While the Super Bowl is certainly a thrilling event, with burly men in colored jerseys fighting over a ball, it has evolved into a meeting-of-the-minds for brands to show off their biggest and wittiest ads. Only the biggest, most popular companies can afford the prime air time to woo potential customers, many who tune in to see who made the funniest commercial as well as who scores the final touchdown.
Among the more traditional inclusions like Coke, Budweiser, and Chevy, more contemporary additions to the roster include Chobani, Squarespace, and Wonderful Pistachios. Heinz will be returning after a sixteen-year hiatus with an ad about the standard tapping of bottom of the glass bottles to get the ketchup out.
Puppies traditionally take up the screen during the Puppy Bowl by Animal Planet, created for those uninterested in the two teams duking it out. This year, two commercials have capitalized on the cute and cuddly animals for the brands Budweiser and CarMax. Budweiser’s focuses on the friendship between a Gold Retriever pup and a Clydesdale horse but CarMax designed their furry friends specific ad directly on honoring the Puppy Bowl.
The spirit of mass consumerism, both Newcastle and SodaStream have debuted “non-ads,” where their leading ladies talk about the incredible, show-stopping ad the company would have made for the event. The two beverage companies focus on the stars talking about the commercial as a round-about way of representing the brand’s attitude.
In that same spirit, some brands are including their current and future consumers in their ads. Pizza Hut is holding an open casting call, shooting their ads for their last minute ad while Doritos is asking people to vote for their fan-submitted favorite which will air during the game.
Memes are not just pervasive on the Internet anymore — they’ve made their way to the Super Bowl playing field. KIA highlights the often parodied “Blue Pill-Red Pill” speech from The Matrix while Squarespace has generated a lot of buzz thanks to its teaser representing the Internet as a seedy neighborhood filled with memes.
This year will see plenty of film trailers mixed in with the rest. Comicbook sequels like Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Sony’s The Amazing Spiderman 2 will premiere their second trailers along the premieres of The Expenables 3, Transformers 4, Need for Speed, and the biblical epic Noah.
PSFK will be hosting our own ad competition, pitting brand against brand in various categories. Our staff will tune into the game on Sunday to vote for their favorites, crowning the victors of this year’s ad bowl, titles which cannot be earned just by tossing the pig skin.
Image: Ed Yourdon