The Super Bowl commercial process is so crucial, that advertisements for advertisements have started becoming prominent in the weeks prior.
By Sean David Hartman
Why does one really watch the Super Bowl? Is it to see two teams give each other concussion after concussion? To watch players kneeling? The Pepsi Halftime Show?
The answer is none of the above. You watch the Super Bowl for the ads.
Advertisements for the Super Bowl are some of the most expensive marketing gimmick companies offer. Ignoring the millions of dollars spent for a TV spot, companies spend even more on marketing teams to create for you the most memorable commercials you will be talking about tomorrow.
The Super Bowl commercial process is so crucial, that advertisements for advertisements have started becoming prominent in the weeks prior. Skittles had a commercial out stating that their Super Bowl trailer would only be viewed by one person, even going so far as creating a fake Instagram profile for that individual. And the Australian tourism board tried to entice us with a fake Crocodile Dundee sequel, featuring some of the most prominent actors from down under.
So, who made the cut to Super Bowl legend, and who floundered? Let’s examine.
Dilly Dilly: Budweiser’s “Dilly Dilly” marketing ploy was nothing more that an accident. It started as an inside joke that the company felt would never gain traction. But “dilly dilly” garnished itself meme status, and Budweiser banked on it well, tapping on an underdog group of soldiers defeating a grand army for the Bud Lite they have. Budweiser tends to always have a winner, and they did not disappoint.
Dinklage v. Freeman: Doritos always has a winner with their Super Bowl ads, and once again, this is no exception, partnering with their longtime allies at Pepsi, pitting Peter Dinklage spitting fire against Morgan Freeman breathing ice. Dinklage and Freeman didn’t just spit fire and ice, they spit mad rhymes too.
The Tide Meta-Ads: Perhaps the best ad of the Super Bowl, Tide decides to stick it to every Super Bowl ad by placing their ads within their ads, creating a massive meta-ad. But they went even further, bringing back old ad staples like the original Old Spice man, placing them in Tide ads. It was trippy, it was funny, it was brilliantly meta. This is the winner of the Ad Awards.
The Sprint Robots: Last year we had puppy-monkey-baby. This year, we have the Sprint robots. The commercial depicts a genius AI developer whose robotic creations decide to make fun of him because he is still on Verizon. I’m sorry, this individual is building these robots. How about, instead of buying a Sprint phone due to robotic peer pressure, maybe reprogram your creations to be nice?
Do You Want To Eat Me? M&M’s took an interesting route with their advertisement, turning their red M&M into Danny DeVito, who wants to avoid being eaten. The idea may have seemed good at the time, but watching DeVito running around the city asking people if “they want to eat him?” was not only weird, but creepy. Maybe not the best choice of marketing in today’s MeToo climate.
Diet Coke Twisted Mango: If you ever wanted to watch a blonde awkwardly dancing with a can of diet coke, this is your ad. But I have no idea as to why you would want to watch someone awkwardly dancing because they have a diet coke.
The Michelob Pre-Ad Ad: Where Budweiser succeeds, Michelob fails. The advertisement, which has some similarities to the Tide meta-ad, depicts Chris Pratt training to be in a Michelob ad, jogging, lifting weights, and overall acting overly excited for a simple advertisement. Even worse, Pratt is not even the star. He is one of the extras. Just disappointing.
The Voice: It is no secret that The Voice is one of NBC’s few hits, serving as this generation’s American Idol. Part of this is due to the sarcastic wit of it’s judges and host, something NBC likes to tap into in their ads. But this went from sarcastic humor to the downright eccentric, as the four judges played little house on the prairie, and worse, deciding to throw in the weirdest oddities, from Kelly Clarkson in a long dress to Carson Daley holding a baby goat. NBC tried for humor, and received confusion.
THE MOVIE TRAILERS
Solo: A Star Wars Story: Your name? Finally, we get a first look at the beginning of that scruffy nerf-herder Han Solo. I don’t know about you, but I certainly nerded out, particularly seeing the great Donald Glover as a suave Lando Calrissian.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom: We finally get a little bit more information about the new Jurassic Park film. The previous trailer, as well as the synopsis, detail Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard’s attempt to save the dinosaurs from the now dying Isla Nublar. But now we see the malicious goal of our antagonists, seemingly played by Toby Jones (Dobby the House-Elf). Jones seems to be continuing the military mission of his predecessors, including what looks like another Imperator Rex, now wreaking havoc in a kid’s bedroom
Mission: Impossible—Fallout: With what we can only hope is the final film, we saw Tom Cruise becoming Ethan Hunt once again, accepting another mission, once again, and being a discount James Bond, once again.
The Cloverfield Paradox: The movie Cloverfield is honestly one of my favorite films of all time. And with the disappointment of 10 Cloverfield Lane, us Cloverfans have been awaiting the third entry into the CloverVerse, hopefully getting some form of explanation for the alien monster that destroyed New York. What is made even better is that The Cloverfield Paradox debuted right after the Super Bowl. Oh, J.J., you’ve done it again.
Westworld: It’s time to build a new world. After the season finale cliffhanger, Westworld fans are anticipating the next phase of the Western robot slaves, as it seems a new revolution is bound.
Sean David Hartman is a freelance reporter for the Central Florida Post, with a wide portfolio ranging from entertainment to politics. He is a centrist political operative and blogger and a student at UCF. Hartman is autistic and bipolar, and supports the neurodiversity movement.