After weeks of hype, sneak peeks and endless hubbub, the anticipated Super Bowl XLVIII commercials aired during the big weekend game, but the jury is still out on their overall performance.
It’s interesting to note that the Super Bowl is one of the most popular times consumers care about advertising. According to Outbrain, a content recommendation tool that boosts engagement by targeting audiences, 90% of viewers look forward to watching the commercials and 57% actively seek the commercials online before the game. Half of brands actually respond to this demand and release their ads early. Super Bowl XLVIII commercials were no different this year. But the buzz is typically short lived.
Tim Tebow, Maserati Ghibli and Bob Dylan triggered big searches according to Google data, but was this because of popularity or failure? Some brands counted on user-generated content ideas for a big win, while others left us with a marketing hangover for their failed attempts. Outbrain analysis shows that consumption of these pricey game day ads drops drastically two days after the event. Content distribution can sustain consumer interest well after the game, so we took a look at the ads that might have hopes for buzz after the Super Bowl. Hopefully these brands have an after game plan.
No matter the entertainment verdict of Super Bowl XXXVIII, we collected a few of our own thoughts and commentary on our favorite commercials.
Radio Shack: The ’80s Called
Diane: Radio Shack has cleverly owned up to the fact that they’ve been stuck in the wrong decade for over 20 years with a little self-deprecating humor, and it’s awesome.
Mackenzie: I love when a company can make fun of itself. It shows me the people in charge are human and relatable. Also, if you use the California Raisins, you’ve won me over.
Brittany: By far, this was my favorite Super Bowl commercial. A company that is willing to admit its shortcomings (especially in a humorous way) wins points in my book. Plus, who doesn’t love a little nostalgia?
Budweiser: Puppy Love
Diane: Infinite cuteness—a Labrador puppy and a Clydesdale are #bestbuds #swoon
Mackenzie: I seriously question your judgment if you don’t love the Clydesdales. This year they added a puppy, so if you’re still not a fan, you might not be human.
Brittany: Sorry, Mackenzie, I think I might not be human. Too much cheese, not enough beer.
Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt: The Spill
Diane: Danny Tanner is scarier to me than the giant health-conscious bear in the Chobani commercial. Chobani: 1; Dannon: 0.
Mackenzie: Companies are doing everything they can to capture this millennial generation. If it means more “Full House” reunions, I’ll gladly eat more Dannon.
Brittany: I would’ve been a little more excited if the Olsen twins made a cameo, but I know that’s asking too much. John Stamos, you haven’t aged a bit.
Diane: 50% Doberman, 50% Chihuahua, 100% epic. Never mind the uncompromising Audi, where do I sign up for one of these bundles of lopsided joy?
Mackenzie: This ad is creepy. It’s just creepy. Plus, the couple compromised on a dog in the end, so the theme of not compromising seems lost to me.
Brittany: Audi gets some props for the Sarah McLachlan reference. However, I won’t remember you, Doberhuahua ad.
Diane: Microsoft finally got the memo to connect with the audience on a personal level. A beautiful commercial demonstrating the marriage of innovation and humanity, and one of the few ads that struck an emotional chord this year.
Mackenzie: There go my goose bumps. That’s the reaction I expect from a Super Bowl ad.
Brittany: Totally unexpected, this ad was leaps and bounds above the “brave” ads that Microsoft had been running leading up to the Super Bowl. It made me think about how the impact this company has on society goes so much deeper than any smartphone or tablet. Pass the tissues, please.
Doritos Time Machine
Diane: I love this! Short, sweet and very well executed.
Mackenzie: Yes! There are the laughs I expect from a Super Bowl ad!
Brittany: I’ve always loved watching the Doritos Super Bowl commercials. User-generated content all the way!
Diane: Who knew that Tim Tebow would deliver the most entertaining performance by an NFL player this Super Bowl Sunday?
Mackenzie: This is a clever commercial. I never liked Tebow, but like the Radio Shack ad, I appreciate when people can make fun of themselves. T-Mobile found a fun way of introducing a great new program.
Brittany: T-Mobile integrated their “no contract” program into the plot in a way that felt funny, not forced. Does this mean that #tebowing is no longer a thing?
All in all, the Super Bowl XLVIII commercials were good, but we were hoping for great. The average cost of a 2014 Super Bowl commercial was $4 million (around the same cost of the 2013 games)—do you know how much content marketing you can score with that price tag? The Content Marketing Institute outlined in 2012 just how much content you can get for that amount of money.
Which Super Bowl XLVIII commercials created buzz around your office? Share your favorites with us below!