The Only Super Bowl Ads Worth Watching Again

The article is written by Yaroslav Imshenetsky, Co-Founder of @TheArbitrader and @RutgersBSchool Class of 2014. All views are my own. The full version you can find on medium.com

I understand. Your time is precious. There was quite a handful of ads shown during the Super Bowl. Not every one of them deserved our undivided attention (or the $4.5 million price tag, for that matter). To take it easy on your eyes and save time, here are, in my opinion, last night’s most unique and well-received ads:

Carnival Corporation – Come Back to the Sea

Why: It is a different kind of ad from Carnival. Instead of going with the usual happy music and festive families, Carnival tries to speak to our inner love for the sea. It captures this very well with beautiful shots of the water and JFK narrating in the background.

Relevance to the brand: This ad makes me want to rush into the sea right now, and if I am tired from endlessly swimming in it, I can board a Carnival cruise ship. PR success.

Always – #LikeAGirl

Why: This very inspiring ad features differing opinions about the meaning of “acting like a girl”. The ending of it will (hopefully) give more confidence to all the little girls out there, in an age where stereotypes rule everything.

Relevance to the brand: Even though this is a great ad, it does nothing for the Always brand. This is a good PR move for P&G, but nothing more.

NFL – No More

Why: A chilling PSA (based on an actual 911 call) about domestic violence from NoMore.org reminds us to listen for the silent cues.

Relevancy to the brand: This is the most relevant ad for the NFL at the moment (excluding any ads of the future about #Deflategate), as the league reacts to the domestic abuse scandal of last year.

Nationwide – Make Safe Happen

Why: This ad just stops you in your tracks, doesn’t it? A very well made ad about accidental deaths is at first very cute…and then the twist kicks in. Even though it was heavily criticized by parents for being disturbing and morbid, the ad certainly grabs our attention.

Relevance to the brand: Very relevant ad, however it could be considered an oxymoron: can an insurance company really prevent accidental deaths?

Weight Watchers – All You Can Eat

Why: The brilliance of this ad is most seen when you are eating nachos, pizza, hamburgers and other junk foods during the Super Bowl. While invisibly making fun of our food addiction, this ad provides a solution at the end: join Weight Watchers! Marketing at its best, indeed.

Relevance to the brand: Half of us are mad at WW for shaming us for eating all the delicious food, the other half is hungry. Either way, great PR stunt for Weight Watchers.

NFL – Together We Make Football

Why: Football still plays a major part of the Super Bowl (although the ads now take up 34% of the broadcast), and nobody does better football ads than the NFL itself. A rallying cry from fans of almost every NFL team does its job well, pumping you up in the third quarter of a very tight game.

Relevance to the brand: NFLthe National Football League. Enough said.

Jeep – Beautiful Lands

Why: A beautiful ad from Jeep, and even though it might be considered typical for a car company to do this, the imagery coupled with “This Land Is Your Land” somehow makes it perfect.

Relevance to the brand: Driving through this beautiful land on a Jeep does wonders for one company’s brand perception.

Wix.com – #ItsThatEasy

Why: Who knew that retired football players had such amazing career-changing jobs? Wix shows off how easy it is to create a website in a creative fashion.

Relevance to the brand: Competing against Squarespace and Jeff Bridges in the Super Bowl, Wix manages to hold its own.

Honorable Mentions

There were other good ads that are worth mentioning, such as Esurance’s “Say My Name” featuring Walter White, Toyota’s “My Bold Dad”, Budweiser’s “Lost Dog”, and Snickers’ “The Brady Bunch” (which many people think is the best ad of this Super Bowl, but it did not capture all of the demographic segments as it was supposed to). All of these and many more were good ads on their own, but on that special night, continuations of the ads of old and standard ads featuring celebrities were not enough to catch my attention.

 Yaroslav Imshenetsky

The full version you can find on medium.com

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