TBWA\NZ Chief Creative Officer Shane Bradnick talks us through the TV ad hits and misses at this year’s Super Bowl.
The 2021 Los Angeles Rams went all in – they traded future first round draft picks for quarterback Matt Stafford, spent a fortune on big name free agents, even built a new 8-billion-dollar stadium. So, when defensive end, Aaron Donald, stepped up in the crucial moment and made the play that sealed the victory, it was all worth it. They had won the Super Bowl.
With the average 30 second spot costing upwards of $5.5 million, high end production values and even higher end celebrities – a lot of brands also go ‘all in’ to win the Super Bowl.
This year’s ads were a lot more upbeat, funnier, and full of either electric cars or crypto, and with hardly a mention of the pandemic it felt like we all had won. But a handful stood out more than the others.
Here are my top 3 picks for the brands that stepped up and made a play at becoming this year’s Super Bowl advertising champions. And one that maybe gave it their all, but lost.
Amazon Alexa – Mind Reader
I’m sure most of us already think our phones and internet devices are listening to us, but it would be a super scary world if it got to the point where they were actually reading our minds. Real-life husband and wife Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost, imagine what might happen if Alexa knows a bit too much about us. I’m not totally unconvinced this isn’t Amazon just warming us up to the next step in their plan for world domination.
Uber Don’t Eats
A brand making fun of itself, and it’s point, at scale. Daily Show host Trevor Noah, Succession‘s Nicholas Braun and White Lotus‘ Jennifer Coolidge get their Uber Eats and Uber Don’t Eats mixed up. But goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow, who eats her… candle, is the MVP here. Special.
Welcome to Irish Spring
I worry that I smell and no one wants to tell me. So I would welcome an Irish paradise willing to let me know the jig is up. This is just really silly and made me laugh. We need more silly things that make us laugh in advertising.
Meta – Old Friends. New Fun
The worst of the lot in my opinion. Just really boring and sad. So I guess the meta point they’re making is, if you feel irrelevant and the real world sucks, live in our fantasy world? No thank you.
Read more: Ads of the week: Super Bowl 2021 edition