07 Feb 2017

Super Bowl LI - Oh the Commercials!

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It has now been a few days since the massive event that was Super Bowl 51. My mind has finally had time to process the comeback of all comebacks and I re-watched all the commercials 2-3 more times.

The stand out for me this year? Besides the highly anticipated (in our house at least) Stranger Things season 2 trailer, I took note of all the value based messaging, the political commentary and brands that were trying to make a statement beyond their product(s). And it happened repeatedly, from soda companies all the way up to luxury car manufacturers.

Brands were highlighting issues many Americans have at the forefront of their minds. Which was in complete juxtaposition from the previous year’s Super Bowl ads, with many brands utilizing humor and over the top weirdness. Seriously, do you remember Mtn Dew’s Puppymonekybaby? I am still asking myself what that was.

That isn’t to say there weren’t some silly commercials. GoDaddy stuck to humor, but didn’t rely on their traditional usage of sexy ladies. I do have to say, seeing a human personification of the Internet made this 80s-baby gleeful. John Malkovich reminded everyone he made a movie about himself during Squarespace’s ad. And Adam Driver’s 'live' Snickers spot? Delightful, but then again I am a little obsessed with the man.

Some brands did seem to miss the messaging shift memo however, choosing to stick with age-old tropes in their high-cost spots.  I’m looking at you ‘Mr. Clean' and your need to remind us that cleaning isn’t traditionally man’s work. As a member of the media team, I was especially disappointed to see it slotted right after a very female-empowering message courtesy of Audi.

The days after the Super Bowl have traditionally been full of gloating, pouting and conversations around which commercials were the favorites. I am hoping this year’s content makes the water cooler conversations a little deeper.

Now this New Englander is off to remind my brother (in New York) how amazing Tom Brady is!