The Super Bowl of Commercials

In Super Bowl 2018, advertisers gave us a break, a commercial break, from all the recent political controversy that has been cited as a factor in declining TV ratings for the NFL this season.

Even the NFL got into the spirit with “Touchdowns to Come” starring NY Giants quarterback, Eli Manning and his wide receiver, Odell Beckham dirty dancing!

Super Bowl Ads Salad Bowl

Photo Courtesy of Instinct Magazine

Toyota set the emotional bar high with its opening spot after the kickoff. Rather that focus on promoting their vehicles, Toyota instead chose to spotlight Canadian alpine skier Lauren Woolstencroft. She is the eight-time Paralympic gold medalist who was born missing a portion of her left arm and both legs below the knees. It focused on her story of beating the odds through perseverance and hard work. And the commercial will undoubtedly get more play during the upcoming Olympics, as Toyota is an official partner of the Games.

But Kia got no kudos for it’s sad and strange Super Bowl ad with aging rocker, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, driving in reverse to his youth. Especially after Melissa McCarthy’s “Save the Planet” charmer last year!

Picking up on the trend, Hyundai didn’t feature any of their cars in Sunday’s Super Bowl, either. Instead, it promoted the company’s effort to fund childhood cancer research with every purchase of a Hyundai. Watching the survivors being used as props to praise “heroes” just because they bought a Hyundai felt like a commercial way for the company to pat itself on the back.

Budweiser did a better job of sharing its social significance with its “Stand by Me” ad. By multi-purposing its manufacturing, the beer company shipped canned water to places that were impacted by natural disasters: Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and California.

Super Bowl 2018 Ads

Photo Courtesy of Today

Getting their bottle caps busted for trivializing protests in years past, Pepsi came back with a nod to nostalgia.

Super Bowl Celebrities

Celebrities were not sidelined from this year’s Super Bowl game, either. Super-rich founder and CEO Jeff Bezos played a part in a popular spoof when his Siri-substitute, Alexa loses her voice. And is momentarily replaced by an international assortment of sarcastic and unlikely characters including British chef and tv personality Gordon Ramsay, American rapper Cardi B, Australian actress Rebel Wilson and film icon, Anthony Hopkins.

And passing up social significance all together, M&M Mars kicked off with family slapstick fun as Danny DeVito personified a red M&M. While packaged goods provider, Proctor & Gamble’s created a funny and satirical Tide ad featuring Old Spice Terry Crews and “Stranger Things” David Harbour spoofing ads of every genre in an effort to show off clean, stainless clothes.

The end goal was to entertain without offending. That was a good thing and not easy these days.