Overall the advertising for the entire night felt a bit muted and subdued. It could have been because the game itself wasn’t the knock-out fight we were hoping for, or because the pandemic cast a super-sized shadow on the night.
Regardless, there were a few spots that do what ads do best – drive culture and conversation. Let’s talk about a couple that stood out, sparked conversation and missed the mark but tried so, so hard.
It was just 5 seconds but, Reddit won the night with its still frame. It was the only spot that really captured how culture is happening today – in a way that only Reddit can – and was simply and brilliantly brought to life. Many didn’t even notice, but folks on Twitter did, which gave the ad another life on social media.
Indeed “The Rising”
Indeed was able to thread the needle of talking about the pandemic, without being preachy and left us with an inspired and hopeful feeling, even if it was a little formulaic.
General Motors “No Way Norway”
GM launched a new identity that wasn’t warmly received but successfully revealed it to the world in this spot and in turn set the tone for the brand for years to come.
Will Ferrell takes on Norway in a beautiful and cheeky creative campaign that even started a friendly back and forth with Audi with a clapback on YouTube.
One thing Super Bowl audiences enjoy most is the ads that leave us wondering – did I just love or hate that? And there were a few of those. Pringles and Doritos were absurd and funny and were in that sweet spot that had led into continued conversation today.
As for Mt Dew, they sure didn’t try very hard but are forgiven because of the million dollar lump sum which trended hard on Twitter.
Oatly was just weird on purpose and will likely just be a footnote in a week.
Missed the Mark
Most of the spots were decent and each should be praised for pulling off this level of work in an environment that doesn’t make it easy, but there were a few that just didn’t work.
Logitech fancied itself an Apple competitor and hooked Lil Nas X to try and deliver the brand’s new “Think Different” campaign but it just fell flat.
Hellman’s will be talked about for all the wrong reasons. A legacy brand that didn’t need celebrity support to be successful missed the mark in casting Amy Schumer.
Dr. Squatch, 2017 called and they want their hipsters back. This one didn’t hit for me since the online video startup style has been done before (actually, by the brand itself) and felt out of place surrounded by much more thoughtful and better executed spots.
And then Jeep happened. They suffered from bad timing in a bad game making the two-minute film feel like a snoozer that not even the Boss could save.
By the time its very long and somber spot rolled out, much of America was tuned out and bored from a blowout. I expect it could have hit harder much earlier in the night.
OK, so some good, some decent and some bad ones. Now everyone can go back to TikTok.
Kurt Kretten is the Executive Creative Director of New York social and digital entertainment agency GLOW.