Every year, we see the unifying power of TV as millions of American households gather together to watch the Super Bowl. This year was no different, with NBC Sports reporting a total average audience of 112.3 million viewers and its highest ever rate of streams with 11.2 million people watching online. But you don’t have to be a huge sports fan to enjoy the show, as the adverts that run throughout make up just as much of the entertainment. With ads costing upwards of $6.5 million it’s no surprise that brands go big, with elaborate storytelling and celebrity cameos. These are a few of our favourites that aired over the NFL season and during the game…
Celebrity couple Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost feature in this advert for the Amazon Alexa, which jokingly gives insight into what their marriage would look like if the digital assistant could read their minds. It’s playful and fun without being over the top.
This ad, which aired not long after the most Black-centred Super Bowl halftime show in history, stands out as a true commitment to progress towards greater racial equality among more performative demonstrations of diversity. Google’ Real Tone software promises to capture Black skin tones better, which, as the ad points out, have historically been more difficult to photograph. Lizzo’s new song accompanies this powerful slideshow of imagery and messages.
Voiced by André 3000 and featuring Zendaya, the SquareSpace advert plays on the well-known tongue twister. With plenty of sibilance and a peaceful seaside setting, this advert is a welcome slice of calm against some of the more full-on adverts.
Planters Mixed Nuts
Actors Ken Jeong and Joel McHale argue in a bar about how to eat mixed nuts, sparking a nationwide battle. The advert alludes to political disagreements without being overtly political, capturing the mood of the moment perfectly.
Whilst visually not very creative or complex the Coinbase advert could not be left off this list. Inspired by the bouncing DVD, the ad depicts nothing more than a QR code bouncing around the screen for one minute. Clicking or scanning the QR code leads crypto-traders to the brands website. During the 60 seconds the advert aired, the company got 20 million hits on its landing page, causing the site to crash for a bit… You can’t say that’s not a successful advert.
With advertisers spending hundreds of thousands of dollars per second per advert, some of these adverts could pass as big budget blockbusters in their own right. They demonstrate the power of creative advertising solutions, whether that’s in promoting a positive cause with a powerfully emotional advert such as in the case of Google, or in generating heavy internet traffic through a more daring and original advert like that of Coinbase.