Updated: Mar 29, 2018
Image from NFL.com
Sunday's Super Bowl LII championship took an unexpected turn with the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New England Patriots by 41 - 33. There were many fumbles, some controversies and exhilarating touchdowns.
The 2018 Super Bowl is also the stage where companies and ad agencies battled to get your attention with the best commercials. With an average cost of $5 million for a 30 second commercial, advertisers could not afford to fumble. Advertisers spent a total of $534 million on a single night of commercials in a bid to reach over 111 million people worldwide.
Why Are Super Bowl Commercials Expensive?
The simple answer is that there are limited commercial slots in the 2 hour Super Bowl game. And there is a lot of demand from companies hoping to reach the 111 million consumers. And the fact that the viewership has remained relatively stable has helped media companies keep commercial prices high.
The Line Up
The 2018 Super Bowl commercials focus less on politics and more on humor, inspirational and humanitarian messages. There were less commercials objectifying women, instead the theme for some marketing messages have been empowering and uplifting.
If we split the commercials by industries, we can gain more insights into Super Bowl commercials. Here's the breakdown, Media (23%), Automobile (15%), Food and Beverage (15%), Tech (9%), Beer (8%), Household (6%) and Finance (6%). The media industry remains as the top advertiser for the Super Bowl with companies like NBC, Lucasfilm, Netflix and HBO promoting their movies and TV series. The tech companies (Wix, Intuit, Squarespace) seem more aggressive in spending their advertising dollar compared to traditional industries such as Finance and Telcos.
The Best Commercials
1. Amazon: Alexa Loses Her Voice
In the beautifully crafted commercial, Amazon's Alexa lost her voice and the company had to find substitutes. These replacements included Gordon Ramsay, Rebel Wilson, Cardi B, Sir Anthony Hopkins and they helped answer users queries in a hilarious and entertaining way. One scene shows a user asking, "Alexa show me how to make a grilled cheese sandwich." Then Gordon Ramsay replies with, "You are 30 years of age and you don't know how to make a grilled cheese sandwich. You are pathetic! Its name is the recipe. You ****!"
2. Tide: It's A Tide Ad!
Every commercial is a Tide commercial! The detergent brand scored a touchdown with this commercial. The one minute commercial was funny, engaging and witty. It starts by asking questions such as " Typical Super Bowl car ad?", "Hilarious beer ad?" and then reveals that all these ads are actually Tide ads because the people in the ads are wearing spotless clothes. It kept audiences guessing which ads are Tide ads. Great for their brand recall!
3. NFL: Dirty Dancing "Touchdown Celebrations To Come"
The Dirty Dancing parody featured Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. in a well choreographed dance showing NFL players celebrating after a touchdown. The commercial was fun and gave fans something to smile and laugh at during the game.
4. FritoLay & Pepsi: Doritos Blaze vs Mountain Dew
The collaboration between FritoLay & Pepsi was a big success. The companies were promoting new products, Doritos Blaze and Mountain Dew Ice by showing the contrast with a catchy song and dance between Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman (two very different actors). The commercial ends with Dinklage and Freeman coming together like a match made in Heaven (or Hell).
5. Toyota: Good Odds
This feel good ad is a story of how Paralympics skier Lauren Woolstencroft overcame her disabilities to win 8 gold medals. The heart warming story starts by showing the odds of Lauren winning a gold medal at 1 in 997,500,000 and with determination and perseverance she narrowed her odds to even. Lauren's story will surely tug on the heart strings of views worldwide.
5. Hyundai: Hope Detector
Hyundai chose to feature its non-profit organization, Hyundai Hope On Wheels in its Super Bowl commercial. In the emotional commercial, Hyundai onwers coming for the Super Bowl Experience were stopped at security checkpoints and asked to enter a secondary screening area. In the room, Hyundai owners watched heart warming videos of how their donations helped pediatric cancer patients and their families. In an emotional surprise, real life cancer survivors and family came into the room to personally thank Hyundai owners. The emotional union ends in tears and hugs from both families.
The Worst Commercials
1. Ram: Dr. Martin Luther King
Ram used Dr. Martin Luther King's speech in service to promote their Dodge trucks. Was it insensitive to use King's words such as "If you want to be important, wonderful.", "but recgonize that he who is greatest among you shall be a servant" to sell its line of Dodge trucks? The ad ends with the tagline, "Built to serve. Ram." The King Center and Bernice King released a statement that they do not approve the use of Dr. Martin Luther King's words or imagery for the purpose of the Dodge advertisement (from ABC News).
2. Coca-Cola: Diet Coke Twisted Mango
Funny dance? Or just weird? The advertisement featured Australian TV star, Hayley Magnus dancing in front of a giant yellow wall to promote Diet Coke Mango. Was the advertisement as baffling as the product itself? Coca-Cola spent two years to research and develop their new line of "healthy" fruit flavored sodas to target a new generation of consumers. Only time will tell if this product will become a success.
3. Kraft: Family Greatly
Kraft tried to engage its consumers by asking for photo and video submissions on Twitter and Instagram during the game. The 30 second ad features photos and videos of real people, real families with the tagline, "We'll be there for you tonight and every night that follows." Although the idea was creative, the execution was lackluster. The ad looked like an amateur photo slideshow.
4. Avocados from Mexico: Bubble Dome Riot
What's with Avocados? The commercial is about a colony of people living the perfect life in a bio-dome. The inhabitants start rioting when they realize that they have avocados but not chips. And ends with the message that you can enjoy avocados in many different ways. Although the organization has a reputation for producing weird ads, this commercial tries too hard to be funny.
5. Yellow Tail Wines: Big Game Surprise
What's with the kangaroo? In the commercial a man comes home from work to a surprise party with people sipping on Yellow Tail wines and... a kangaroo. Although the company wanted to highlight its Australian origins, its taking it too literally.
6. Squarespace: Make It Happen
What? If you had this reaction after watching the 30 second commercial of Keanu Reeves surfing on a motorcycle, you are not alone. The advertisement had absolutely no relevance to the web services that the company offers. Perhaps, Keanu Reeves was too expensive to hire for a longer commercial?
7. Wix: Rhett & Link
This last minute Super Bowl ad featured two YouTube stars, Rhett and Link. The 30 second commercial was a basic tutorial on how to use the Wix platform to design a blog. With each advertisement slot costing $5 million, you would think that companies would spend more effort and money on producing the actual commercials.
And with that we wrap up the 2018 Super Bowl Commercials, The Best, The Worst and The Weird. What will the 2019 Super Bowl bring? Hopefully, more laughter, tears and unexpected twists.
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The Complete List of 2018 Super Bowl Commercials
We have made the effort to summarize all the 2018 Super Bowl Commercials for you to view and analyze. Do let us know what you think.
Automobile & Parts
1. Jeep - Jurassic (Jeep Wrangler)
2. Jeep - The Road (Jeep Cherokee)
3. Toyota - One Team
4. Toyota - Good Odds
5. Ram - We Will Rock You
6. Ram - Dr. Martin Luther King
7. Kia - Feel Something Again
8. Lexus - Black Panther
9. Hyundai - Hope Detector
10. Weather Tech - American Factory
Food & Beverage
11. FritoLay & Pepsi - Doritos Blaze vs Mountain Dew Ice
12. Pepsi - Pepsi Generation
13. Coca-Cola - The Wonder of Us
14. Coca-Cola - Diet Coke Twisted Mango
15. Pringles - WOW
16. Kraft - Family Greatly
17. M&Ms - Human
18. Avocados from Mexico - Bubble Dome Riot
19. Yellow Tail Wines - Big Game Surprise
20. Bud Light - The Bud Knight
21. Budweiser - Stand by You
22. Michelob Ultra - The Perfect Fit
23. Michelob Ultra - I Like Beer
24. Stella Artois - Taps
25. Wendy's - Iceberg
26. Jack In The Box - Jack vs Martha
27. Tide - It's A Tide Ad
28. Persil - Game-Time Stain-Time
29. Febreze - The Only Man Whose Bleep Don't Stink
30. BMO Harris Bank - Dream Home
31. Geico Insurance - Washington Crosses the Delaware Turnpike
32. Rocket Mortgage - Rocket Mortgage
33. E*Trade - This Is Getting Really Old
34. Wix - Rhett & Link
35. Groupon - Who Wouldn't "Support Local Business"
36. Amazon - Alexa Loses Her Voice
37. Squarespace - Make It Happen
38. Intuit - A Giant Story
39. TurboTax - The Thing Under The Bed
40. T-Mobile - Little Ones
41. Verizon - Answering The Call
42. Sprint - Do The Math And Switch To Sprint
43. NBC - This Is Us
44. NBC - The Voice
48. Universal Pictures - Skyscraper
49. Universal Pictures - Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
50. Lucasfilm - Solo: A Star Wars Story
51. Netflix - The Cloverfield Paradox
52. HBO - Westworld Season 2
53. USA Network - Unsolved
54. Paramount Pictures - Mission Impossible Fallout
55. Amazon - Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan
56. Marvel Studios - Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War
57. Hulu - Castle Rock
58. Tourism Australia - Crocodile Dundee
59. Universal Studios - Peyton Manning: Vacation Quarterback
60. Turkish Airlines - 5 Senses With Dr. Oz
61. PETA - Redemption: Go Vegan
62. BLACTURE - Be Celebrated
63. Mucinex - Mucinex Is The Fix For America's Sick Days
64. Monster - You Deserve Better
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