For the first time in my personal history, the Super Bowl game itself actually overshadowed the advertising! For me it's always about the advertising, but I have to say that the game was a nail-biter!
I, of course, had my annual Twitter party... #SuperBowlExp... the Super Bowl is generally my biggest party of the year. People love to talk about the advertising! Last year we reached 7.7 million people! We started out in the first half with lots of energy commenting on the commercials, but we all lost a little steam as the game got closer and closer. Actually, I think that most of the great advertising was in the first half anyway. Most.
As I predicted, we marveled at the focus on Dad. Multiple brands highlighted Dad's involvement in the family, including this one from Nissan that used a classic song to tell an engaging story #WithDad.
Cats in the Cradle! Purposeful that the singer Harry Chapin died in a car accident? This spot was a stand-out among the many car ads. Early reports called for fewer spots from the auto brands this year, but it sure didn't feel like it as the night rolled on.
True to form, the entertainment value was on full display from many of the brands... like this spot from Budweiser as part of their #UpForWhatEver campaign. Pac-Man live!
What captured most of our attention, however, was how many brands were tackling issues about the human condition. Brands showcased sexism, gender bias, domestic violence, and special needs, among other issues. This one from Always struck a cord with my Twitter peeps.
As a Dad, it was eye-opening the first time I saw it online last year... on the Super Bowl stage it was even more meaningful.
One brand even tackled childhood death... and it was probably the biggest bust of the night. The spot was from Nationwide, and it quickly grew criticism for its morbidity. I guess we are not up for that at a family event like the Super Bowl. I have to say that it was a bit of a downer.
IMHO, and many agreed, "Best in Show" came as a bit of a surprise. It wasn't trendy Apple or flashy Samsung... it was Microsoft! In its #Empowering campaign, the brand demonstrated how its technology helps to empower people...whether they are dealing with special needs or helping other people. To me, the brand did the best job of actually bringing together a meaningful story, tying it to the features of the product, in a way that we will remember the brand....shaping our perceptions about what the brand does for people. Great advertising! A social media campaign ran along the high-profile campaign, and on-the-field Surface devices helped the players get through the game too.
It was a night to remember, more for the edge-of-your-seat game than the advertising, but still a lot of fun. The best part is that we get to re-live the commercials over and over again on social media, and I'm betting we'll see a lot of it on the large screen again too.