The Super Bowl is the most important sporting day of the year in the USA… and not just for the match. The half-time show and the commercial breaks have become almost as important as the outcome of the game. During these precious 4 hours, advertisers have a captive audience of millions. So as you’d expect, the slots during the ad break are extremely expensive. Each brand wants to exceed everybody else, and they are ready to spend up to £4million to show their ad. Luckily for us, it means that many great ads come out during the Super Bowl, which makes choosing the best ones very difficult. But I have, and here they are for you to watch too…
Doritos – Middle Seat
For the past few years Doritos ran a competition that invited people to create an ad for their Super Bowl slot, with a $1 million prize for the winner. This ‘Middle Seat’ ad was the winner this year created by Scott Zabielski. He spent a total of $2,000 making the commercial, part of which was spent on renting the set of an airplane interior in a warehouse. The ad features an airplane passenger who would do anything to keep the middle seat empty after passengers are told to take any open seat. To put people off sitting next to him we see him clipping his toenails, faking being sick and flossing his teeth. Yuck! But when a pretty girl boards the plane, he tries to attract her by showing off his pack of Doritos. Unfortunately, she’s travelling with a baby, and we all know what sitting next to a baby on a place means. Overall, it’s funny and a lot of people will be able to relate to it.
Always – Like a Girl
This ad doesn’t just try and push the products offered; it’s much deeper than that. It features young women and a boy demonstrating what ‘running/fighting/throwing like a girl’ means to them – they perform each action negatively. Later small girls are asked to do the same tasks and they perform each action positively. Always wanted to demonstrate how the phrase ‘like a girl’ is subverted and seen by many people as something bad, which in turn can dangerously harm young girls’ self esteem. The ad was firstly shown on TV in June but because the brand believed the ad was very relevant and powerful, they pushed it forward to be shown during the Super Bowl game.
Budweiser – Lost Dog
The New England Patriots became the winners of the Super Bowl 2015, but there was one more winner than night – a cute Labrador puppy. The Budweiser’s puppy commercial won the ‘best super bowl ad 2015’ contest and had the most shares out of all the ads that night – 2,168,530 in fact. This was actually not the first of Budweiser’s victories as they won the same contest in 2014 and 2013. The ad features a puppy that lives on a farm with the horses, then one day gets lost and frightened by a wolf. Luckily, the horses come to rescue the puppy. To be honest, it’s hard to see what the commercial has to say about the Budweiser brand but it certainly worked in the viewing stakes.
Dove – Real Strength
Before watching this commercial I would advise you to grab a box of tissues. This ad, created by a Dove’s male-focused product line Men+Care pays tribute to fathers. The whole ad consists of a series of clips of different children screaming ‘dad’ or ‘daddy’ and features loving dads spending time with their children. The ad’s text says ‘What makes a man stronger? Showing that he cares.’ Dove is mainly known for its products and ‘Real Beauty’ campaigns targeting women, so this ad seems like a new direction for them. You may disagree with me, but I think this ad is a winner.
No More – Domestic Violence
This one was the least funny and probably the most important ad of Super Bowl this year. To be honest, I didn’t even understand what was going on when I was watching the ad for the first time. The ad features the audio of a woman calling the police pretending that she’s ordering a pizza. As you watch further on it transpires that she’s calling during a domestic violence incident with her attacker still in the house. No actors are seen, the video shows only a house with a lot of mess that looks like someone was fighting. It concludes with the phrase ‘When it’s hard to talk. It’s up to us to listen.’ I thought it was a very clever way of demonstrating that you can (and should) seek help in cases of domestic violence without putting yourself in even more danger as the police are trained to listen to you and understand what you’re saying. With more than five million views already, the ad is gathering much needed attention which demonstrates that is was a good decision to show the ad during the Super Bowl, as it will be seen by the masses.