Brand Bowl Roundup: The Best Commercials of Super Bowl 50
This year marked the 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl (congrats Broncos fans!) and to mark the special occasion, brands didn’t hold back when it came to their commercials.
Some made us smile, some made us laugh, and others...well they just made us down right uncomfortable. But the ultimate goal of these commercials was definitely achieved -- telling a memorable story.
As we saw in our preview last week, some brands used an emotional pull like Colgate to connect with viewers, while others used humor in hopes of winning buyer over.
No matter what their strategy, after shelling out the cash for a 30-second spot (around $5 million this year), brands could only hope they’d done enough to reach new audiences, get people talking, and most of all, be remembered.
Here are 10 that were!
#1. Advil: Distant Memory
What I love about Advil's commercial is that it shows real people with real pains. They show you relatable customers like yourself to show that Advil cares and ready to help when you need it. They want people to see the Advil brand as a human company, not just a pharmaceutical brand and they succeeded in that.
#2. Apartments.com: Lil Wayne and Jeff Goldblum
Besides the catchy tune (which I still find myself humming), I love Apartments.com’s allegory about life. Like the different levels of the Upper East Side apartment building, people go through different life stages as well.
We all start at the ground level, and as we grow and become successful, we move up in the world. We also begin to move around the country and need a place to stay.-- that’s where Apartments.com comes in.
They want people to know that they’re ready to help you find the perfect place to call home -- and enjoy a pie with Li’l Wayne.
#3. Skittles: The Portrait
We all know Skittles’ eccentric “taste the rainbow” campaign. To take this campaign even further for the big game, the candy brand brought in singing legend, Steven Tyler to promote the idea that it’s ok to play with your food.
Skittles has always presented themselves as a young, fun brand and this commercial stays true to that brand.
#4. Hyundai: First Date
We’ve seen just about every way to promote a new car, but this one is my favorite.
My father was protective of me when I started dating too, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this message resonated with other people as well.
I really connected Kevin Hart’s daughter and thanked my lucky stars such car tech didn’t exist quite yet when I was younger, but what I like most about this commercial is how unobtrusive Hyundai makes its pitch. The car company isn’t trying to push a car at me. Instead, it built a story around a new feature and let that story do the talking.
#5. WeatherTech: Resources
A big selling point in American advertising has always been being “American Made.” With scores of businesses heading overseas, those who’ve stayed have found a new niche including WeatherTech.
People love the notion of a product being made right in their backyard and feel more inclined to buy these products because they want to support local jobs and the economy.
Thanks to several other “American Made” businesses, this term also brings with it the connotation of strength and durability.
#6. Pantene: “Strong is Beautiful”
I loved seeing this commercial. Pantene has always promoted women feeling strong and beautiful, and this commercial just adds to this powerful message.
Here we see some of the strongest NFL players bonding sweetly with their daughters.
Pantene’s message? “Girls who spend quality time with their dads grow up to be stronger women.”
This is an emotional message that undoubtedly strikes a chord with women, but anyone with strong family values. Not to mention, the inclusion of NFL players is the perfect touch of “context” for the audience watching.
#7. Snickers: Williem DeFoe as Marilyn Monroe
By now we’re all familiar with Snickers' “you’re not you when you’re hungry” campaign. To keep the laughs rolling, Snickers is always including new celebrities and situations.
This time, thanks to actors, Willem DeFoe, Eugene Levy, and a superimposed Marilyn Monroe, audiences are once again left with a smile on their face and craving the iconic candy bar. I can’t wait to see who Snickers will include next!
#8. T-Mobile: Drops the Ball
Sometimes even mistakes can make great press. Last December, Steve Harvey made headlines when he mistakenly crowned the wrong Miss Universe live on the air and in this ad from T-Mobile, he takes the opportunity to capitalize on the controversy and make fun of himself.
To battle Verizon’s ads using rolling balls, T-Mobile decided to use the same shtick to alter audience perception. By including a clever troll by Steve Harvey himself, T-Mobile has not only made a successful competitor comparison, but “newsjacked” a major public event.
#9. Wix.com: #StartStunning
The inbound marketer in me smiled to see this commercial. Not only did it please kids and adults alike with its use of Kung Fu Panda, but it set an example on how to create a successful “meta ad” and also promoted digital marketing in the process.
In this clever commercial, Wix shows Po struggling with developing an ad to draw more customers into his father’s restaurant only to learn at the end that a website is more important. (But we inbounders already knew that!)
Aside from showcasing Wix, the ad also pays homage to several other iconic campaigns, including Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” and the Budweiser’s Frogs.
#10. Heinz: Weiner Stampede
Now, who wouldn’t want to see that cute stampede charing towards them?
Puppies aside, this commercial is one of the few that I actually remember the product for while also learning quite a few things about the brand!
Heinz is traditionally seen as the ketchup king, but how many people knew the brand also includes mustard, BBQ sauce, and organic varieties? I didn’t. But now I do thanks to some cutely dressed “weiner” dogs.
So what can any brand take from these commercials?
- Be original
- Don’t push your product overtly
- Connect with your audience
- Don’t be afraid to use humor and current news/trends (just remember to choose wisely)
You don’t have to spend millions of dollars and air your brand during the Super Bowl to make an impact, but thanks to them, you can walk away with a few new tactics to try in your video marketing and storytelling efforts.
Wondering where to begin?