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Super Bowl:
Simple take-outs

Blah million people watched the Super Bowl. And it cost blah million for a 30-second TV spot. And yes the ads weren’t as blah as they were last year. But you can blame blah for that. The song remains the same. So AML Creative Director, Richard Germain, gives you the five, simple take-outs you need to know from the Super Bowl 52 ads.

1. Self-referential works. But have more fun with it.

People seem to like the Pepsi spot

It’s well done and ably assisted by Justin Trousersnake’s Pepsi-flavoured half-time show. But I much prefer the spots by Tide detergent

Tide was the real winner of the Super Bowl. Break the fourth wall and cause some collateral damage among the other ads.

An honourable mention goes to Skittles, who didn’t have a TV ad at all. Self-consciously belt-tightening, they ran a social campaign where they hinted at a TV ad which they only showed to one Twitter user.

2. Split the cost. Double the joy.

Pepsi definitely got it right with their Mountain Dew brand and its rap standoff with Doritos. We’ve seen rival companies call out each other before (eg Burger Kins v Mcdonald’s). But here were two different – but complementary – brands joining forces for an entertaining spot that also spilled over onto social.

3. If you’re going to run more than one ad, make sure they come from the same brief

Like Tide, Ram off-roaders, Toyota and Jeep splashed the cash with multiple spots. Unlike Tide, the car manufacturers didn’t seem to have one simple, compelling message. Toyota ran a poignant ad about a Paralympian achieving greatness.

They then confused things by having people of different faiths sharing a comic car journey. Nice to watch but what do you stand for?

Ram had fun with Vikings then channelled Martin Luther King in their next ad. Go figure.

Jeep hitched a ride with Jeff Goldblum and Jurassic World then produced a simple, impressive spot about the 4×4’s go-anywhere driveability. It was all they needed.

4. Americans’ ability to turn nouns into verbs never ceases to impress (Trump would be proud).

Kraft gave us ‘You showed us how you family’. C’mon!

5. Financial brands can hold their own

They were not massively talked about. But they were of special interest to AML and the financial businesses with whom we work. Both E*Trade and Rocket Mortgage produced well-executed and single-minded spots. Okay, we got there first with the ‘Do you really want to work when you’re in your eighties’ message with our award-winning work for Partnership annuities (now Just). But I do like the E*Trade treatment

And I’ve no idea who Keegan-Michael Key and Big Sean are. But the Rocket Mortgage ad delivers the making the complicated simple message in a concise and relatable way

Until Super Bowl 53.

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