Our Favourite Commercials from Super Bowl LI

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – for spectators like us to check out what advertisers have come up with for one of the most viewed sporting events in the world. (Okay, the football game this year was actually pretty epic too…)

This year, as we all know, the Super Bowl took place during a particularly divisive time in US history, and we were curious to see if brands would choose to make political statements with their ads. In the past, brands have stumbled when they waded into political commentary, so it’s interesting to see how they chose to walk this fine line, if they acknowledged it at all.

Brands that did a good job at being political were Airbnb, Budweiser, It’s a 10 Hair Care, and Coca-Cola. Coke actually did something pretty interesting and re-aired their “America the Beautiful” ad.

Why did Coke choose to use one of the biggest platforms in the world to share this message, again? Check out their statement:

We believe it’s a powerful ad that promotes optimism, inclusion and celebrates humanity – values that are core to Coca-Cola.

Finally, the commercial that is getting the most buzz is 84 Lumber’s, which most people interpreted to be quite politically charged, but the company is saying wasn’t meant to be. The CEO was interviewed by People Magazine and gave two very contrasting quotes. The first one is pro-wall, “We need to keep America safe. America needs to be safe so you and I can have the liberty to talk… The wall, I think it represents, to me, security. I like security.” But in her second quote her sentiment appears to change, “My intent was to show, through the mother and daughter, that through struggles we will do anything we possibly can to make [the world] a better place for our children. If I thought the wall was negative, I wouldn’t have had the wall.” This is a very interesting response that we are sure many people will try to decipher, kind of like what’s going on right now politically south of our border.

Here are The Agency’s favourite commercials from Super Bowl 51:

Arleigh’s Pick: Audi #DriveProgress – “Daughter”

As a mom of daughters, the Audi commercial really hit home for me, because it has never occurred to me that I would teach my daughters that they cannot strive to succeed in life. it is how I was raised, which was to understand that I was a person (who happened to be a girl) and I could do anything I put my mind to if I wanted. I think many women of my generation feel the same sentiment – that girl or boy – a child is capable, and should be given the chance to reach their dreams. It is an interesting time in history for women, with the recent global women’s marches and activism taking place, and as big brands are increasingly choosing to advertise differently. I applaud Audi for doing just this. They did a good job at pulling at heartstrings while also sending out a message of empowerment and hope.

Meghan’s Pick: Squarespace – Who is JohnMalkovich.com?

Why do I like this commercial? Because I have had the conversation (albeit with less expletives) with clients several times. It nails the experience and is something people can relate to – which is a major goal of marketing.

I also like that it was part of a series of ads which when put together are a documentary of John Malkovich fulfilling his dream of starting a fashion line (note: this is not a fake fashion line, which I first thought it was. John Malkovich actually is a fashion designer). They are also beautifully shot commercials, which fits well with Squarespace’s brand of making beautiful products to help creative people succeed.

Heidi’s Pick: Wix.com featuring Jason Statham and Gal Gadot

Wix.com’s commercial this year is about a chef who is working away and building his restaurant’s website while a full action movie plays out around him. It has many elements of a memorable, standout commercial at the Super Bowl: it’s action-packed, it has star power, and most importantly, it actually tells people about the brand and product. GoDaddy is guilty of hitting only the first two in that list, and so for several years, spectators did not actually know what the company did.

Many people might not know what Wix.com is. In this commercial, the viewer sees the product in action and sees how much the user of the product is enjoying the experience. The chef found a groove while building his website in the beginning, and the next parts of the commercial also show how easily he has updated his website as his circumstances change. It is also well made – even with its frenzied pace and featured Hollywood stars, the product is still front and centre.

What were your favourite commercials from this year’s Super Bowl? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet us @PRTheAgency!

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