2015 Super Bowl Ads: This Year’s Winners
They made you laugh, they made you cry, and well… sometimes they made you feel really uncomfortable. This year’s Super Bowl was full of high expectations both on the field and during the commercial breaks, but not all brands made the cut in 2015. We sat down with our team to get their take on who got it right.
Fiat “The Blue Pill”
Azam Mughal, Assistant Account Executive
Everyone of car buying age is familiar with what that Blue Pill is (and what it does). Setting the advert in an Italian villa is a great way to tie in their brand heritage, since part of their appeal is their exotic foreign origin. The spot is playful and funny as the pill slides down the rooftops, bounces along the streets, skips across a fountain, and eventually drops into a small Fiat’s gas tank. As the car enlarges, it becomes evident that they are introducing a new, larger vehicle to their lineup. Then, as the nearby Italian ladies express their interest in the new, larger car, the owner (male) smiles. Clearly this new car and ad are intended to appeal to a male demographic, since American men are typically hesitant to buy smaller, “cuter” cars like the traditional Fiat. The tagline “Bigger and Ready for Action” is superb and provides the final connection between the new 500x and the blue pill; bringing the entire concept full circle.
Budweiser “Lost Dog”
Ashley Reed, Social Media Director
A sequel to last year’s popular “Puppy Love” ad, Budweiser won me over again this year with their “Lost Dog” spot. I mean, really, who can resist that puppy? Even after watching it a couple of times, I still get choked up when he’s reunited with his owner at the end. And the icing on the cake is the song choice - 500 Miles - performed by Sleeping At Last. Not only did the ad win #1 on USA Today’s Admeter, #BestBuds also got serious love on Twitter.
Doritos "Middle Seat"
Jamie Russo, Business Development Assistant
Doritos has a reputation for delivering comic relief during the Super Bowl and they did it again. This 30 second spot poked fun at a situation that everyone is familiar with. Keeping it short and to the point, Doritos was still successful in leaving a lasting impression of the brand.
Wright Hilsman, Media Analyst
While not entirely reminiscent of David Ogilvy’s ‘Puerto Rico’ campaign highlighting the hidden treasures present in the small island nation, Ecuador’s ad during the Super Bowl highlighted the incredible cultural and bio-diversity present in the equatorial nation. Call me a sucker for warm skies and sunny beaches, but in times of dead winter if you show me plush forests with The Beatles backing the images I’m sure to pay attention. In a night full of brash, attention grabbing commercials it was refreshing to see a toned down ad highlighting the incredible bio-diversity present in the small nation of Ecuador. What I am most interested in, however, is whether or not the investment ($4.5 million) paid out by the Sovereign Nation of Ecuador will actually show returns over the course of the year for the tourism industry. Big risks sometimes yield big rewards, but only time will tell for Ecuador.
Esurance "Say My Name"
Daniel Pak, SEO Specialist
Walter White is back! Seeing Bryan Cranston reprise his role as the chemistry teacher turned drug kingpin in this year’s Esurance Super Bowl 49 commercial was great. As a big fan of the show, it made my inner nerd scream with joy remembering all the crazy moments from the Emmy award winning drama Breaking Bad. Oh how I wish the show never ended. The commercial was funny and featured several references to one of my favorite shows. I wouldn’t want Walter White or “Sorta Greg” as my pharmacist but no one says no to Heisenberg. Say my name.
Always "Like A Girl"
Nurain Alicharan, Social Media Strategist
This ad displays the negative context associated with running, fighting and hitting “like a girl” and tries to reverse it, focusing on building young girls’ self-esteem. The spot was inspiring and thought-provoking without being overly emotional.
Loctite Glue "Positive Feelings"
Katherine Jianas, Associate Media Director
I thought this dance mix ad filled with fanny packs and ways to #winatglue was hilarious! The creative geniuses behind this one really found a way to make superglue memorable and funny.
Brands That Won on Social
Some of the best ads didn't even air this year. Here are our top social picks.
Volvo "The Greatest Interception Ever"
Brooke McDaniel, Account Executive
“On February 1st, during the big game, you’re going to see a lot of car commercials – but you won’t see Volvo.”
Volvo’s ask was simple – anytime you see another car company’s commercial during the Super Bowl, intercept it by tweeting #VolvoContest with who you would give a Volvo to. There’s no sales pitch, just a chance to get something for essentially nothing – a car for a Tweet. I first heard of the campaign on the Thursday before the game, in the form of a Sponsored Listening Pandora ad – the “interact with this ad and we won’t make you listen to ads for the next 4 hours” type that I appreciate so much when I’m working. What I found great about the ad, besides that Volvo presumably saved a few million dollars by using this approach, was that I wasn’t immediately switching my attention to another ad after it. I had time to think about what I just heard, and I didn’t have to remember the ad among so many others for an entire football game. I don’t love my odds in this contest, but I am impressed with the nearly 1 million impressions Volvo got during the Super Bowl, without even running a Super Bowl ad.
Doritos & McDonald's
Jana Ferguson, EVP, Director of Client Services
I have to say that my favorite thing about Super Bowl 49 was Twitter. Watching tweet reactions to commercials was more entertaining than the actual commercials! People from around the world thoroughly amused me with their social blow horns and hysterical reactions.
The evolution of social piggybacking on other ads was the best new thing to watch. Hats off to big brands like Doritos and McDonald's who played off the commentary of other brands.
One of the funniest Super Bowl commercials didn’t even air on TV. Well played Doritos - I hope you make the audition next time!
What were your favorite spots this year? Who do you think missed the boat? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!