The Best of Super Bowl Ads

The Best of Super Bowl AdsBrian Gefter, President, Provacateur 

The approximate cost for a Super Bowl ad this year is nothing short of jaw-dropping: each 30 second spot is set to cost advertisers a whopping $5.25 million. That’s $175,000 a second, just to pay for airtime; this price tag doesn’t factor in the cost of production, public relations, and marketing efforts before, during and after the main Super Bowl event. 

Indeed, it goes without saying that the Super Bowl is big business these days. Adjusted for inflation, the first ads came in at just over $300,000. With this year’s bill some 17 times that, brands are betting big, and are surely counting on making enough of an impact to rack up hours of free air time via social media. Here’s a round-up on the ones that nailed the shot: 

  1. Pairing Adam Scott from “Parks and Recreation” with famed Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz, Expensify went all out with their inaugural Super Bowl ad, producing a music video and initiating an interactive component to boot. Furthermore, Expensify managed to give viewers an incentive to download the Expensify app by calling on viewers to snap photos of receipts shown in the video in a bid to win some next-level prizes, including a gold jet-ski and Audi R8. With second-to-none entertainment value and a solid call-to-action, Expensify scored a touchdown with this campaign.
  2. If you’re familiar with Dante’s inferno and his nine circles of hell, with each ring promising a worse hell the further you descend, going car shopping is on a lower floor of Hyundai’s hilarious elevator ride. Other floors in Hyundai’s vision of hell similarly feature things we collectively dread, including root canals, jury duty, and the middle seats on airplanes. Taking you through the stages of hell but closing with the heavenly “Duo des Fleurs” from the Delibes opera Lakmé, Hyundai works to convince you of the salvation value of the Shopper Assurance method compared to traditional car buying.
  3. We’re putting Alexa in a lot of things now, but trust me . . . there are a lot of fail.” That’s the opening of this brilliant ad from Amazon, with the technology giant bashfully making itself the butt of the joke. WIth this ad, Amazon goes all out in showing you some of the less successful prototypes before Alexa as we know her was born. Featuring celebrities like Harrison Ford, Forest Whitaker, Ilana Glazer, Abbi Jacobson, and NASA’s famous twin brothers, Mark and Scott Kelly, Amazon has pulled out all on the stops on this one, cleverly closing with Queen’s all time classic “Don’t Stop Me Now.”
  4. Michelob Pure Gold Pure Experience film is a sensory ride from the outset: perfectly crafted and executed, Michelob puts Zoë Kravitz from HBO’s “Big Little Lies” front and centre to introduce us to the Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR), and we’re not looking back. According to Wikipedia, the ASMR is an experience distinguished by a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin typically beginning on the scalp and moving down the back of the neck and upper spine. Did you just feel it?

About the Author: Brian Gefter is President of Provacateur. Gefter is also a partner in Hi-Fi Marketing.