What a dream it would be to be a part of theorizing and producing a game day Super Bowl ad. It probably goes without saying that we love Super Bowl ads maybe as much as we love the game itself. There are so many different things that make a great Super Bowl ad and it is always fascinating to see which approaches knocked it out of the park and which ones flopped on game day.
Commercial ads may not exactly be right in our wheelhouse, but they are a close cousin. In today’s day and age a good Super Bowl ad is much more than just a TV spot. Many times, the best ones are the ones that are followed up and backed by a strategic online social media strategy after the ad airs. Memorable ads are usually ones that either start a dialogue and get you thinking, make you laugh, make you cry, or grab your attention above all the others.
In this blog post we are just going to talk about our favorite 3 ads from the big game. It is kind of tough to limit it to just three as there were a lot of different ads that we liked. There are a lot of ways to stand out amongst the fray and a lot of ads this year did just that. For our list we went with the first 3 that came to our mind when thinking about this post. Reason being is if they were the first ones to come to our mind then they must have done something right.
Chunky Milk by Mint Mobile
The chunky milk ad by Mint Mobile was… uncomfortable. I myself had a hard time watching it, I thought it was so gross, but at the same time I couldn’t look away it was so bewildering. The ad featured a family drinking “chunky style milk” as an example of what Mint Mobile said “isn’t right”. They’re not wrong either, it was visually and physically unpleasing to see this family drink and enjoy milk for breakfast with big chunks in it.
This ad definitely grabbed people’s attention! At the end of the day that is what matters, being different enough to stand out, even if that means making some people want to barf.
Game of Thrones/Bud Light
Game of Thrones and beer. Wow, what a combo. First of all, seeing two brands on one ad in the Super Bowl is pretty rare and is always interesting when it is done. Second of all, the brand combo in this ad was titanic. For the past two years Bud Light has ran a very successful marketing campaign centered around medieval times. The campaign first started with the catchphrase “Dilly Dilly” that took off and could be heard pretty much anywhere for awhile, from college street corners to family cookouts.
Could this commercial have signalled the end of this highly successful campaign though? The ad starts off as any normal ad would from this campaign as the Bud Light knight is preparing to joust another knight in front of the king. However, when the jousting begins the Bud Light knight loses! Who is the mysterious knight that defeated him?
Turns out it was “The Mountain”, a gruesome character from the extremely popular HBO series Game Of Thrones. The Mountain gets off of his horse, kneels down and kills the Bud Light knight in a manner that is an ode to an earlier episode of the series. Then a dragon from Game of Thrones swoops down and reigns fire on all of the spectators. The commercial ends with an advertisement for the final season of Game Of Thrones coming across the TV screen with the Bud Light knight laying on the ground beneath.
What a rollercoaster 30 seconds it was. Game of Thrones is a massive franchise right now. In a recent podcast, Bill Simmons at The Ringer, a media company that covers sports and pop culture, said they will be covering Game Of Thrones like it is the NBA finals. Just to give you an idea of how big Game Of Thrones has become in pop culture. Two huge brands coming together for one epic commercial filled with excitement, shock, and misdirection. What’s not to like? Many people are calling this ad their favorite of the Super Bowl, and we think it is with good reason!
The NFL 100 certainly knew their target audience. The Super Bowl is a pretty good time to spotlight next season being the NFL’s 100th season of football and kick off the year long campaign celebrating just that. The ad was fun and exciting featuring NFL stars of today and yesteryear all squabbling over a fumbled golden football at the NFL 100 year gala. It was fast paced, had some good subtle comedy, and gallons of nostalgia that left fans of the league laughing and smiling as they watched all the famous players from the league having a wild time crashing in to tables and tumbling through large cakes. Watching it does much better justice!
All these ads grabbed viewers attention but they achieved it in different ways. Mint Mobile did it through discomfort, Bud Light and Game of Thrones did it through misdirection, and the NFL used the ever so powerful tool of nostalgia. There is no right way to do a good Super Bowl commercial, but for what it is worth we think these ones did it well!