Insights / advertising

Supa Dupa! The Superbowl Ads

So here we are. Maybe a little tired, a little overstuffed and (dare I say it?) possibly hungover from all the Super Bowl festivities. Sports wise, I thought it was an absolute thriller that came down to the last minute. Not to mention, the historical aspect- a new franchise team vs. one of NFL’s dominating teams with six Super Bowl titles. Wow!

What I truly love about the Super Bowl are the ads. Sure, I work in the industry and have a bit of a passion for it, but who doesn’t look forward to them? The Super Bowl is probably the one sporting event you don’t run to the bathroom during the commercials. They’re usually that good and you don’t want to miss them.

Here are my personal favorites…

This year, the top spot belongs to the Career Builder ad this year. As in the past, they stick with humor and incorporate plenty of it with this spot. The spot has a lot of repetition that’s great for two reasons. Firstly, it makes you remember their message and two, it may make you feel that your job (like the commercial) is just the same thing over and over again and it’s time to get out. I laughed myself into hysterics during this one. Bravo!!

The Cinderella story this year has to be Doritos. The brand created a contest, Crash the Super Bowl, that allowed amateurs to submit their commercials for consideration. The grand prize? $1,000,000 if you won the USA Today Ad-O-Meter top spot. Guess what? It did! I love it when a brand turns it’s marketing efforts over to the public. The end result? Two unemployed brothers from Indiana won the contest by creating a Super Bowl-worthy spot that was edgy and had the right amount of humor thrown in. Well done, but here’s the real question. Will we see more brands turning things over to their “ambassadors” and the general public instead of their creative departments? Food for thought, but no need to panic… yet. I’m sure they had lots of help casting, editing and shooting the spot from Doritos agency who probably created and managed the contest. Kudos to them. seems to be all about women and sexual content. I’m not sure what the connection between internet domain registration and management is to sexy women, but maybe that’s just it. There is no connection and the absurd ads they produce just help us remember the brand name, Go Daddy. That might be the point, right? This year, the two Go Daddy ads all have cliff hangers at the end that say “To Be Continued at…” If you ask me, this is a nice drive-to-site component where the spots are a little more racy and entertaining. The end result? Who knows, but I’m sure they experienced an increase in web visits.

So what else?

I thought the ad was a home run. Not only was it funny, but it clearly delivered the brand’s message of time for a change. Seems like both Career Builder and Monster were spot on by targeting people who already have jobs and may be unhappy, rather than targeting people who don’t work at all. The moose head in the successful person’s office that was connected to the back-end of the moose in the guy’s office who was unhappy was just perfect.

Coca-Cola and Pepsi are embracing themes of togetherness and happiness that didn’t do much for me. Same applies for Budweiser’s Clydesdale series- nothing super exciting. I did like the introduction of the word “Drinkability” during one of the Bud Light spots. Will it enter pop culture like their “Wazzup” campaign? Not sure, but it’s worth a shot.

The final spot worth mentioning was Castrol oil. Again, more humor with a bunch of “grease monkeys” showing up to work on the car and they make the owner king. I suppose the message here is that if you use Castrol, no need to worry. You’ve got a brand with an army of expert mechanics behind it, so no worries. Not to mention the monkeys. Any ad that uses monkeys is just funny.

Want to see all of the ads and how they resonated with people? Check out USA Today’s feature on all of the ads. Overall I thought the spots were entertaining and most were on point with brand messaging. Go ahead, enjoy the show. Just be sure to close your office door and keep the volume down. You’re supposed to be working, not watching online TV… again!