As per tradition, every year, I take a look at the Super Bowls ads and note the ones that were the best in my opinion. Here is my selection for this year. Happy watching!
No 5 : Michelob ULTRA Organic Seltzer | “All-Star Cast”
This ad pulled me in due to the trailer-like qualities. The opening is clearly meant to mimic the opening of an action movie. It is meant to intrigue the viewer and signal that there is a mystery coming up, like something is going to be uncovered. The ad leads the viewer in the wrong direction, making them believe that the secret is the drink they all share, the secret to their success.
At the end, it is revealed that the secret is not the drink but rather the fact that the celebrities are actually doppelgangers. Since this was revealed at the end of the ad, the viewers were likely more attentive the next time that they saw the ad, which goes completely against the typical instinct of ignoring all ads.
One drawback of this ad is that it focused too much on the trick that at the end, I forgot what product was being advertised. It was also a little contradictory since the hard seltzer is said to be the real thing but it is actually the drink of choice for the imposters.
In any case, the premise of the advertising was definitely unique and successfully grabbed the attention of the viewers, thus an ad worth noting.
No 4 : Doritos 3D | Flat Matthew Super Bowl LV
The Matthew McConaughey ad was memorable due to its destabilizing nature. Over the past couple of years, we have come to associate Matthew McConaughey for his confident and cool persona, someone who rides in only the best cars and who speaks in a very self-assured manner. In this ad though, there is a clear parallel created between Matthew McConaughey’s character and the typical characters in prescription drug commercials: he gets out of bed laboriously, he slumps and he barely talks, apart from narrating his struggles. He just seems to be going through the motions without enjoying life …until he takes a bit out of the Doritos 3D chips and he starts to feel like his normal self again.
While this ad is very similar to the one before in that it focuses heavily on the celebrity actor and only introduces the product at the end, this product is more memorable as it is clearly written in to the premise of the skit. You wouldn’t be able to replace this product with another one and have the skit continue to make sense, as would be the case with the seltzer ad. For this reason, I believe that the creativity and the thoughtfulness in this ad is what sets it apart from the others. The only thing I would caution in this ad is to ensure that the parody with prescription drug commercials does not upset the target communities of those ads.
No 3 : T’was the night before the Super Bowl
Considering the context, this ad featuring several NFL players was likely the most relevant. Like the Matthew McConaughey ad, the product was clearly considered while building the storyline. Unlike the ads already mentioned, the product is also clearly featured throughout the entire commercial instead of only showcasing it at the end. What makes this ad great is that it allows the viewer to relate to the characters in the commercial. From throwing around a football in the basement (and getting yelled at for it) to playing in a treehouse, the activities portrayed stir up happy memories in the viewers.
One thing did seem particularly off however : why are we being told a Christmas story in February. While the title is clearly easy to convert in order to relate to the Super Bowl, the disconnect with the seasons is a large drawback. In the end though, in the context of the Super Bowl, using NFL players instead of random celebrities is likely a winning strategy in terms of making a memorable ad. The ad also features multiple Frito Lay products, raising awareness and potentially converting clients for many types of products.
No 2 : Come Clean to Close the Chore Gap
This year’s Super Bowl ads relied heavily on appearances by celebrities. What made this commercial stand out was that it used regular people whose faces you rarely saw. This ad was intended to strike a chord with the situation that many families have been put in as a result of the global pandemic. The decision not to show the faces is certainly deliberate in order to push the user to see themselves in the ad.
The ad is very traditional while acknowledging the realities of our new routines. It creates an uplifting mood and focuses on working together. While the name of the product is not mentioned at all in the ad, the concept of cleaning and working together is clearly there and thus very much in line with the joint commercial for Dawn and Swiffer.
No 1 : Dexcom Super Bowl Commercial 2021 with Nick Jonas
Finally, the best, in my opinion, for last. While ads focused mostly on junk food and used celebrities to convince viewers to jump on the band wagon, this one focused on using the authenticity of a celebrity to raise awareness for a product that could change lives. As someone who is open about his life with diabetes, Nick Jonas is the perfect spokesperson for this new product that will help the community for people with diabetes.
More than that though, while Nick Jonas is clearly promoting a specific product, he is also raising awareness on the absurdity of the fact that it has taken so long to create a product that will change the lives of millions of people on a daily basis. He mentions some recent convenience inventions, which while cool are not as necessary as this new diabetes product will be for the concerned community. I liked this ad because beyond advertising a new product, it serves as a sort of PSA and pushes us to reconsider our priorities.
These were my favorites. What were yours?