Brands looking to capture the attention of Super Bowl viewers spent about $4.5 million for a 30-second commercial during this year’s game, in comparison to $4 million in 2014 and a forecasted record-breaking $5 million in 2016. Sinking that much money into what seems like such a small amount of time seems risky, but, if executed correctly, can pay huge dividends. In our opinion, there are two things that decide the success and impact of an advertisement – how you align your brand with your target audience, and whether it is memorable. Let’s take a look at our pick for the four best commercials, and the absolute worst of Super Bowl XLIX.
Our top 4 choices for this year’s best Super Bowl commercials:
- BMW – “Newfangled Idea”
This one was clever. The commercial begins as a real-life flashback to Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel innocently trying to interpret the Internet 21 years ago on The Today Show, as Couric asks producer, Allison, what internet is. Fast forward to 2015 when most of the world doesn’t know life without the Internet, and the duo is trying to understand BMW’s all-electric car, asking Allison to explain what the i3 is. BMW evoked feelings of nostalgia amongst those who can remember the confusing introduction of the Internet. The ad intelligently showed the transition and growth of technology, and how when we think we are as advanced as we ever could be, technology surprises us yet again. The BMW i3 may not be as big as the internet…yet. You get the concept. Bravo.
- Coca-Cola – #MakeitHappy
Coke took advantage of their 30-second commercial spot with a feel-good message supportingdigital peace. Cyberbullying has been an unfortunate world-wide issue as of late, and the soda pop giant aligned itself with a positive message and integrated a social media campaign to send those good vibes viral via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and a website using #MakeItHappy. Not only did Coke reinforce its brand positioning within the marketplace, it also struck a chord with its target audience in a memorable and impactful way.
- Carnival Cruise Lines – “Come Back to the Sea”
Carnival is still in reputation rebuild mode, if you will. We all remember the Carnival Triumph that was stuck at sea in 2013, and the fatal capsizing of the Costa Concordia just one year prior to that. Carnival paired impressive HD visuals with a relative monologue by one of the most popular, trusted and respected presidents in modern history, JFK. The very clear call to action, “come back to the sea,” invites customers to return to cruising, as if it were a long-lost pastime. Only time will tell if this campaign will help Carnival’s image sailing forward.
- Budweiser – “Brewed the Hard Way” #ThisBudsForYou
Anheuser-Busch did it again. Standing strong behind its brand, and its beer, the St. Louis-based brewing company referred to themselves as a “macro brew” in this year’s ad, taking a direct shot at microbreweries and their drinkers – “Let them sip their pumpkin peach ale, we’ll be brewing us some golden suds.” Well done, Bud, not only did you visually portray your philosophy and appeal to your consumers, you tactfully reminded the general public that microbrews aren’t for everyone.
Our least favorite Super Bowl commercial:
T-Mobile – #KimsDataStash
Speaking of reputation, T-Mobile’s decision to align itself with a “brand” whose claim to fame is a private video and continues to revolve around entertaining the masses through the airing of her personal and familial issues, is controversial, at best. When spending $4.5 million on 30 seconds, you better be putting your best foot forward and aligning with a like-minded brand, as this is how 114 million viewers will perceive your brand until the next Super Bowl. But really…what were they thinking?
For $4.5 million, brands should be able to produce a positive, memorable advertisement that boosts awareness and reputation. The ads that made our best list will certainly reap the benefits of their audience in the coming weeks. T-Mobile on the other hand, not so much.
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