The Agency’s Picks: Super Bowl 50 Ads

Super Bowl 50Super Bowl 50 was this past weekend and with it came some memorable trailers, commercials, and PSAs. Here are our favourites, and why:

Meghan | Senior Account Manager | @TheAgencyMeghan

I’m not going to lie, I actually didn’t like a lot of the commercials this year. For advertising’s biggest showing of the year, except for few notable exceptions from car companies (shout out to Mini’s no-labels campaign and Kevin Hart’s Hyundai spot), the ads shown felt pretty ordinary. One did stand out for me though as it played up the themes of nostalgia, SPACE!, David Bowie, and family.

Audi’s R8 Big Game Commercial – ‘Commander’ – does a great job of actually promoting the product, being on brand, and putting together a great story. As companies keep trying to rebrand their expensive commercials as short films (ex. Natalie Portman’s Miss Dior Commercial), connecting to a storyline that people can relate to is becoming increasingly more important for advertisers.

p.s. How did they cast two different actors with the exact same half smile for that closing shot?

Heidi | Content & Editorial Manager | @TheAgencyHeidi

While I admit that I did enjoy the Amazon commercial (Alec Baldwin, Missy Elliott, & Jason Schwartzman? Yes please) and almost chose it as my pick this year solely for its comedic value, the ads that caught my eye this year were ones that got people talking on social media.

My favourite ad this year was the MINI Cooper ‘Defy Labels’ commercial. It caught my eye right away when I first saw it, and I was hooked till the end. I wanted to know what they were talking about. MINI was obviously selling a car, but the cast that they chose had obviously defied labels on their own right, from Serena Williams, to Abby Wambach, to T-Pain, and Harvey Keitel. The MINI USA YouTube channel features a video series on these individuals on how they’ve defied labels (but still talked about the car at the end, of course). People kept chatting about the commercial’s strong message on social media, and even other brands like Axe and Coca-Cola chiming in.

My close runner-up didn’t technically air during the game, but still got people talking. Coming off of last year’s negatively-received ad, Nationwide chose not to air a commercial this year. However, their spokesperson, Peyton Manning, was playing, and ultimately became the winning quarterback. The simple 5-second video that they tweeted after the game above used the melody from Nationwide’s catchy and identifiable jingle, and Twitter users immediately chimed in with their own versions of what they think Peyton Manning could also sing. Effortless marketing. (Thanks to PR Daily for sharing this tweet.)

Kelsey | Account Executive | @TheAgencyKelsey

My pick for top Super Bowl 50 commercial has to go to Pantene and their ‘Dad-Do’ commercial series featuring several NFL players styling their daughters’ hair.

Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams, Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, and Benjamin Watson of the New Orleans Saints each take a stab at classic hairstyles, from pig tails to ballerina buns. Not only is it absolutely adorable to see these male athletes chatting with their daughters, trying to manage ponytails and barrettes in place of a football, but Pantene does an incredible job of portraying the importance of the relationship between and father and daughter.

Coinciding with Pantene’s slogan, ‘Strong is Beautiful,’ the commercial emphasizes how the positive presence of a father in a daughter’s life has a lasting impact on how young girls grow up feeling about themselves. The commercial encourages fathers to play an active role in the lives of their daughters, even by doing something as simple as styling their hair. A few quality moments shared together can make a big difference!

The commercial is a sweet way of honoring the relationship between father and daughter, as well as the men out there who play an active role in their daughters’ lives. Backed by stereotypically strong, masculine figures like NFL athletes, Pantene did a great job of starting a conversation around raising confident youth.

Arleigh | Principal | @ArleighGV

This year my favourite ads were both funny… they simply sold products and didn’t have any kind of viral component or social media tie-in. The one I liked the most, and maybe it’s because I’m biased as a mother of daughters and can see my husband doing something similar in the future, was the Hyundai – First Date simply for its funny subject matter. My second favourite one was the Avocados From Mexico – #AvosInSpace, again for its tongue in cheek humor about our “primitive” society. Both commercials were simple, funny, and did a good job of selling their product.

What Super Bowl commercials struck a chord with you? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter at @PRTheAgency. Haven’t seen all the ads yet? Watch them here!