The Super Bowl is one of the most anticipated sporting events annually for football fans, but it also serves as a terrific measuring stick for advertising and marketing through the commercials. If you’re like most people, you probably caught Super Bowl XLIX, and just as this broadcast shattered viewership records, its commercials also caught attention and started conversations. Here are four things that the 2015 Super Bowl’s commercials provided to advertising trends:
Wisdom and Inspiration
One of the most successful commercials aired during the 2015 Super Bowl included senior citizens offering generic life advice, followed by the addition of the latest Dodge Charger roaring its engine and a total switch up. During the beginning of the commercial, the participants, many of whom were at least 100 years old, presented viewers with basic life lessons, such as, “live for now.” However, once the Charger showed up, the advice became a bit more raucous, including words of wisdom such as, “Put the pedal to the metal,” and, “Don’t bitch.” This shows that leading brands are comfortable with not only showcasing commonsense inspiration, but they are also interested in presenting uncommon inspiration.
Loctite Glue, a maker of a “super-glue” style product, was an interesting contender in the Super Bowl commercial world in 2015. The brand is not well-known outside of people who really need to glue things together, but even then, the company took an unconventional approach by creating a parody of the 2015 hit, “Turn Down for What?!”, by recording artist Lil Jon. While the commercial focused more on campy silliness instead of the benefits of Loctite Glue, the effect was one that inspired mirth more than ire.
It’s always good to be able to laugh at yourself, especially if it’s deserved. Back in 1994, the Internet and email were burgeoning technologies, and apparently, the hosts of the Today Show, Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel were perplexed by these ideas, asking, “What is the Internet?”, before going on to question email. In BMW’s 2015 Super Bowl ad, the original clip of said confusion is referenced, fast-forwarding to today in a scenario in which Couric and Gumbel are found in a modern BMW, questioning “today’s” technology. The ability of the two news anchors to laugh at their misgivings about the Internet makes for a funny moment and shines as an example of using self-deprecating humor to sell.
Don’t Be a Downer
Lastly, even the best ideas on paper fall flat in practice. Nationwide Insurance aired an ad during the 2015 Super Bowl which consisted of a young boy initially talking about all of the things in life he could never do … because he died in an accident. The approach here was to “start a conversation”, according to Nationwide, but the backlash was that the spot completely sucked the wind out of everyone’s sails during a very happy sporting event. Word to the wise: dead kids don’t sell products, even if you’re in the business of insuring people. Use caution when approaching sensitive subjects. The “lead pipe” approach may seem smart in the planning room, but the American consumer has the final say.