During a defensive battle in a close game, I was actually looking forward to commercial breaks last night during Super Bowl 50 more than I have been in years past. A year after the “Somber Bowl” where many advertisements featured a serious tone dealing with cyber bullying and domestic abuse I thought the commercials were better this year but there were still more misses than hits. I was watching at a small Super Bowl party and following along on Twitter but I enjoyed hearing everyone’s opinions on the commercials and the instant feedback provided by twitter. We talked about the legendary commercials in years past – Budweiser’s Wassup guys & the Doobie Doobie Doo Penguin, the E-Trade baby and countless celebrity cameos – and why we haven’t seen any like those in quite some time. Does the rise of social media spoil the surprise of the commercials given that quite a few had been teased on YouTube & twitter prior to the game?
There were still some hilarious spots, lots of animals & celebrities and a creepy but oddly fascinating combination of all the above with the puppymonkeybaby from Mountain Dew (which was actually released a few days ahead of Sunday on the internet). I don’t know if it was the catchy tune it started singing or the guys getting up from the couch and starting to dance but I thought it was one of the funniest ads of the night. The women who were at the party all agreed they would be having nightmares about that particular commercial. It was such a polarizing ad and social media agreed, twitter was blowing up about it, the comment sections on the articles I read ranking the commercials were mainly slamming it but my guess is that it was aimed at young males, much like the three guys who appeared in the ad. It served its purpose though because as soon as it aired, another guy at the party began asking us whether or not we had tried the drink featured in the ad. The others had and all agreed it was quite tasty and while I never have, the next time I’m in a convenience store and see it on the shelf I might think twice about grabbing it while singing the catchy tune in my head.
The constipation & irritable bowel ads made me feel a little uncomfortable after downing 4 slices of pizza, a few beers and some buffalo wings during the game. Then again, they probably were hitting their target demographic so it was money well spent on their part. We saw a lot of commercials featuring celebrities, 40 overall which was up from 28 last year. The Drake ad was hilarious as well as Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen starring in the Bud Light advertisement. Last but not least, Peyton Manning certainly gave Budweiser a gift when he remarked post-game that he was going to be enjoying several Budweisers that night after the game. But overall, I feel as though the quality of the commercials wasn’t where it has been in years past. With the rapid ascent of social media, I wondered whether or not companies were pulling back funds budgeted for a Super Bowl ad in years past and putting those dollars behind a more practical social media campaign. It’ll be interesting to see going forward what kind of ads we see during the game. Will it continue to be led by the automotive & food/beer industry or can the technology industry overtake one of those two?