Expectation To Be Entertained

Kara Melchers

Managing Editor, BITE Creativebrief


This February, an estimated 184 million US viewers tuned in to watch the Super Bowl. This is now the standout event in the American sporting calendar and it has become one of the world’s biggest marketing stages. A 30-second TV spot is reported to have cost $4.5m in 2015, a major financial investment for any brand.

Despite marketers best efforts, in many cases consumers see commercials as interruptions, but Super Bowl ads are different. There are as many conversations about the brand activity as there are about the game itself. The audience is strangely and uniquely receptive to brand messaging. There is an expectation to be entertained.

“A tent pole event like the Super Bowl gives the brand permission to do something a little different,” said Mercedes-Benz Vice President of Marketing speaking to Business Insider. “We don’t want to be that expected brand. It gives us permission to step up.” And they did just that with a modern take on Aesop Fables’ The Tortoise and the Hare.

Our heightened state of excitement at sporting events means we are compelled towards those brands that show humanity and emotion. This year (amongst others) Budweiser bought back the puppy, whilst Nissan showed us how life is better ‘with dad’. The Super Bowl is more than a competition of two US football teams, it is a stage for brands to share their brightest and boldest ideas – and it is the unexpected that will capture viewer imagination.

Read on for examples…

Dodge Shares The Wisdom That Comes With Age

To commemorate 100 years of Dodge, the car brand enlisted the help of some characterful centenarians to share their wisdom on living life to the fullest. The ad features people as old as the brand itself giving real honest advice: “Keep your eyes open and sometimes your mouth shut” and “Because Life is good, you make it good.”

“FCA US [Fiat Chrysler Automobiles] always strives to do something different, something unexpected yet with a purpose...and this year’s Super Bowl videos are no exception,” said Olivier Francois, Chief Marketing Officer, FCA Global.

The characters bring a certain attitude and a sense of defiance to the brand.

Agency: The Richards Group LA

21% increase
in traffic to
on the AdBlitz poll of Super Bowl ads

Dove Appeals To Men's Softer Side

Dove looks to appeal to the softer side of men with its #RealStrength spot. The ad is made up of short vignettes showing kids calling out for their dads. The idea was born out of research conducted by the brand on how men now view themselves, citing that 90% of men around the world say that their caring side is part of their masculinity and strength.

Agency: The Marketing Arm

Loctite's First-Ever Super Bowl Commercial

In its first ever Super Bowl ad, Loctite - a German glue brand - earned the accolade for the greatest jump in Twitter conversations expressing a positive sentiment about the brand (according to a Networked Insights report). The ad reflects the online trend for all things quirky and offbeat.

Agency: Fallon Minneapolis

Newcastle Brown Ale Crowdsources Ad With 37 Other Brands

Newcastle Brown Ale successfully builds a parody around the game. Continuing with the theme,  an open call was made for brands to participate in an ad that would be aired regionally (not in the official breaks). Over 400 responses were received, 37 of which were picked for final spot. “Once again, we proved you don’t need big bucks to build big buzz,” said Droga5.

Agency: Droga5, London

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