The Super Bowl is probably the only time during the year when people are eager to watch the commercial breaks and don’t immediately grab their phone to check their Facebook feed. And such attention comes at a price: a 30-second ad will cost you about $5 million.
With such prices, advertisers start thinking even more carefully about the ad they create. It needs to be memorable, interesting, remarkable – because it will need to be remarked on by others.
That’s why the Super Bowl is one of those times during the year (And Christmas is another time if you’re wondering) when the best storytelling is done. These type of storytelling advertisements are the ones you will remember.
Here are my top 9 storytelling advertisements from Super Bowl LI.
I bet you that any ad would be better with “Born to be wild” as the soundtrack. And this an ad that was directed by The Coen Brothers (from movies like ‘No country for old men’). The product of those two coming together is a great ad that keeps you watching until the end.
Go ahead, create an advertisement about taxes that people will actually want to watch. I dare you. I double-dare you. IBM did it with this year’s Super Bowl ad. I guess it’s the mysterious box in the middle with all the visual effects on it that draws you in in the very first seconds and doesn’t let go until you’ve watched a full sixty-second advertisement about taxes.
Alright, I’ll admit: this is not the greatest advertisement from a storytelling perspective but still, any ad narrated by Morgan Freeman will make you listen closely.
Now, this is some powerful stuff. With a very well-written voiceover, this advertisement does not only keep you interested throughout the story but also makes you think afterward.
This is really lovely work from Audi. While the voice-over quickly triggers you to listen & watch closely, I actually found that the way the kids’ race is filmed is the thing that brings another dimension to the table. It’s a powerful message about equality brought to you in a true Audi style.
An important topic that needs to be addressed and that comes right at a time when the world needs it the most. But it’s also one that perfectly fits with the mission of Airbnb. Simple, sophisticated, but impactful work.
This one actually reminded me a little of The Tale of Thomas Burberry, which the luxury clothing brand produced late 2016. With ‘Born the Hard Way’, Budweiser brings a great story about the heritage of its founders; back to where it all began.
This advertisement by 84 Lumber already caused quite a controversy before the Super Bowl. When announcing its Big Game buy in January, the ad agency of 84 Lumber, Brunner, stated that Fox had rejected a version of the ad after concluding that imagery involving a wall would currently be ‘too controversial’. Fox told Brunner that if they wanted the spot to be shown on TV, they needed to revise the spot to make it acceptable. Brunner and 84 Lumber came with a simple but effective solution: show the ‘acceptable’ part during the Super Bowl, and launch the other part online.
In a list of intriguing and impactful ads, this ad is a bit of a weird one. But it’s definitely one that I wanted to include in this list of the 9 top storytelling ads of this year’s Super Bowl simply because it’s a great (and funny) story. Our hero, Melissa McCarthy shows that it’s hard to be an eco-warrior, but it’s easy to drive like one.
What do you think? Did I miss any storytelling advertisements from Super Bowl LI that should definitely have been on this list? Leave a comment!