The Richmond Ad Club hosts an annual event called AdBowl to view and discuss ads released for the Super Bowl. So, to prepare, Cabell ordered the staff a pizza and we hunkered down and watched as many commercials as we could to help him prepare his critiques. Sadly, there were few on the list he thought were deserving of an A.
Here’s why. Regardless how good the acting, writing, production, etc. may be, if in the end, it does not effectively communicate anything worthwhile for the brand, well then what’s the point?
These are Super Bowl ads. Companies are paying 5 million dollars for a 30-second ad. That’s not including production, celebrities, fees for the ad agency creating the commercial in the first place. Five MILLION dollars just for the ad time! The bar for a good commercial set in this time slot has to be higher. And as a viewer, you have to be more critical of what you are seeing.
Whether the concepts are dictated by the client and there is little room for the creative team to maneuver is uncertain, but unfortunately, it seems most of the commercials from the 2018 Super Bowl suffered from the beginning stages of concepting.
Some commercials were trying to be funny but just seemed to miss the mark i.e. Febreze ‘Bleep don’t Stink’. While others seemed to have a good concept but dragged on too long or simply failed in the execution, such as E*TRADE’s ‘This Is Getting Old’.
But some of the biggest misses were the commercials trying to tug on our heartstrings with something that is in no way related to their products. It began to fill a bit insulting. I’m all for members of 4 different religions getting along but what in God’s name does that have to do with a pickup truck?! And while I’m certainly thankful the poor family was rescued from that terrifying flood, it has WHAT to do with Verizon?!
And the good deed commercials? I’m thrilled that Stela Artois is helping to promote the water.org organization and Budweiser donated cans of clean water to people in need but was it necessary to spend 5 million dollars (or more, really) to tell us that?
So what was good? Well, we’re certainly not disagreeing with the majority of the viewers. The commercials we liked, were liked by pretty much everyone.
#3 Doritos Blaze vs Mountain Dew Ice
What’s not to like? Good actors, good music (great cameo from the original artists, Missy
Elliot and Busta Rhymes), good production (without a million camera cuts) and ultimately
communicates the brands well.
#2 Alexa Loses Her Voice
Simple, yet witty premise, good writing, and great production. And of course great
And the number one commercial from Super Bowl 2018?
#1 Tide - It’s a Tide Ad
Well duh! It was genius! Reminiscent of the Energizer Bunny ads (remember that bunny
busting his way into other commercials?), The ‘It’s a Tide Ad’ commercial is fun, humorous,
has good production quality, editing, and storytelling. This is a campaign you can see going
forward and growing. It’s got longevity and growth potential. Something you want for a $5