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Advertising and Brand Building

Top Superbowl ads of 2019

Superbowl is an event that most big American brands are keen to invest their A&P spend into. The viewership is tremendous and I guess Superbowl ads have become the thing many people look forward to, apart from the games.

Personally, I just love what those creative minds do, although many a times, the things they do would not really help the brands gain anything but a few laughs. But nonetheless, these guys put a lot of creative effort to keep their ads engaging and memorable.

So, it becomes very tough to decide what was the best of the lot. So, I divided them into a few categories in which, I believe, the ads did justice.

Most Entertaining ad

Bud Light wins hands down in this category with its “Special Delivery” ad. Being the first beer brand in America to have declared its ingredients, it has wasted no time in making it public through its adverts. This Superbowl 2019, they took it a step further with its declaration that it doesn’t use corn syrup in its beer.

Although it is not really important if you use it or not, it was more of a marketing gimmick. And it has brought on some heat from the corn farmers of the US.

But anyway, this category here is purely for the entertainment value of the ads and Bud Light team imagination did keep me engrossed.

Bud Light: Special Delivery

Best Use of Celebrity Cameos:

This category had some serious competition. Big brands have money and they love using big celebrity names to associate their brands with. One of my first articles was about brands using celebrity brand ambassadors. You can check out the article here.

So, this Superbowl, we have the big guys like Pepsi rolling in with Cardi B, Steve Carrel and Lil Jon, while Amazon Alexa roped in Harrison Ford and Forrest Whitaker. A straightforward Sketchers ad uses former Tony Romo to convey its message in the ad, and Planters just planted Alex Rodriguez and Charlie Sheen in its attempt to be funny.

An ad which came quite close to winning but missed out was Bubly, which used Michael Bublé. I liked how they used his name to reinforce the brand name in the ad. I think its very effective.

But I believe the brand that topped this category is Stella Artois. Stella Artois came up with the concept of The big Lebowski dude (Jeff Bridges) meets Sex and the City character, Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), both going for Stella Artois, quite unusual to their regular habits. I just loved how they used characters that many people of my generation loved in our younger days; brought in some nostalgia. (Come on! He’s the Dude, man! He’s the dude!)

Stella Artois: Change Up the Usual

Responsible Brands

To be honest, I did not have any such category in mind when i started watching ads. But I had to chalk up one because I liked this ad so much. I have been a bit worked up about brands being responsible of late. I believe brands are not doing enough towards sustainability and every little move I see makes me feel hopeful about positive changes.

So, here it goes, my vote for a responsible brand this superbowl is: Budweiser. Budweiser has gone for Wind Energy to power its breweries. That’s super cool in my opinion. Besides, their advert used very calm, reassuring imagery of the countryside and windmills in the vast landscape, backed up by Bob Dylan singing his classic “Blowin in the wind” song.

Well, there might have been one or two others which could have won. Like Audi, who is committing to have 1/3 of its cars electrically powered in the next few years. But I chose Budweiser for its advertising.

I just posted an article a couple of days ago about use of music in ads. This commercial resonates so well with my previous post, I could not not choose it.
Budweiser: Wind Never Felt Better

Funniest Ad

This is probably the toughest category to choose in. Brands just fall over themselves in this category trying to make funny ads. I went through many videos on Youtube which claimed to rank the top funniest ads of superbowl 53.

Most common entries were from Planters (using Charlie Sheen and Alex Rodriguez), Pringles, Spiked Seltzer, Avocados from Mexico, M&M’s and a few more.

The one I think should be the number 1, was Amazon. I think the pug ordering food on Alexa was the most humorous thing of all that I watched this Superbowl. And old man Han Solo, Harrison Ford, he is as good as usual. I would never rate Indiana Jones Aka Han Solo aka Rick Deckard badly.
Amazon: Not Everything Makes the Cut

Ads that made me want to watch them Twice

Well, again, this ad was so beautiful that I had to watch it twice. There was no other entry to the category. This ad created the category for itself in my post. I loved it so much.

In fact, it taught me something new about advertising. I discovered ASMR after watching this commercial.

What is ASMR? It stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. In layman words, its that funny tingling sensation that many people feel on light touch to the scalp or towards the spine. Interestingly this extends to multitudes of sounds which have similar effects.

So, the Michelob Ultra Pure Gold ad featuring Zoë Kravitz, brings in a treat to the eyes with breathtaking scenery and soft ASMR inducing sounds. Its definitely out of the box.
Michelob Ultra: The Pure Experience

Best Collaboration

In this category, Bud Light again took the cake away with the HBO Game of Thrones as partner. It was a bold move to put the two brands together and to allow HBO Game of thrones character “Mountain” to crush its Dilly Dilly Bud Light knight. But I am pretty sure this ad will be watched and shared by many of the GOT fans who are eagerly waiting for the last season to be released this year.

So, definitely a win for the brands.

Bud Light + Game of Thrones

Well, I watched a lot of other ads this evening, and I found most of them to be run of the mill kind of advertising: throw in some celebs, do some humor, etc.

Some ads were plain annoying, like the Colgate total advert, shows a man getting too close to people because he uses the brand to brush. Annoying it was.

Another entry for the annoying category was Avocados from Mexico. I am quite sure dogs can be used in ads in a better manner. I almost ended up hating avocados.

And finally the worst ad was by Devour Frozen foods. Man, I would never want to have that brand of food after watching this ad.

Do feel free to drop a comment below to share your opinion of the ads this Superbowl!

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