After much hype and anticipation, Super Bowl 50 has come and gone. While consensus among news media this morning is that the multihundred-million-dollar event was underwhelming, we did see a few bright moments shine through during last night’s competition.
On the downside, the Denver Broncos struggled offensively in their fight against the Carolina Panthers, managing to achieve a mere 194 offensive yards during the entire game – the lowest yardage total for a Super Bowl winner, according to ESPN. On the upside, the game permitted a pinnacle moment for Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who this morning has been dubbed by many an outlet as the "marketing man’s dream.” Manning, rumored to be going into retirement after his 200th victory, exited Levi’s Stadium a class act.
On the advertising side, we saw brands ranging from newcomers Amazon and Marmot to staple advertisers such as Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola and Pepsi shell out a record $5 million per 30-second spot. There were head-scratchers, such as AstraZeneca’s 60-second spot raising awareness of Opioid-Induced Constipation (OIC); Xifaxan’s animated intestine battling diarrhea; and Mountain Dew’s oh-so-confusing PuppyMonkeyBaby.
Cause-marketing spots in the mix included NoMore.org’s spot raising awareness of domestic violence, Colgate’s effort to encourage you to turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth and a classy Helen Miren shaming Americans to not drink and drive on behalf of Budweiser.
But our favorite commercial of the game came from an American brand celebrating 75 years of understanding its audience and its brand voice.
"Babies popping out to grab Doritos, wiener dogs charging Heinz ketchup and Mr. Tyler dreaming on about Skittles may have made me smile, but it was Jeep that brought home the trophy for this ad man,” said Jeff Van Zandt, PriceWeber executive creative director.
"Both of Jeep’s spots had a visceral emotional appeal. Not only were they visually stunning, but they were also really, really smart, simply reminding us of how absolutely iconic Jeep and its 75-year history are to America’s enduring spirit of adventure. I’m driving my Grand Cherokee a little bit more proudly, and 4x4ever.”
Will Cauthen, executive creative director for PriceWeber, gave the honor of worst spot to WeatherTech.com.
"Although the $5 million price tag for the Intel-esque B-roll spot for weathertech.com (selling truck bed liners and car floor mats) fell short in a big creative way, it may have achieved traction by leveraging the company’s logo and name recognition no fewer than 24 times. Which is the big winner here – creative, or client?”
And speaking of big questions, who’s the big winner after it’s all been said and done? We’ll go with Peyton Manning and a little marketing class. Now go grab some Budweiser.
Miss a spot during the game? See the full Super Bowl 50 commercial lineup here.