For many, Sunday’s Super Bowl match-up was not the most thrilling of games. Consisting of a lot of defense and many punts, it was officially the lowest-scoring Super Bowl game in NFL History.
That’s not the only new record surrounding the match-up between the Rams and the Patriots, though. According to CNBC, CBS charged $5.25 million for a 30-second spot—that’s an increase from last year’s reported $5.2 million.
So, with a cost of roughly $175,000 per second, how did agencies use this prime real estate to showcase some of the world’s biggest brands? I’ve ranked the top 5 (and a few more) of the commercials that aired during Superbowl LIII:
- Microsoft “We All Win” (Agency: McCann)
If this commercial didn’t warm your heart, you might need to watch it again. Promoting its X-Box Adaptive Controller, the ad starred real kids with limited mobility. I don’t think it’s a generalization to say that society views video games as a waste of time. However, for these passionate young gamers, gaming through adaptive technology created an opportunity for them to be on the same playing field as their peers. Memorable and effective, this commercial was at the top of my list.
- NFL “The 100 Year Game” (Agency: 72andSunny)
Get more than 40 current and veteran NFL players in a room, scream “Fumble!” during a black-tie dinner, and this was exactly what I imagine happening. Created to kickoff the league’s 100th Anniversary, this 2-minute spot featured some of the most noteworthy faces in football. I’m not only impressed by the creativity, but the persistence of everyone who was in involved in the logistics of scheduling this shoot (and I bet every agency vet thought the same thing!).
- Google Translate “100 Billion Words” (In-house at Google Creative Labs, Media Support: PHD and Essence)
In its :60 spot, Google addressed language barriers by showcasing their translation products, but also the everyday scenarios that we all experience. The ad’s final line claimed that the most translated words each day are “how are you?” “thank you” and “I love you.” Not only gave me chills, but hope for the world we live in.
- Pepsi “More Than OK” (Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners)
I’ll say it: I’ve never gone out of my way to order a Pepsi. By addressing the common question, “Is Pepsi OK?” head-on, this was a fantastic way to have viewers think differently about the soft drink. And incorporating two of the world’s most celebrated “OK”s (*read “Okur”*) had this ad standing out amongst the others.
I’d say I’m surprised by Pepsi’s boldness, but after its effort to take over the host city, in which their rival happens to be headquartered, I’m nothing short of impressed.
- Stella Artois “Change Up The Usual” (Agency: Mother New York)
As an avid fan of Carrie Bradshaw and her Cosmopolitan-drinking gang, I couldn’t help but love how three iconic characters (and their iconic beverages of choice) were brought together in this commercial. Having The Dude from “The Big Lebowski” incorrectly pronounce the beer was a great way to subtly reinforce the pronunciation of Stella Artois, and seeing the Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man” enjoying a Stella was a nice comedic touch.
Unless you noticed the last line of the commercial (“changing can do a little good”), you might not have picked up on the brand’s recent social marketing efforts, as a nod to their larger ‘Pour it Forward’ campaign with Water.org.
- KIA “The Great Unknowns”: I have a soft spot for KIA’s commercial. The ad showed scenes of Troup County and the production facility that KIA calls home…which happens to be the same area where I grew up. It reminds me of the “Perfect Sense” BMW commercial that was debuted in the 2011 Super Bowl, which also combatted the idea that foreign car brands do not benefit hardworking Americans.
- Bud Light “King’s Speech”: Not using corn syrup in beer…weird flex but OK. A direct shot to competitors Miller Lite and Coors Lite, this ad introduced the idea of checking the ingredients on your light beer. Foreign concept to me.
So that’s our list. What do you think? Any favorites we missed? Let us know on our Facebook page—we’d love to hear your thoughts!