5 of the Best Super Bowl LIV Ads
Super Bowl LIV was a tumultuous four quarters that left both 49ers and Chiefs fans on the edge of their sofa cushions. It was a good game, but for the folks in the advertising industry, the commercials presented an even better show. Here were some of my favorites and why, from a creative’s perspective:
The commercial is kicked off by Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi getting ready to go out and wondering what people did “before Alexa.” The whole idea of asking what people did before a technological innovation like the Amazon Echo and Dot is very familiar, with older generations poking fun at younger generations that they are too young to know the technologies of their day. The commercial transforms the question into a perfect montage of hypothetical situations of what it was like “before Alexa” throughout history. Complete with variations of the name “Alexa” to include both men and women, the different scenarios offer hilarious versions of what Alexa can do today much more easily. Not only are the scenes funny, but they serve the purpose of showing how much easier Alexa has made people’s lives, without anyone really realizing it. In a humorous and clever way, Amazon is implying that without Alexa, life would be much more difficult and primitive.
I know Google ads to be particularly heart-wrenching and inspirational. This commercial was no different. Google describes the beautiful past relationship of a widowed old man and his presumably deceased wife Loretta by offering a feature I wasn’t even aware of (“remember this”). The marriage is described through the old man’s voice talking to Google as he reminisces and chuckles. Showing the iconic Google colors and results pages ties together how a technology company can provide a sense of warmth and care through a simple service. By the end of the commercial, we are meant to feel attached to this old man, to our own relationships and to Google itself.
Four seemingly unrelated celebrities -- Chris Evans, John Krasinksi, Rachel Dratch and David Ortiz -- team up in an ad for a seemingly unrelated product feature: Hyundai’s Smart Park. Then the first three celebrities start talking and it all makes sense. They’re all from Massachusetts, and the notorious Bostonian accent is the perfect way to present the “Smaht Pahk” feature on the Hyundai cah. Their banter is unmatched, the feature they’re marveling is innovative and interesting, and Hyundai ties it all together with the words “Bettah drives us” above the car. What’s more, David Ortiz, the Dominican baseball player who played for the Boston Red Sox, says “wicked smaht” despite his own accent. The ad overall makes good use of the consonance in the name of the car’s feature (smARt pARk) and in the demonstration of the product.
This commercial was probably my favorite. Besides the fact that it is based off of an iconic movie and brought back three members of the cast (four if you count Punxatawney Phil), it was just a fitting idea for Jeep. As Groundhog Day the movie is about reliving the same day every day, Jeep took advantage of a couple of things. For one, it was Groundhog Day the day of the Super Bowl, which made the reference relevant. Second, the premise of the movie fit perfectly with the idea of “No day is the same in a Jeep Gladiator.” Obviously, the idea is that each day is exactly the same, but the fact that Bill Murray and the groundhog enjoy different adventures every day can be attributed to the Jeep Gladiator. It was a creative way to tie the holiday, humor and the product’s selling point together.
Now, the last thing I expected from a company that prepares people’s taxes was a commercial that made me feel warm. I think the ad does a good job of including all types of people; it was very diverse. Seeing all these different people do the same thing (the quirky and funny leg-shaking dance) is a great metaphor for how all people share the fact that they are human. Of course, TurboTax’s metaphor is more for the fact that all people have taxes in common. However, the commercial blended the idea of being a taxpayer with sharing a commonality despite our differences. Regardless of whether the commercial is about taxes or not, “all people are tax people” is a good message to spread for the company, if not for the world as a metaphor for equality.