Creatively, Superbowl 50’s ads were good not great. No show stoppers aside from the exceptionally captivating half-time performance by Texas’ own Beyonce, the perfect promo for her world tour ad which aired shortly after she danced off the break!
Big #SB50 ad trends this year included integrated campaigns, or campaigns that put TV and other media in play at the same time, animal and celebrity laden casts, and the use of iconic songs to attract and unite us. The other “you notice it because it’s just plain weird” trend this year were the bowel discomfort ads in perfect juxtaposition to consumer packaged goods, rough riding truck, and violent movie ads. The relief ad aimed at those using opioids was just so plain bizarro that several ad folks live blogging confirmed they, too, believed it might be a Saturday Night Live promo.
Nationally, most SB50 advertisers rallied across TV, social, video and mobile to ensure audiences were captive and participation in their integrated promotions as much as possible. Several brands, including eSurance, activated Sweepstakes to enlist audiences to further share their messages. For the 10th year running, Texas headquartered Frito-Lay’s Doritos brand also ran consumer-created ads.
According to our client, Collective, and others, Political ads for Rubio and Bush popped in at least two markets as well. Worth it? Comparatively, perhaps so. Big season, good demographic, much less cost at $40,000. As Collective’s head of Political Advertising points out, perhaps the one time this year the candidates will also earn a “defragmented TV audience.”
PaperG, another Blast client, predicted that TV spots would be conservative— “think puppies and babies ads, not scantily clad women.” Rob Lennon, Senior Product Marketing Manager, said, “it’s not news that sex isn’t selling at the Super Bowl, and that the event has shifted from a male-oriented event to a family event. Most advertisers are celebrating families, workers, something everyone can get behind.”
As far as the obsessive casting of animals in ads, in some cases it worked. Honda’s ad employing sheep singing the iconic Queen ballad was well done. Dogs and Doritos ranked #1 in key markets. And the Heinz wiener dogs were a hit as well.
In Texas, alongside Frito-Lay, three others stood out. The first was HEB Grocery. HEB ran regional ads almost in complete contrast to the urban, often rock-driven national ads. As usual, the chain remained true to its hometown, family driven, humble ad creative and message. Beyonce was the biggest, boldest ad for the lone star state. Her half-time appearance stole the show, hands down, and was also the perfect promo for her world tour ad that aired immediately after the performance wrapped. Here in Austin, after catching wind that Anheuser-Busch’s Budweiser Brand was airing a somewhat anti-craft beer ad, two creative agencies attracting national recognition, Helm Creative and Beef & Pie, teamed to produce a hilarious video-based social media ad that teased back at Budweiser. Finally, we also saw more ads for “Avocados from Mexico” by Texas headquartered GSD&M, good news for Scott Baio who is far less trendy than avocados.
Texas headquartered Spredfast and several other media measurement and monitoring services were used throughout the game by brands and journalists tracking ad performance. Adweek’s digital editor Chris Heine posted great stats on regional ad favorites as tallied by Geofeedia, too. Geofeedia tracked how many people in different cities tagged or favored ads across Instagram, Twitter, Sina Weibo, Periscope, Vine, YouTube and VK. Their numbers reveal interesting facts.
Queen Bey rules Twitter and Instagram. Despite eSurance’s Tweet to Win sweepstakes, Adweek reported the brand only generated 9,000 tweets per minute in comparison with the 147,000+ Beyonce generated in the same time period. Beyonce was MVP on Instagram too, generating over 60 photo tags per minute. MountainDew’s awful “PuppyMonkeyBaby” ad generated a lot of chatter across Twitter. Whether the sentiment of the chatter was positive is a far different story.
Doritos was a big hit everywhere except San Diego. In Houston, the favorites were Doritos, Taco Bell, Bud Light, Skittles and Hyundai which makes me think the Biggest Loser may want to run a regional ad in market next year.
Alongside the Honda Ridgeline ad, other favorites this year were the Mini “defy labels” ad, simple, on brand, bold, Heinz’s amusing “wiener dog” spot, the poignant image driven 75th anniversary Jeep “portrait” ads and Audi’s “Commander” promo for its latest car, employing contrasting then and now images of an astronaut taking ride with David Bowie’s “Starman” as the track. That one stirred the best emotions and will drive big ticket car sales. Coke and Pepsi also deserve some shout outs too. Coke’s #CokeMini pleases sad Hulk and Pepsi’s use of Janelle Monae to lead into their half-time show were both perfectly on-brand and entertaining.
Closing it all out, twice in many ways, was Denver Quarterback Peyton Manning. Not only was this second trophy, but he also plugged his post-Superbowl plans twice within five minutes and it wasn’t to tout a pending trip to Disney World. He, in fact, promised that after kissing his wife and family, he was going to drink LOTS of Budweiser and thank the man upstairs. Nothing more American than that.