The Super Bowl is almost here, and by now a number of this year’s commercials are already online. After looking though what’s already been leaked, we have a sense of the tone and style of the ads, how their serious personality swings away from the crude humour often associated with Super Bowl ads.
Tugging on the emotional triggers is a common theme this year, perhaps signalling an end to the GoDaddy/Carl’s Jr. fallback on sexy.
One demographic change is gender. We’ll see many female celebs making an appearance in ads, which makes sense as 46 per cent of the people watching the event are women. It also seems that the era of frat boy toilet humour is long gone because the humour we’re seeing now more mature. Not everything is going to be a laughing matter however, as there will be some ads that attempt to strike a tear-jerking note.
This year we’ll see commercials featuring Mindy Kaling, Kim Kardashian, and Lindsay Lohan. Kardashian takes a more somber tone with her ad, but comedienne Kaling is up to her hilarious best with this ad for Nationwide Car Insurance. It’s refreshing to see a successful woman taking the spotlight in what has traditionally been a male-dominated space.
Kim owns her self-centered persona in this ad for T-Mobile. She doesn’t shy from flaunting her shallowness. In the ad her tagline reads “Kim Kardashian West, famous person.” The ad slogan is “save the data” and it’s styled after the Christian Children’s Fund campaign ads. They’re definitely going for the ironic angle here.
Victoria’s Secret will also be putting in an appearance. Their entry is ostensibly sexy, and you would expect no less from the ladies-lingerie giant, but they still keep it classy by setting this playful montage to “I’m in the mood for love”. It’s not too racy or revealing, but tastefully done.
Former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan appears in an ad for the Kia Sorento this year. It’s a funny one, and features some stunning cinematography like what you might see in a Bond flick. In the conversation that Brosnan has with his agent they make a number of allusions to common Bond tropes such as snipers and missile launchers. It’s nice to see the suave Brosnan not taking himself too seriously and the end result is a fun ride through the mountains. You even get to see an explosion in reverse!
BMW also has an ad during this year’s big game for its i3, a fully electric vehicle made in a factory powered entirely by wind turbines. The ad features celebrity journalists Katie Couric and Bryan Gumble. It starts with a segment of their show from the early 90s when they are discussing the Internet. Then it cleverly switches to the present day where the two journalists are driving the i3 and talking about the vehicle in the same way as they did the internet, puzzling over how the machine works. It shows how far technology has developed in such a short time, and keeps with the lighthearted tone of most of the commercials.
During President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address he spent some time talking about bringing offshore jobs back to America and revitalizing the manufacturing sector. Weather Tech wants to us all to know that its products are all made in America, by Americans, and for Americans. It’s the kind of patriotic message that any Super Bowl viewer can get behind, and it keeps with the same message they delivered last year. The only difference is that while last year’s ad went for a funny angle, this one is more straightforward.
Also on a more serious note we have this commercial from the Lucy Pet Foundation featuring a football game where the players are all dogs and cats. It’s immediately ridiculous watching these furry critters run around the field in football equipment, but the tone changes abruptly just before the touchdown pass is caught. We are then told to help the Lucy Foundation save the animals from being euthanized, and there’s nothing funny about that.
The NFL is recovering from a season fraught with scandals, so the revamped tone of this year’s slate of Super Bowl ads is an indication of the more mature and conscientious image they’re taking from now on.
Also, check out this article on newcomers to the Super Bowl ad lineup