The Super Bowl might be a US sports event, but marketers around the world know to keep an eye out for some of the year’s most awaited display of creativity in advertising. This year again brands brought out the big guns with plenty of celebrities, special effects and a whole lot of jokes (at $5 million for a 30 second ad slot, you better stand out). Unlike last year, this year’s ads steered clear of politics and most of them just went for straight up innocent fun. Let’s have a look at the ads that caught everyone’s attention, whether they were hilariously clever, unapologetically different or went crashing down in flames.
Tide – It’s a Tide ad
Every ad is a Tide ad in this extremely clever campaign for the detergent brand. The company bought an ad slot in every quarter for a running joke where Stranger Things actor David Harbour crashes a number of famous ads arguing that they are in fact… Tide ads. Bonus points to the mother company Procter & Gamble for getting free advertising for other P&G brands such as Old Spice and Mr. Clean.
Amazon - Alexa loses her voice
The premise: Alexa loses her voice and someone needs to fills in. And that’s when a number of celebrities come in, giving quite an edge to Amazon’s intelligent personal assistant. Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos even makes an appearance! And that’s not all, Amazon thought of everything, and used “acoustic fingerprinting technology” to make sure the ad didn’t trigger Amazon Echo in consumers’ homes. Now that’s a job well done.
Doritos Blaze Vs. Mountain Dew Ice
Another great use of celebrities comes from sister companies Doritos Blaze and Mountain Dew Ice. Because who wouldn’t enjoy watching Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman lip sync Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliott in a nod to A Song of Ice and Fire?
Budweiser - Stand by You
Budweiser caught everyone’s attention by breaking its years long tradition of Super Bowl ads featuring the Clydesdale horse. We'll forgive them however, as they instead used the ad to spread awareness of the brand’s initiative to provide clean water to US populations impacted by natural disasters.
And now for the biggest backlash of this year’s Super Bowl. When Ram Trucks featured a Martin Luther King voiceover to promote their product, it didn’t go down too well with the public (especially when M.L.K. criticised advertising in that same speech). This is just another example in a series of brands misusing good causes in their ads in the past year, and it should serve as a reminder for marketers that consumers always recognise when a brand’s attempt to rally behind a cause is inauthentic.