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Ho-Hum SB Ads For A Ho-Hum SB – Digital Gabe
Digital Gabe
Cutting Edge Commentary On All Things Media

Ho-Hum SB Ads For A Ho-Hum SB

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So last night’s game was kind of a yawner.  I had barely settled into my nachos when I found myself being traumatized by Adam Levine’s bare chest after a dismal 3-0 first half.  While Super Bowl LIII was a disappointing game, the ads marketers paid $5M+ for weren’t so super either.  In case you missed some of the commercials, here’s a roundup of the highs and low as reported by AdAge.

  • Humor Was The Bright Spot: The two best ads of the night caught our attention with humor.  Hyundai’s commercial featuring Jason Batemen as the elevator attendant taking car shoppers to a floor below root canal and jury duty was clever.  While’s Amazon’s :60 showing different Alexa fails (including a bark-command collar dogs could use to order unlimited food and gravy), was hilarious in an over-the-top way.
  • Tone Deaf NFL: Before the game even started the NFL ran a rememberance segment featuring Martin Luther King Jr., and then backed it up with an ad featuring Commissioner Roger Goodell touring an underprivileged Atlanta neighborhood during a “community and social justice” moment.  Given all the controversy around Colin Kaepernick’s take a knee protest, these segments seemed a little hypocritical.
  • Going Low With Corn Syrup: One of the more interesting series of ads during last night’s game was AB’s call out of Miller Lite and Coors Lite for having corn syrup as an ingredient in their beers.  There’s a golden rule in marketing that the category leader (AB in this case), should NEVER highlight lesser competitors, because it only brings the leader down to the level of the competition.  But that didn’t stop Budweiser from giving its rivals a punch in the ingredient list gut.  Not sure if this was a brilliant zig by AB or a foolish zag – I guess only time will tell.

I could go on with examples of mediocrity during this year’s game, but if you were watching you saw it all first hand.  In my professional opinion it was a disappointing conclusion to what was supposed to be advertising’s biggest night.  Let me know what you thought.


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