As the NFL rounded out their 100th year, Sunday’s game was certainly a championship to remember. Whether you enjoy the sport or just the ads, you can’t deny that the Super Bowl is marketing’s Big Day. For once a year, people aren’t rushing to fast forward through the commercial breaks. Instead, they are tuned in, excited to spot out their favorite ad of the game.
This year, many aspects of the game were meaningful. From the symbols throughout the halftime performance to the powerful messages conveyed in the ads, the real winner of the Big Game this year was emotion. I surveyed the staff here at AG Marketing Solutions, and these are our top picks from the game:
Kia | “Tough Never Quits”
With this ad, Kia promoted their new model, the Seltos AWD SUV, but the actual car itself was not the star of the show. The main focus was on the Raiders’ Josh Jacobs, or more so a younger version of the talented running back. While driving the all-new Kia, Jacobs speaks words of encouragement to his younger self, telling him to believe in himself and that he will make something of himself if he works hard. The commercial flashes from shots of a young Jacobs running onto the football field to present-day shots of his NFL career. At the end of the commercial, the Seltos makes a real appearance, along with Kia’s slogan, “Give it everything.” Kia won here by utilizing a powerful story that relates back to their “Give it everything,” slogan. Seeing a young Jacobs give everything to make a name for himself in the NFL encouraged the audience to work hard and defeat the odds, a message that never gets old.
Budweiser | “Typical American”
We could point out so many things that are wrong with our country today, but Budweiser used their spot to remind us of some of the things that make America special. In this ad, the narrator voices complaints about Americans, that they’re “touching other people’s things,” “removing their clothes in public,” or “yelling and being loud.” In reality, the people in this commercial were actually pushing someone’s car out of the snow, giving the shirt off their back to someone in need, or protesting and standing up for their beliefs. Today, we spend too much time focusing on what we’re doing wrong, and Budweiser did a great job reminding us of all the things we’re actually doing right.
Bud Light | “Inside Post’s Brain”
For obvious reasons, using a major celebrity like Post Malone definitely gives you some credibility as a brand. However, Post Malone played an even bigger role in this ad other than… being Post Malone. In this spot, the little people controlling Post’s mind showed that he really enjoyed the new Bud Light Seltzer, but one particular man declares “Wait, wait, wait, Post Malone doesn’t drink seltzer. We drink Bud Light. Everybody knows that.” This simple statement addressed the stereotype that men drink beer while fruity seltzer drinks are more feminine. By choosing both the Bud Light Seltzer and the classic Bud Light at the end, Post defied the gender stereotype while also reminding consumers that you don’t have to pick just one Bud Light product when you can buy multiple! Essentially, Bud Light created a new product – seltzer – and even targeted a new market – men – with this commercial. This is foolproof marketing at its finest.
Google | “Loretta”
Privacy concerns have been a huge issue lately, especially surrounding smart home technologies like Google Home. Google did a great job creating emotion with this ad that distracted you from the creepy idea of a smart device listening in on your conversations. By using a friendly dialogue between an old man and Google to remember his late wife Loretta, this commercial gave a human face to Google Home, which definitely boosted their image in the midst of the security controversy.
Hulu | “Tom Brady’s Big Announcement”
Alright, listen, I know a lot of us aren’t Tom Brady’s biggest fans, BUT we can admit that this was a pretty great ad. Hulu took a really prominent figure and immediately grabbed viewers’ attention from the first second, with Brady saying “They say all good things must come to an end. So, to my teammates, my family, and my fans, you deserve to hear this from me.” At this moment, everyone was on the edge of their seat expecting a big career move from Brady, but no. Instead, he makes an announcement… about… Hulu’s features… This was definitely unexpected, but hey, it grabbed your attention and got you listening to what Hulu has to offer! After describing Hulu’s services, the ad ends with Brady stating, “So it’s time to say goodbye to TV as you know it. But me? I’m not going anywhere.” This was the perfect cliffhanger to tie the ad together and leave you on the edge of your seat wondering what Brady is doing next. Even if you’re not jumping on the Tom Brady bandwagon any time soon, this spot was certainly effective!
Doritos | “The Cool Ranch ft. Lil Nas X and Sam Elliott”
We enjoyed this commercial because it was entertaining and memorable without being over the top. This ad featured a dance-off between Lis Nas X and Sam Elliott set to Lil Nas X’s hit song “Old Town Road.” The commercial ended with the statement “New Doritos Cool Ranch just got cooler,” which was a fun play on the flavor commonly known as the “Blue Dorito” but formally known as “Cool Ranch.” More importantly, this spot hinted that there’s something new about their classic flavor, but you’ll just have to give them a try yourself to find out what it is.
Facebook Groups | “Ready to Rock?”
This fun ad promoted Facebook Groups, which is a feature of the social media network that has somewhat gone unnoticed until now. The commercial highlighted niche groups and how Facebook Groups were able to bring these people with super specific interests together. In a time where the country feels like we can’t get further apart from each other, this ad did a good job showing how we’re actually pretty similar and how we can bond over these similarities using Facebook Groups.
Hyundai | “Smaht Park”
Quite obviously taking place in Boston, this spot showcased the 2020 Hyundai Sonata and its new smart park feature…or should I say “smaht.” Overflowing with that Boston accent, the ad featured a star-studded cast of Chris Evans, John Krasinski, Rachel Dratch, and David “Big Papi” Ortiz. We liked this ad because while it made us laugh, it showed the smart park feature of the car being used in a real-life situation. This really helped you get an understanding of the technology and see how awesome it is!