February 5, 2018
Sunday night’s Super Bowl LII saw the Philadelphia Eagles defeat the New England Patriots to take home their first-ever Super Bowl title. Aside from the on-the-field action, those of us in the marketing and communications industries were eagerly watching a different contest – which Super Bowl ads made the biggest splash. Whether they caused the most chatter online or dominate our water cooler conversations at the office, here are some of our favorite Super Bowl commercials of 2018:
This dual ad set from PepsiCo starts off with Peter Dinklage (of Game of Thrones fame) spitting-fire, both literally and figuratively. He lip-syncs to Busta Rhymes’ “Look at Me Now” as the room goes up in flames behind him. As Dinklage finishes the Doritos ad with a breath of smoke, Morgan Freeman takes over in an ad for Mountain Dew Ice. Freeman’s stoic voice prominently featured on past Super Bowl ads, is instead replaced with Missy Elliot on “Get Ur Freak On.” Not only is it truly a song of ice and fire, it took a creative risk with some big-name stars
When Amazon’s Alexa loses her voice, the Amazon team employs the voices of celebrities, including Cardi B, Gordon Ramsay, and Leslie Jones, according to the e-commerce giant’s 2018 Super Bowl ad. While Alexa may obey your commands without question, Gordon Ramsey won’t resist critiquing your cooking skills. And there’s no way Cardi B will willingly play country music. In past years, Amazon’s ads have centered on the company’s Echo speaker and its Alexa virtual assistant. This spot showed the company’s playful, creative side and was less sales-focused. Instead, it put Alexa among the ranks of great celebrity voices.
This clever series of ads, from renowned New York firm Saatchi & Saatchi, featured Stranger Things star David Harbour and riffed on other well-known ads from brands like Old Spice, Mr. Clean, Budweiser, Amazon and more. The ad series centered around Harbour’s thought-provoking question: is every Super Bowl ad really a Tide ad if all the clothing is spotless? Even after the initial 60-second spot in the first quarter, Tide kept us fooled by thinking we were watching an Old Spice or Budweiser ad, drawing on cameos and storylines from commercials past. Harbour proved to be a great choice, with his comedic timing and personality taking the ad beyond its great concept. Tide’s product was minimally featured, allowing the brand to rebound after being plagued by the unfortunate Tide Pod Challenge.
Another ad that lead us to think it’s something it’s not. This spot from Droga5 began with a screen card for “RimFire Films” and then cuts to Danny McBride and Chris Hemsworth in what appears to be a reboot of the Crocodile Dundee series. It turns out this ad is not for a buddy-comedy adventure in the Australian Outback. Everything seems normal until Hemsworth starts praising the wine from Australia’s vineyards. This isn’t a movie ad, it’s a tourism ad for Australia. The ad goes on to tout Australia’s world-class restaurants, as Hemsworth points out the great flight deals. Although, with Hemsworth’s pristine white shirts, maybe it was also a Tide ad?
Giants’ fans may have been disappointed by the team’s losing season, but this NFL ad, featuring quarterback Eli Manning and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. gave fans a reason to smile. In the final video of the ad series, which was preceded by two short teasers, the two football players turn the practice field into a ballroom as they perform a choreographed dance to “Time of My Life.” This hilarious parody of Dirty Dancing’s iconic scene culminates in Manning lifting Beckham skyward, a la Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. The always entertaining New York Post even featured the ad on its Monday morning cover.
Whether it was on-the-field play or on-the-tube advertisements, Super Bowl 52 did not disappoint. As PR professionals and marketers, we’ll be interested in following how brands and consumers react in the days following. Have a favorite Super Bowl add that we didn’t include here? Email us at email@example.com to share your thoughts!
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