Super Bowl Commercials That Generated Buzz

Feb 4, 2020 | Branding

The Super Bowl is a time to determine the champion of the National Football League. It is also a night where marketers compete to showcase the best brand stories through 30-second commercials.

This year, the commercials ranged from companies creating a story series throughout the historic game to feel-good and relatable ads.

Check out what the Gavin team of experts had to say about the Super Bowl LIV commercials.

Compassionate Commercial that Pulled at Our Heartstrings

As marketers, we know the importance of creating a strategy that connects with a target audience, so Google’s emotional “Loretta” ad caught our eye immediately. The commercial created a slow build which pulled at the heartstrings of all viewers.

The Gavin team was impressed with how Google incorporated instrumental music to create the tone of the commercial while using the voice of an elderly gentlemen to capture the purpose of Google Assistant. By Monday morning, the commercial was viewed more than 11 million times on YouTube, which the Gavin team considers a win for the company.

Motivating While Relating to All

As the official laptop of the NFL, Microsoft took charge of the opportunity to highlight the first female and openly LGBTQ coach to ever coach in the Super Bowl. The “Be the One” commercial highlights the San Francisco 49ers offensive coach Katie Sowers and her journey to becoming an NFL coach.

Throughout the commercial, she talks about her obstacles of becoming an NFL coach while incorporating the use of the Microsoft Surface. Towards the end of the commercial, Sowers notes “I am not trying to become the best female coach. I’m trying to become the best coach.” While this commercial ran during the NFL postseason, it became more of a hit because Sowers is the first woman to coach in the Super Bowl.

“While this commercial was uplifting and motivating, I believe Microsoft missed an opportunity to show Sowers on the field with her Microsoft Surface,” said Rick Holberg, Gavin’s VP of Creative Strategy and Branding.

Using Brand Recognition with Comedy

Whether your team is in the Super Bowl or you are just rooting for the underdog, the game can get intense. So why not break up the tension with some comedy? Two companies that nailed their comedy were Tide with their “Super Bowl Now, #LaundryLater” and Amazon “#BeforeAlexa.”

Tide went above and beyond with their commercial this year. This commercial not only included some celebrities like Charlie Day from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and Emily Hampshire who plays Stevie on “Schitt’s Creek,” it also collaborated with Bud Light and it’s infamous Bud Knight and mocked the Pepsi halftime show. This 45-second spot aired during the first quarter of the game and continued until the fourth quarter.

“When companies partake in brand collaboration, it broadens their audience and can build the relationship. Brand collaboration is also a means for surprising and delighting fans if played correctly. If you are a Bud Light fan, their commercial piqued your interest once you saw the now recognizable Knight in the medieval setting and then surprised you with an unexpected brand partnership. That strategy can be dangerous in creating noise and clutter, but this ad delivered in an expected way that got people laughing. And an emotional reaction creates stronger recall. Add to that the frequency of their ads and both Tide and Bud Light ended up winners, ” said Mandy Arnold, President/CEO at Gavin.

In society today, technology plays a major role in our lives. You can’t walk down the road without seeing someone on their phone or listening to music without a wire hanging from their ears. Amazon “Before Alexa” hones in on this concept with celebrity couple Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi.

While Amazon released teasers prior to the Super Bowl, the commercial created a joke about what life would have possibly been like pre-Alexa with characters throughout different eras asking normal requests from the voice-activated virtual assistance.

Using Real-Time Events

At Gavin, we always try to work national holidays into content. It’s an easy way to connect with your audience. Jeep did their research and combined humor with nostalgia to catch the eyes of millions to generate the top commercial on USA Today Ad Meter.

With the Super Bowl falling on Groundhog Day, Jeep payed homage to the iconic 1993 movie starring Bill Murray.

“Combining an iconic movie, like Groundhog Day, into their ad while highlighting their product elevated Jeep into the playing field. While this commercial connected with the older demographic, I wonder if Jeep missed an opportunity with their younger target audience,” Holberg said.

Ready to create a buzz-worthy marketing strategy? Let’s get started.