As the commercial kicks in, the sound blares at levels on par with your local cineplex. A dystopian world conjured from the mind of George Orwell is displayed. The message is mysterious until text scrolls, announcing the arrival of a game-changing computer.
Apple’s “1984” ad serves, by most accounts, as the gold standard of Super Bowl commercials.
Nothing displayed during Sunday night’s Super Bowl 58 commercial breaks matched the drama of Apple’s landmark ad from 40 years ago. Yet, there were ads that were heavily scrutinized on social media – several of which pertained to the food and beverage industry.
What was the best ad during Super Bowl LVIII?
— The Food Institute (@FoodInstitute) February 12, 2024
- For example, in Kansas City’s 25-22, overtime triumph over San Francisco, Ben Affleck’s Dunkin’ ad earned the actor widespread respect for poking fun at his “meme-king” status.
- Also, celeb couple Victoria and David Beckham’s Uber Eats ad tied into a huge cultural moment from 2023, noted Aleena Mazhar Kuzma, a partner at FUSE Create.
- Popeyes and comedic actor Ken Jeong partnered to promote the chicken chain’s hot wings.
- Additionally, actor Chris Pratt donned a ‘stache as the star of a light-hearted Pringles commercial.
“I think that the Kate McKinnon ‘Mayo’ Cat Hellmann’s ad does a fabulous job of being more than just memorable and entertaining. It allows Hellmann’s to maintain their claim to bringing the flavor, while also repositioning the brand in ways that will connect particularly well with Millennial and Gen Z consumers,” Gil Phipps, a senior executive with Advantage Solutions, told The Food Institute. “’Make Taste Not Waste’ positions Hellmann’s Mayonnaise as the way to make random leftovers into tasty meals. Eliminating food waste and saving money, all while being so irresistibly tasty that Kate eats Hellmann’s right off her spoon. Nicely done Hellmann’s.”
What is the alchemy for an effective Super Bowl commercial? According to experts, for an ad to stick in football fans’ memory banks for at least as long as TD passes by Patrick Mahomes, the ad needs to feature a few key elements.
“The key to a successful Super Bowl ad is similar to the key to any successful ad, but, due to pricing and the size of the audience, the stakes are significantly higher,” Phipps said. “The ads need to be memorable while delivering on the brand’s meaningful point of difference.”
According to industry experts, here are a few touchdown-level ads from Super Bowls past:
- Coca-Cola’s 1971 “perfect harmony” ad, due to its catchiness
- Budweiser’s heart-warming, 2014 lost puppy commercial
- Chipotle’s 2021 sustainability ad which, according to Juniper Media CEO Madeline Moitozo, resonated with consumers due to its positivity and relatability.
- Budweiser’s “Wassup” ad from 2000, which Americans repeated ad nauseum for years.
“When every single person in the U.S. seemed to answer their phones with ‘WASSSSSUPPPP’ you could argue it was effective,” Mark Zamuner, president of Juice Media, said of the iconic Budweiser ad.
“Often ads that start with a human insight – e.g., something common across all of us, like how we say hello on the phone to friends … resonates deeply and creates recall.”
Snickers’ hilarious and absurd 2010 Betty White-plays-football commercial has also been praised for its flawless marketing.
“It was truly hilarious and memorable,” Phipps said of the candy bar ad. “More importantly, it repositioned a candy bar as a cure for hunger on the go. ‘You’re not you when you’re hungry’ was a line that opened up a whole new world for Snickers.”