Earlier this week we were joined by an amazing panel to discuss their favorite (and least favorite) Super Bowl LV Ads. The discussion was thorough, and the ads went head-to-head in a Flop vs Fave showdown.
First up was David Hawley, Senior Creative Manager at Mnemonic Agency. David is an imagination wrangler, team leader of creative storytellers who loves making brands memorable. David kicked us off with his thoughts on this year's ads:
Doritos "Flat Matthew" | FLOP
For our panelists, this ad fell a bit...flat. Overall, it felt like a repeat of the 'Cardboard Fan' ad from Bud Light last year. The concept was good but it was a used idea, and had a dark, "Joker"-esque feel when Matthew McConaughey was featured on a late night talk show.
DoorDash "The Neighborhood" | FAVE
This ad tapped into the nostalgia of Seasame Street, and was overall fun! Our panelists loved the support and callout for local businesses and restaurants, DoorDash did a great job making it personable. The Daveed Diggs feature contributed to the overall fun of the ad, and was overall enjoyable to watch. Attendees agreed wholeheartedly and loved that DoorDash did a great job highlighting the many ways to use DoorDash.
Joining us as well was Amanda McLernon, founder and CEO of social media agency, McLernon & CO. Her goal with social media is to eliminate digital trash and encourage conscious marketing. Check out the "Keep Social Media Social" Magazine which just launched last year! Let's check out Amanda's critique of this years best and worst ads:
Amazon "Alexa's Body" | FAVE
This ad worked because it played off the popularity of the recent success from Netflix's "Bridgerton" series. The ad was relatable, featured common Ask Alexa commands, and was really directed to their women audience. Amazon also succeeded here because female viewers make up 47% of NFL viewers. They showed empathy towards women, and really played into this audience. Amazon also played off of the 5 E's of Keeping Social Media Social, especially Entertainment and Empathy.
Michelob ULTRA "Happy" | FLOP
"It's only worth it if you enjoy it" copy was good, but this was the wrong brand for that ad. This is a flop this year because of the recent increases of mental issues relating to the pandemic. This came off as tone deaf, given the connect Michelob was trying to make between alcohol consumption and happiness. They played off Nike's imagery and vision, but quickly turned. It's 2021, marketing no longer needs to be all about sales. Conscious marketing is all about owning the challenges of your industry and shining a light on it. Amanda's recommendation for this ad would to be break the fourth wall and address the industry issues, rather than purely focusing on the joy brought from alcohol. The brands who do things right are the ones that last. Engage/Educate/Entertain
Finally, we had Gavin Anstey, founder of Lumenati and COO at Cinebody, join the panel. He's constantly reimagining how videos and advertisements can be created. Here's what Gavin thought about this year's ads:
NFL "Vince Lombardi" | FLOP
For many, it felt like the NFL spent way too much time and money hyping this ad, and trying to get people excited for this commercial. The initial airing of this ad ended with a hologram Vince Lombardi live at the stadium, but it was clear they were using an applause track (during which CBS showed many fans who were not really paying attention). Many brands have also been trying to use holograms to dig into nostalgia, and in this case it was not effective or necessary. Nostalgia cannot be spoon fed; using Vince Lombardi to tap into this made the nostalgia feel fake.
Tide "Jason Alexander Hoodie" | FAVE
Tide did a great job playing into the nostalgia factor (any Seinfeld fans here?). This ad was a bit goofy, and overall just made panel member Gavin laugh. The "it's dirtier than it looks" message resonated well, and really hit home with many of our attendees. Tide also did a great job continuing to play off the nostalgia message they've tapped into for years. They took a risk playing into the Seinfeld following, and they were still able to resonate and be funny for those who were not fans of the show. The situations they portrayed were funny, the changing faces made it fun to watch, and they were able to remain true to their brand. The 90s are back!
After the panelists presented their faves, we opened to the attendees to discuss other standout faves or flops.
Oatly | Mixed reviews
It got people talking, and it was on brand for Oatly's quirky vibe. The landing page was good, and it got their brand in front of millions. Oatly has a track record of being really good at top of funnel marketing and they know where they stand. This ad was not necessarily a favorite, but it wasn't a flop either.
Jeep "The Middle" | FLOP
Jeep really tried their hardest to "ReUnite America" but it felt very off brand and out of norm for Jeep. It's clear that this could resonate well with many people who are ready to no longer be divided by political issues. Jeep took a risk, and likely they were a little too early with this ad, but they did focus on issues that many people know and understand when so many brands avoided this discussion. It's also important to note that Jeep has pulled this ad off streaming platforms after news relating to Bruce Springsteen cast this in an even more negative light.
Do you agree with these faves and flops? What other ads stood out to you this year? Find us on social media and let us know!