Highlights from Advertising’s Biggest Night – The Super Bowl

Jonathan Liew headshot bw copy

Fetch Strategy Director, Jonathan Liew, Weighs In on His Top Super Bowl Ads.

Now that the dust has settled from the marketing palooza that is the “big game” and the NFL coming out victorious in USA TODAY’s Ad Meter, here are some other noteworthy observations.

A great moment happened prior to the game. In the age of trolls, from the highest levels of government to the most benign cat videos, Pepsi’s OOH campaign in Atlanta trolling Coca-Cola on home turf was cheeky fun. Imagine layering on a geo-targeted mobile layer with a coupon to drive sales. “Hey Atlanta, it really is ok to try Pepsi.”

As expected, a prevalent theme for the night centered around equality and empowerment. The trick is doing it in an authentic manner that is true to the brand. This is where Microsoft excelled with its spot for the Xbox Adaptive Controller. Adorable kids aside, the takeaway that “when everybody plays, we all win” was the perfect resolve when set against the backdrop of the game.

Bubly’s foray into the big game won for most mentions of a brand name in 30 seconds. Think of it as Bubly’s Geico Gecko – the challenger brand utilized Super Bowl tropes of humor and celebrity but now has a mnemonic (Bubly not Bublé) to aid brand recall in a competitive sparkling water category. Plus it elicited quite a few genuine chuckles from a lively bar.

But perhaps the hardest-working spot came from Google. Harmonious union of brand and performance. Their spot for veteran job searches demonstrated deep consumer insight, leveraged emotional storytelling to build brand awareness and affinity, and had a clear call to action that you can retarget down the line. That’s pretty hardworking even for a $10M 60-seconds.

And yes that was Andy Warhol eating a Whopper and we can’t wait to launch our upcoming work for the Andy Warhol exhibition at SFMOMA. Stay tuned for that!