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With an estimated $435 million spent on this year’s in-game advertising and each year getting more extravagant than the last, 2020’s Super Bowl adverts did not disappoint. Creativity really shone this year, demonstrating the very best techniques in advertising. Productions were bigger, more celebrity appearances than an awards’ red carpet and humour that was actually funny.
Our top picks are:
Hyundai, ‘Smaht Pahk’
Advertising the parking features on their new model, Hyundai’s ‘Smaht Pahk’ plays on the Boston-accent-is-funny joke, with Chris Evans, Rachel Dratch, John Krasinski and Red Sox’s David Ortiz bringing in the celebrity. It’s an effective use of using humour to subtly advertising your product (whilst also taking the mick of the actors that employ an almost comedic Boston accent in roles).
Doritos, ‘Cool Ranch’
With a play on words, ‘Cool Ranch’ from Doritos utilises one of the most popular songs of last year for their Super Bowl ad advertising their improved Cool Ranch flavour. Featuring Lil Nas X and Sam Elliott and set in the Old West (what more do you want?), the two have a dance-off resulting in a clever call-to-action to invite viewers to create their own #CoolRanchDance. Not bad Doritos, not bad.
Mountain Dew, ‘As Good as the Original’
This advert could’ve gone very badly. Mountain Dew and The Shining aren’t two things that would be naturally paired together, but adding Bryan Cranston and Tracee Ellis Ross into the mix makes for a perfect advert. Rather than producing a lazy parody, the attention-to-detail (including a flourescent green replacement for that scene) makes you wish it was a real film. Plus, it features Cranston as those creepy twins.
Jeep, ‘Groundhog Day’
An unexpected surprise was Jeep’s ‘Groundhog Day’ and the appearance of Bill Murray in his first ever ad. Set in the same town as the classic film, cameos from our favourites and the typical Bill Murray humour we all know and love, it’s a fun tribute and fits in with the advert’s message perfectly. The advert actually scored the highest in the USA Today’s Super Bowl Ad Meter too.
Now for the annual tearjerker. Google’s ‘Loretta’ packs an emotional punch (especially since it’s a true story). For those too scared to watch it in fear of ugly crying in front of your colleagues, it follows an elderly man interacting with Google Assistant and the Cloud, trying to not forget his late wife and all the little details about her. It had everyone talking and was a highlight of the Super Bowl ads. Quite frankly, a simple, emotive message done well.
Budweiser, ‘Typical Americans’
A very patriotic entry from Budweiser, with their ‘Typical American’. It twists a (supposed) common insult and instead shows the greatness and heroism of America and its citizens, from firefighters to protestors to athletes. It’s all very unifying and definitely if crowd-pleaser (if you’re American that is). Did you expect anything less from this all-American brand?
Amazon, ‘Before Alexa’
Utilising one of the common themes of all Super Bowl ads, Amazon’s ‘Before Alexa’ is littered with celebrity cameos. With Ellen Degeneres and her wife Portia de Rossi questioning what everyone did before we had Alexa, the advert then proceeds to show us, taking us through all the pinnacle moments in history. It’s not exactly an accurate portrayal of history, but a fun concept nonetheless.
McDonald’s, ‘Famous Orders’
For those wondering what their favourite famous person’s (or iconic character’s) fast food order is, look no further than McDonald’s ‘Famous Orders’. Apparently McDonald’s genuinely asked celebrities what their choice meal would be. Not too sure if they asked Dracula however. It’s a fun ad that doesn’t take itself too seriously from a fast food giant that (probably) doesn’t need to advertise.
Porsche, ‘The Heist’
This advert fits in with the luxury of a brand flawlessly - slick, sleek and stylish. Set in the Porsche Museum in Germany, it centres around a thief stealing the new Porsche, and ensues with the security guards chasing him around the German countryside in different models throughout the years. It’s exhilarating and entertaining. Just like the car.
So that’s this year’s adverts, but what’s next? Of course, expect a lot of celebrity appearances, the occasional movie reference and a couple of mentions of the viral trends of the year. But, we for one, are looking forward to what the creativity in Super Bowl LV advertising brings next.
Which of these adverts scored a touchdown for you? Let us know.
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