Cry” to understand why brands would turn to strong emotions to connect with audiences.
There weren’t too many Super Bowl ads this year that were memorable to me. As a mother of three young girls, there was one standout - the ad, ”#LikeAGirl.”
It’s interesting to see how the meaning changes as we age just like the commercial shows. After it aired, I asked my four-year-old daughter,”What does it mean to run like a girl?” Her answer: ”To run as best as you can.” I hope her answer never changes.
NO MORE PSA
I had a few favorite commercials during the Super Bowl this year, but one that made me think, and caught my heart in my throat, was NoMore.org’s ad. For 60 seconds you’re in a home where, frame after frame, you see that it is not right, in fact it is in chaos. What you hear while you get the tour is a woman calling 911, and ordering a pizza. As the call goes on, the operator finally realizes this woman is calling for help. This not only made me think about all the women out there that suffer in silence because of domestic abuse, but how hard it is for them to get help. The ad was perfect in its ability to not only raise awareness, but also bone-chillingly put you in her place… Afraid for your life.
#RealStrength Dove Men+Care
I’m pretty sure I missed a majority of them, but my favorite was the Dove Men’s Care commercial about the dads. The tagline is “Care makes a man stronger” and I couldn’t agree more. Not only was the commercial brilliant and pulled at my husband’s heart and mine (FYI, my husband epitomizes what that commercial is about), but the campaign website is pretty great too https://www.dovemencare.us/realstrength/.
Crap… I just cried again watching it on that website.
Make Safe Happen - Nationwide
As a dog lover, it would be easy for me to say the Budweiser “Lost Dog” was my favorite, but honestly, I thought the Nationwide one with the little boy was really impactful. Dark? Yes. Downer? Yes. But if you are going to spend that kind of money, shouldn’t it make people stop and think about your product?
I would think it’s getting the attention they probably hoped for, and I don’t know anyone who would not buy Nationwide because of the ad.
On a more positive note, I also loved Jeep Renegade’s ‘Beautiful Lands’. It was such an amazing commentary considering our global climate, and it was so uplifting. It did leave me with a smile on my face.
Dodge Wisdom - #DodgeWisdom
The Dodge Wisdom commercial with centenarians was my favorite. It was an interesting and creative way to celebrate its first 100 years. I loved how their ‘words of wisdom’ have more attitude as the commercial progresses. ”You call it attitude, we call it character. Sometimes in order to get the most out of life you need to keep your eyes open and your mouth shut. So live fast, and never, ever forget where you came from.”
Snickers, The Brady Bunch Featuring Danny Trejo
My favorite Super Bowl Commercial spot was the Snickers Ad that put Danny Trejo and Steve Buscemi in the Brandy Bunch roles of Marcia and Jan. I like this ad because it was entertaining, sported a prominent brand message and featured the product front-and-center.
As a marketing professional, I inwardly cringe when I hear people say an ad was really great or wildly funny, but they can’t remember what the product the spot was advertising. Although such ads are a filming and screenwriting success, they are most decidedly a marketing fail!
Although I think it is important for a TV commercial (or any advertising, really) to be clever, that is only one-third of what a spot should achieve. The message is important. The Snickers spot during the Super Bowl stayed true to its message that ”You’re not you when you’re hungry”. Apparently you are Danny Trejo or Steve Buscemi on a murderous rampage - scary! The characters and action supported the message while also tickling funny bones.
Last, but certainly not least in importance, is the product tie-in. The purpose of advertising is to boost sales and brand/product awareness. Once again, the Snickers spot did the trick by prominently featuring the Snickers bar. The product was shown on screen as the characters interacted with it, thus making it an intrinsic part of the storyline.
So there it is…Snickers for the win! Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m craving some chocolate, peanuts and caramel…
Whether it’s something that pulled at your heartstrings, or tapped in to your affinity for pop culture (or puppies), what was your favorite Super Bowl commercial this year?
But before you weigh in, be sure to view the ”Brick Bowl” Lego-fied version of some of these commercials.
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