Adams & Knight Marketing Blog
POSTED BY: Pat Dugan

I know who’s going to win the Super Bowl


Can we all just finally admit something? While more than 100 million people worldwide watch the Super Bowl, most of them don’t give a flat Coors Light which Super Bowl team comes out on top. They’re watching for the sheer spectacle, the excuse to gorge themselves on wings and nachos, and of course, the ads.

Those are the real winners — and losers — most people will be buzzing about online and the next morning. But no need to wait until then to start the discussion. Impress your colleagues and Facebook friends by predicting the true champions in advance of all the extravaganza. Tell them to keep an eye out for these winners:

The LOLer
The best humor makes it seem so easy. But there are so many ads that try so hard to be funny and barely elicit a smirk, never mind an actual, out-loud chuckle. And there’s no tougher playing field for this category than the Super Bowl. Brands know that the audience just wants to be entertained, so “funny” is the first place many advertisers start. Last year, KIA’s commercial featuring Melissa McCarthy was the #1 Super Bowl ad, according to USA Today’s Ad Meter. Can humor repeat as the champ?

The Heartstring Tugger
Humor’s toughest rival? Tearjerkers. If you can’t make ‘em laugh, make ‘em cry. Audi’s “Daughter” spot did well last year, with a touching father/daughter tale, but the Most Touching Super Bowl Ad of All Time still goes to Coca-Cola’s iconic “Hey kid, catch” Mean Joe Green commercial, which seamlessly integrated a bottle of Coke into a storyline that’s still part of pop culture 40 years later.

The How Much Did They Pay for That?
Yes, there are lots of Super Bowl commercials that obviously cost truckloads of money. Which is no surprise, since if you’re spending $5 million for 30 seconds, you want to make sure your ad’s production value equals what you’re paying for airtime. But there’s always one or two that stand out by going above and beyond in some way. Last year, that ad was Honda’s “Yearbook” ad, featuring a who’s who of celebrities: Tina Fey, Robert Redford, Amy Adams, Magic Johnson, Steve Carell, Missy Elliott, Stan Lee, Jimmy Kimmel and Viola Davis — all somehow linked to chasing your dreams by driving a…Honda CR-V?

The Flag Waver
You could make a good case that apple pie and baseball have been replaced by beer and football as the prime examples of Americana. And there’s no better venue for patriotism than the Super Bowl. Not many of the commercials go this direction — it can get cheesy fast — but if done right, it can own the night. In 2013, Dodge swept the Super Bowl with a stirring, two-minute spot that used only photos and the voice of Paul Harvey. And last year, Budweiser made American hearts swell with the 1800s immigrant story of its founder.

The WTFer
And then, every year, there’s the spot that just makes everyone scratch their heads and ask, “what was that?” It’s not a bad way to get attention, but once you grab it, make sure you can connect it to something relevant about your brand. Lots of people remember the nightmare-inducing Puppybabymonkey commercial, but how many recall that it was for Mountain Dew Kickstart?

The ads that emerge from the pile to grab one of these titles will be the biggest winners of the Super Bowl — the ones seen not just by millions of people during the game, but watched online, shared socially and talked about for days afterward, making them well worth their investment. So grab the dip, crack a brewski and settle back for the real competition.

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Pat Dugan
Executive Creative Director
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