The Super Bowl Ads that Stuck With Me
Love them or hate them, Super Bowl commercials have become a talking point as big as the game itself. The unique ads cost companies a whopping $6.5 million per 30 seconds of airtime. Many people just watch the game for the ads. The advertisements make what’s really a game of an hour and a half into a three hour ordeal, so they better be lively and entertaining. Super Bowl ads are there in a genre of their own: fast, flashy, and memorable. This year, as always, there were definitely some winners and losers.
My favorite commercial this year was the Coinbase one. The commercial featured a QR code for viewers to scan, which took them to a website with a discount to join the crypto trading platform. The ad was extremely unique and well done: for the entire duration of the minute-long spot, a QR code bounced around the screen without explanation. I really liked this because at the Super Bowl party I attended, we were all left guessing what the QR code was for. Coinbase’s website actually ended up crashing due to the sheer amount of people who scanned the code.
This next commercial is not new, as it premiered last Super Bowl, but every time I see it, I get annoyed. The commercial is for organic seltzer. Seltzer is just carbonated dioxide (CO2) and water, which is ironic considering carbon dioxide and water are both inorganic compounds. So, what is organic about CO2 and H2O? Nothing at all. I know that in discussions about food, “organic” doesn’t refer to “organic compounds” like it does in chemistry, but to foods grown sustainably and free from artificial pesticides. But there is no fruit or produce in these “organic” seltzers, only fruit flavoring, and while that might be organic, they sell an unflavored version, still marketed as organic. So I find it annoying, but that’s just me.
The Uber Don’t Eats commercial was hilarious and very relevant. Uber Eats wanted to show they deliver more than just food, so they enlisted various celebrities to open deliveries containing soap, paper towels and other inedible items … and eat them. It was really funny, the ad referenced the Tide Pods controversy, when people ate Tide Pods, as well as the previous marketing campaign by Dunkin when they switched their name from Dunkin Donuts to show that they sell more than doughnuts.
One surprising Super Bowl commercial was the ad for KIA’s new electric car, as I was previously unaware that KIA even made one. They do –– the new KIA EV6, with a starting price a little over $40,000. The commercial featured an electric dachshund puppy, which I liked better than the other cameo-heavy car commercials, including BMW’s Arnold Schwarzenegger playing “Zeus,” GM’s Dr. Evil and Toyota’s Nick Jonas. Overall, there were many celebrities endorsing cars, but only one dachshund. It was by far the most creative and refreshing; we have all seen celebrity car commercials before, but the one I am going to remember from Super Bowl LVI is the one with the robotic puppy.
Great Super Bowl commercials are innovating and refreshing. They should highlight the uniqueness of the day; it is not just another Sunday football game, so it shouldn’t be just another commercial. Next year, with all the cameo appearances, organic seltzers and electric cars, I expect there to be more ads about travel locations post-COVID: exotic countries, Disney World and even outer space. Whatever we get, one thing’s for certain: the ads will continue to push boundaries in marketing, communication and pure entertainment.
Photo Caption: SoFi Stadium, home of Super Bowl LVI
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons