Super Bowl: Did the Commercials Beat the Game?


Did you see that catch (or non-catch, apparently) by the Panthers’ Jericho Cotchery or Cam Netwon’s fumble, which resulted in a touchdown for the Broncos? Or how about after the game, when Broncos defensive back Aqib Talib was a bit too excited to join the NFL Network booth? Well… if you are anything like me, then you didn’t. Also, if you’re anything like me, the only reason you watched the game was for the commercials…and the half time show.

As the most-watched live TV event, it’s no surprise that brands shell out millions of dollars to get less than a minute of airtime. This year was no different as the price of a 30-second spot was at a record high – $5 million.

So how did brands fare this year and what was different from last year? Here are some of my key takeaways from this year’s most anticipated commercials:

Comedic Relief

Everyone remembers last year’s controversial ‘Dead Kid’ commercial, which was a PSA on preventable accidents and childhood deaths. Nationwide got a beating on social media as many found the ad to be insensitive, especially for those who’ve lost a child.

This year, Budweiser took a much different approach with their anti-drunk driving PSA – humor instead of shock. In the commercial, Actress Helen Mirren delivers a very British, hilarious monologue on why drunk drivers are “utterly useless.” When a British lady tells you don’t drink and drive, you listen – especially when she says, “If your brain was donated to science, science would return it."

For Business Users Too

From beer to car ads, the big game’s commercials have traditionally been aimed at the consumer. Not anymore! This year Adobe Marketing Cloud got in the mix with its humorous “The Gambler” commercial, proving that technology has crossed over into the American mainstream – even outside Silicon Valley.

Even Wearables Made the Cut

Wearables are everywhere and this year’s big game was no different. In Hyundai’s commercial, comedian Kevin Hart plays a dad who uses his Hyundai’s Car Finder Apple Watch app to keep a watchful eye on his daughter on her first date.

 In case you missed this year’s commercials, don’t worry you can still watch all of them when they rerun a million times across all the TV networks. You can also just watch them here.

*Special thanks to Chris Navalta and Neil Torres for providing their game time insight or I wouldn’t have been able to write the introduction to this post!!

Natalie Pridham