Over the years, these ads have become Super Bowl staple and a good percentage of viewers consider them as important as the match itself. So, it isn't surprising to see brands drop their best creative ads at this time of the year. This time round, brands like Amazon, Cheetos, Mountain Dew, Audi, Google, and Tide showcased some stellar work.
For millions of fans (nearly 100 million according to data measurement firm Nielsen), who watched the Super Bowl 2020, it was not just about who won the National Football League (NFL) but also about the ads broadcast during the commercial breaks.
With so many eyeballs tuning in, the TV spots during the commercial break period aren't cheap. According to Fox, the average cost of a 30-second ad was a whopping USD 5.60 million (Rs 39.85 crore), a record high, which amply illustrates the potential gains for a brand from a well-made Super Bowl ad. While the Kansas City Chiefs emerged champions on the field, we picked some of the most creative ads that deserved a trophy of their own.
Created by advertising agency Droga5 London, this Amazon ad had talk-show superstar Ellen DeGeneres ask her real-life partner Portia de Rossi a pertinent question in today's tech-enveloped world, "What do you think people did before Alexa?". We were then taken through different eras in history, when one found it hard to perform tasks without a digital assistant. The messaging was clear: Amazon Alexa has made our lives easier than at any time in history. Fun and quirky, this one gets a good chuckle out of you.
Think Jason Momoa and you picture Khal Drogo or Aquaman - tall, strong, unstoppable. But, have you ever imagined him at his home? Is he all cosy and comfortable or rough and aggressive? Rocket Mortgage, an online mortgage loan application process, answers this in this half-mad, half-hilarious ad where Momoa shows us another side of him (it will shock you). Advertising agency Highdive created this ad.
Created in-house, this Super Bowl ad is nothing but a tearjerker. An old man uses Google Assistant to remember his late wife Loretta. We see how he tells Google to remember simple yet crucial things about her - like how she hated his moustache or how she snorted before she laughed. We get to see her favourite movie (Casablanca) and know that that tulips were her favourite flowers. But the tear ducts open when we see Loretta's message telling him to not miss her too much and to 'get out of the dang house'. Who knew technology could create such emotional storytelling moments?
Cheetos: Can't Touch This
Advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners were tasked with creating the first Super Bowl ad for Cheetos in over a decade and they decided to commemorate MC Hammer's iconic "Can't Touch This" through this ad. In it, we see the actor's hands get messy with Cheetos dust after eating their all-new popcorn flavour, leaving him hard-pressed to help people with difficult tasks - office work, help lift a couch, spot a weightlifting bar, or hold a baby. As MC Hammer once said, "Can't Touch This".
Microsoft: Be The One/ Katie Sowers
When Microsoft creates an ad, you expect it to sell software or computers. But for its Super Bowl ad, the company took a different route. It decided to highlight Kaite Sowers, the offensive assistant coach with the San Francisco 49ers who is also the first female and first openly gay coach in the NFL. The ad tells us her life story and how she's an inspiration to many girls wishing to become coaches in their future. Expected from a technology company? No. Does it work? Yes. And, they do show her coaching the players using a Microsoft tablet, of course. McCann New York created this ad.
Porsche: "The Heist"
Move along Fast and the Furious, because this is the real car chase. In this fast-paced ad titled "The Heist", a thief enters the Porsche museum in Stuttgart, Germany and steals their Tyacan electric car. As security is alerted, what follows is a thrilling car chase which features a host of Porsche models zipping through the city with the chase ending with an unexpected twist. Executed by agency Cramer-Krasselt, this Super Bowl ad is one fun ride.
Hyundai: Smaht Pahk
The Boston accent is one of the funniest ones you will hear. And keeping that in mind, Hyundai had Boston-bred stars, John Krasinski, Rachel Dratch and Chris Evans discuss Hyundai Sonata's 'Smaht Pahk' feature in that very accent. Created by Innocean USA, the ad is funny and wildly entertaining.
When actor Charlie Day's shirt is stained during the Super Bowl game, he is told to clean it later. But when is 'later'? This question spirals him into an existential crisis. While the ad may not tickle your funny bone, it does have its moments, especially brand mentions of Bud Knight (Budweiser) and Pespsi and the reappearance of Bud Knight after he was killed in a Super Bowl ad from Bud Light in 2019. Created by advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi New York, this ad, while creative, could have done more.
Mountain Dew Zero Sugar
If anybody could deliver a funny take on the cult horror flick 'The Shining', it had to Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston and Tracee Eliss Ross from Blackish. Advertising agency TBWA\Chiat\Day New York recreates the iconic 'axe breaking the bathroom' door scene but with a funny twist. Is it better than the original? That's for us to figure out. But what about the new Mountain Dew Zero with zero sugar? Maybe, it is better than the original.
Audi: Let It Go
When Maisie Williams tells you to "Let It Go", you better do it. And in this case, it also benefits the world. That's what Audi told us in this ad. Let go of all the pollution and emissions and enter a cleaner world by driving one of their electric vehicles. And like Arya Stark in her final clip on Game of Thrones, we too can let it go, and embark on a new future. In this case, a cleaner, emission-free future. Creative agency 72andSunny Amsterdam was the brain behind the ad.