Year after year, the NFL championship game brings out the biggest and best the advertising community has to offer. It is consistently the most watched program of the year, which means companies pay more for a single spot during the game than any other time. It’s the only time you’ll ever find people watching anything for the commercials and not the game, show, or movie that is actually on. This year, Sports Illustrated reported that NBC was charging more than $5 million for each 30 second ad, and CBS estimated 103 million people watched the game. With an investment and viewership like that, companies have to bring their “A Game” if they want to stand out from the competition.
This year, several companies stepped up to the challenge and produced extremely memorable ads while a few others fell flat on their face. In a poll of Infinity employees, the “It’s a Tide Ad” series was voted the best of the big game. When talking about the Tide ads, Media Coordinator Sebastian Hubbard commented “They were hilarious. This surprise factor also strategically made any other Super Bowl ad a Tide ad by making the audience guess if it were a Tide ad or not. It was incredibly brilliant and essentially got brand awareness from ads that had nothing to do with Tide.”
Social Media Strategist Shannon Kohn really liked the Tide ads as well saying “After the first few, I found myself wondering if every ad was a Tide ad.”
This type of reaction is exactly what brands are striving for when making placing an ad during the big game. Sebastian and Shannon’s sentiment was common amongst surveyed Infinity employees, with more than half responding it was their favorite ad from super Sunday. Others receiving high praise were the Doritos and Mt. Dew ad featuring Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman and the Visit Australia ad featuring Danny Mcbride and Chris Hemsworth.
While this year’s big game had many exceptional ads from prominent brands, there were several that fell short. Amongst surveyed employees, the most commonly described as missing the mark included Diet Coke Twisted Mango and Wendy’s “Iceberg” ad. When asked about the Diet Coke ad, one team member commented “The commentary was so strange. The song that accompanied it, ‘Long Distance,’by Sam Gellaitry was fire, but actress Hayley Magnus’ commentary made it seem less cool.”
My own personal favorite ad from this year’s big game was Quicken Loans “Rocket Mortgage” starring Keegan-Michael Key and Big Sean. I thought it was clever how they poked fun at confusing industry jargon by having Key explain it in simple terms. If I had to pick one brand that missed the mark most, it would have to be WeatherTech’s “American Factory” ad. Sorry WeatherTech, but if I need to explain what your company does to 75% of the people at the watch party, you failed.
What do you think? Which ads were your favorite from this year’s big game? Which one did you think missed the mark? Let us know in the comment section below.