Super Bowl 50 (#SB50 for Twitter-users!) turned out to be a very defensive game. Peyton Manning won his second Lombardi trophy with a second team and is the only quarterback in NFL history to do so, but the Super Bowl MVP award went Von Miller, a linebacker on the league’s number one-rated defense. A well-deserved honor as the Denver Broncos defense held the high-powered Carolina Panthers offense to only 10 points and Miller had two strips of Carolina quarterback Cam Newton; both were crucial plays for the Broncos.
The game was fun, but a lot of people tune in every year just for the commercials.
First let’s get the controversial bit out of the way. After last year’s provocative Nationwide ad, this year’s Super Bowl ads seemed to come and go without controversy; but everyone was talking about Doritos the next morning.
A Doritos commercial that seemed funny and slightly inappropriate, but rather innocuous to me on Sunday was accused of using the “tactic of humanizing fetuses” by NARAL Pro-Choice America, a pro-choice advocacy group. The pro-life community took issue with that stance, saying the commercial really wasn’t trying to make any kind of political statement. It seemed a little inappropriate for the younger audience members, but still funny to me. In no way did I see an obvious political stance.
Now on to the fun!
6. Puppy Monkey Baby
Initial Reaction: What. The. Heck. This ad is intentionally weird. It features an animal with a baby’s legs, a monkey’s torso, and a puppy’s head. It’s doing a very strange dance while delivering Mountain Dew Kickstart.
Target Audience: Millennials. It’s irreverent with dance moves and dance music. The ad is trying to convince the audience to get off the couch and move.
Effectiveness: Medium. We’re talking about it days later and it has over 11 million views on YouTube, but we’re mostly making fun of it (which may have been the intent.).
5. Skittles: “The Portrait” w/ Steven Tyler
Initial Reaction: Strangely artistic. Steven Tyler enters a room to find a portrait of himself made from skittles. He then attempts to get the portrait to sing higher and higher notes until it explodes and skittles fly all over the room. It’s over the top ridiculousness similar to the Puppy Monkey Baby ad. Clearly they are going for the same feel.
Target Audience: Unclear. Perhaps Millennials, though Gen X and Y would also relate. Are Millenials familiar with Steven Tyler? Do Gen X and Gen Y really eat that many skittles?
Effectiveness: Low. This ad has a fairly low, but respectable number of views on YouTube at over 3 million. However, it doesn’t resonate with the audience, doesn’t come across as cool or funny, and does not make anyone hungry for skittles. But it is rather artsy if you like that sort of thing.
4. Honda’s Singing Goats
Initial Reaction: Funny. Who doesn’t love Queen’s “Somebody to Love”? This ad features goats singing the famous song. Oh and there’s a new Honda Ridgeline truck in there somewhere.
Target Audience: Broad. Honda is aiming for the sweet spot of funny animals and cool music, which appeals to a broad number of people.
Effectiveness: Medium. The ad has over 4.5 million views on YouTube. It has achieved mentions in highly respected online sports publications.
3. T-Mobile “Drop The Balls”
Initial Reaction: Smart and funny. It makes fun of the Verizon commercial with all of the colored balls flowing down a ramp. If you are familiar with Steve Harvey and the Miss Universe pageant fail, you’ll find this funny. Steve says he has to “apologize again”, but it’s not his fault because “Verizon got it wrong this time.”
Target Audience: Broad/Millenials – The ad targets smartphone users and those familiar with Steve Harvey’s mistake which was perpetuated by many internet memes.
Effectiveness: Medium. The ad has over 3.5 million views on YouTube. It’s funny and gets the point across clearly, but Steve Harvey is not the star he used to be and he doesn’t resonate quite as strongly with the younger generation as T-mobile was likely hoping.
2. Heinz Ketchup “Wiener Stampede”
Initial Reaction: Silly, but cute. It makes you smile. Who doesn’t love watching Wiener dogs run around together in hot dog costumes in an open field of flowers? The cute factor is ramped up even more when you realize there’s a kid in a little Heinz Ketchup packet standing with all of the grown up ketchup bottles. Then you realize the original bottle is an old man and the organic ketchup is a hipster. Hilariously funny and cute.
Target Audience: Broad – The ad targets dog-lovers, ketchup and mustard-lovers, and hot dog lovers (which covers almost everyone in America)
Effectiveness: High. The ad has over 5 million views on YouTube. It has dogs, a funny premise and makes you want ketchup while giving you a positive, happy feeling towards Heinz Ketchup in particular.
Initial Reaction: I want to drive that car! It was touching and fun. This commercial could have been sad, but instead it comes across as reinvigorating as the old astronaut relives his glory days by driving this sleek car.
Target Audience: Generation X and Y – The ad targets those with a nostalgic side who love fast cars and have a lot of disposable income (The price starts at $162,900). It implies the car is like a rocket and it certainly looks sleek!
Effectiveness: High. The ad has almost 7 million views on YouTube. It’s poignant and taps into the emotional side and it’s received a lot of attention online. The company only has to sell less than 100 cars to make back their investment in the Super Bowl air time. Money well spent, Audi!
Bonus: How It Should Have Ended “Star Wars The Force Awakens”
If you made it this far, check out this fun video of How It Should Have Ended “Star Wars The Force Awakens”!