The big game has come and gone, and we are left to talk about the game, the halftime show, and of course, the ads.
This year’s selection of ads has been panned by some for not having a singularly memorable ad. Sure, while Kid Darth Vader, the Old Spice man and the Budweiser frogs were absent from this year’s lineup, there were a handful of ads that made an impression on me in between plays.
Stella Artois introduced Carrie Bradshaw to The Dude. Doritos sought inspiration from a Backstreet Boys video with the addition of Chance the Rapper performing with the boy band after discovering Flaming Hot Doritos. The Stella Artois spot has its two characters bonding over a change from their cocktails of choice (Cosmo for her, White Russian for him) to Stella Artois–to the complete shock of the restaurant staff. These two spots continue the trend many Super Bowl ads have taken, drawing on nostalgic pop culture for their key characters.
The NFL’s own ad was fantastic. The minute-long spot featuring football greats like Dick Butkus, Peyton Manning, Mean Joe Green, Bo Jackson, and so many other legends breaking out into a game at a posh banquet. This was a hilarious way to herald the league’s 100th season and bring a room of talented characters (and all of Tom Brady’s rings) together. They even managed to give their first on-field female official Sarah Thomas some props by giving her the ball, and featured teen girl’s tackle football phenom Sam Gordon at the end of the spot. The most remarkable detail about this ad is that the ad slot was free to the NFL, and none of the players were paid for their time.
The Post adopted the tagline “Democracy dies in darkness” in early 2017. Their spot used that theme to highlight historic news stories, and to feature journalists killed in the line of duty. Media outlets of all kinds have found themselves either covering or combatting the issue of “fake news” that erupted during the last Presidential election. The Post is getting flack from all sides for spending upwards of an estimated $5.2 million to take this path in reminding the public of the importance of good journalism. Commentary on the spot immediately took hold on Twitter feeds everywhere.
A UNIQUE PAIRING
Bud Light paired with Game of Thrones for a hilarious send-off for the Bud Knight, while announcing the start of the last season of the popular HBO series. While the collaboration doesn’t sound like something that would make complete sense, the result is entertaining and surprising–the spot goes from beer to dragons in the span of one minute.
Each year’s pack of Super Bowl ads brings new trends to the marketing world, and this set is no different. My hope is that advertisers latch on to pairing unique personalities, or creating out-of-the-box collaborations to promote campaigns that differ completely in tone and drive. That juxtaposition is surprising and memorable, two great qualities to have in any campaign.
Jenny Fischer, Project Manager & Designer
While Jenny tends to embrace both coasts because of her east coast / west coast roots, when it comes to football she is firmly planted in New England’s camp. #patsnation