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Super Bowl 50: Ad Aftermath

By Traci Hendrix in Direct Marketing on February 22nd, 2016

Super Bowl 50

We like ads. We like the well executed ads, the emotional ads, the funny ads, and, of course, we like the ads that leave you with a quizzical wince. Super Bowl 50 provided a healthy mix of advertisements, and we wanted to take some time to let them breathe before evaluating their potency. Adweek recently asked innocent Super Bowl 50 viewers if they remembered the brands attached to America’s favorite spots a week after their airing. The results weren’t great, but we’re here to provide our advertising expertise on the ads you may have forgotten.

Hey, look who it is!

This year was home to a hefty handful of celebrity spots. Some were even powerful enough to activate household objects with their voices. But what we love about celebrity endorsements is the pure self-trolling gold that we all get to treasure, and, this year, T-Mobile was all about laughing with them.

Drake poked some fun at his "Hotline Bling" by letting T-Mobile shove some endorsement sentences in his lyrics. He didn't hate it; we didn't hate it.

Steve Harvey got in on the money-making-action by self-shaming in a desperate plea for people to just laugh about his Miss Universe blunder already. T-Mobile cleverly killed two birds with one stone in this punny "Drop the Balls" placement.

That was weird.

Some commercials were so weird that you can't help but remember them. The unfortunate fellow who has a particularly pitiful non-pooping situation, for instance, made “poop envy" a real thing, and everyone realized they are kind of glad they aren't on pain medication and in need of another relieving pill.

If you haven't talked (or had strange dreams) about #puppymonkeybaby then Mountain Dew did not capture you with their odd concoction of disturbing repetition, lovably-addicting drinks and catchy beat. It's a win just for leaving you incapable of unseeing it.

You also can't unsee the underside of Williem Dafoe in a Marilyn Monroe dress from Snickers or Christopher Walken with a colorful sock on his hand (who may be hiding in your "Walken Closet" with a KIA). We don't know whether or not you should be scared for your life for owning an LG glass TV, but we do know you should be terrified of all the razors in your house that may be growing things and developing rude personalities.

But, seriously.

Then there were the ads with serious substance. Helen Mirren served up some real talk about drunk driving while delightfully endorsing Peyton Manning's beer, I mean Budweiser. Advil made us feel like we could be any type of talented badass we wanted as long as we take Advil for the pain it causes. Everyday actions like texting and brushing your teeth schooled viewers by revealing the harsh truths of domestic violence and fresh water scarcity. And we all learned the living proof that Super Bowl babies exist and that they are fully supported by Seal.

If it’s fluffy, it wins.

Obviously any animal (beside the fusion of #puppymonkeybaby) was notably loved, except for the dude who tried to kiss a marmot. Honda's singing sheep stole hearts with Queen lyrics, wiener dogs in wiener costumes who found their condiment counterparts made us all melt, dogs going incognito as a human to get Doritos made us chuckle and even Anthony Hopkin's pet, TurboTax.com, was an adorable star.

Well that was cool.

We also wanted to give a social media marketing gold star to Esurance and their dedicated Twitter #EsuranceSweepstakes. The hashtag was the most used ad-based hashtag on Twitter during the game. Real-time awards of more than $1.05 million, Marvel Comics character Deadpool and pre-game and post-game TV spots all contributed to their social win.  Forbes covered their big Super Bowl 50 victory here.

Among the many Super Bowl ads airing during the game, one elite ad came after the game ended and disguised itself as a quarterback for the winning team. Peyton Manning and his post-game plan for kissing his family and drinking plenty of Budweiser broke new advertising ground and didn’t even mean to. Manning just won Super Bowl 50 with 9 seasons of over 350 completions and with every football-loving fan eye on him, so what does he do? The world thought he simply took the opportunity to snag some more endorsement dollars by buddy-ing up to Budweiser. But the thing is, you’re thinking exactly the way marketers want you to think. However, this one Southern, beer-lovin’, ball-playin’ fella just wanted to give a shout out to all the things that bring joy to his life: his wife, family, Budweiser and “The Man Upstairs.”

No doubt it was a brilliant move if he were to (or will) get some cash kudos for the shout out, but even the Super Bowl beer brand didn’t know he was going to put the winning spotlight on their beer.

super bowl 50 budweiser tweet

It just so happened that he won what may be his last football game to ever be played and Budweiser was happily brought into the celebration. Either that or he just locked down free beer for life plus any parties his kids ever throw.

The Super Bowl is a time when brands spend serious bucks to be seen during snack breaks, but the real winners are the brands that take their marketing further than the goal line and use multiple channels to convey their message.

There were celebs, there were eyebrows raised, there was cuteness and there were some real moments, and after the confetti cleared, there were only a few brands who got the BKV Seal of Approval.

What was your favorite ad from Super Bowl 50? Let us know in the comments below!