RLF’s Take on the Best Super Bowl Commercials of 2018

This year’s Super Bowl ads seemed a bit different than years past – gone were the Budweiser commercials featuring cute puppies or the beer’s trademark Clydesdales. Instead, the company chose to focus on the donations of water it made following recent natural disasters here in the U.S. Other brands also took a more somber tone, with humanitarian and feel-good narratives. However, humorous commercials remained a Super Bowl staple, with brands such as M&M’s, Doritos and Mountain Dew continuing to lead the way in generating laughs.
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Millennial Market Shifts Trend in Beer Advertising

By Heather Ebert
Beer advertisements have typically tended to have funny, playful or sensual undertones. The goal of a beer ad is to influence preferences by appealing to emotions rather than trying to convince consumers one brand of beer is better, because let’s face it – beer drinkers know that one brand of beer is just as likely to get them as drunk as the next, even if it tastes like water. In turn, we see horses, puppies and scantily-clad women across our TV screens and in print. But lately, it seems as though some brands have turned away from these images to focus on tapping into a new market – the “socially conscious millennials.”
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2016 Super Bowl Ads – Part 2: Cute and Fuzzy Wins Us Over

Super Bowl ads are known for playing up our emotions, especially the ones that feature adorable animals. A few brands made the strategic move to include animals in their commercials, and in turn, made us say “awww.” Below are comments from RLF employees who couldn’t resist the cuteness in this year’s ads.
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2016 Super Bowl Ads – Part 1: Celebrities and Pop Culture References Prevail

This year’s Super Bowl game might not have been all that memorable, but the ads are definitely worth talking about. Many commercials made us laugh, some commercials stirred our emotions, and other commercials left us scratching our heads (puppymonkeybaby??). Among this diverse list of TV spots, a common ad strategy emerged: the use of celebrities and pop culture references. Several brands incorporated famous personalities or funny memes into their ad’s message, effectively capturing the viewer’s attention and leaving a lasting impression of the product. Continue reading to find out which RLF staff members identified their favorite ads in this category.
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Comedians and Advertising: Rebranding with Laughter

Amy_Poehler_2011_Shankbone_2By Rebecca Phillips
Let’s be honest – there are some brands that have been around for so long that their advertising just gets a little stale. Not only that, but some brands are simply overshadowed by industry-dominating competitors. While many brands turn to celebrities to endorse their products, consumers often see right through these endorsements. In order to set themselves apart from the many celebrity endorsements out there, some brands have turned to comedians to spice up their advertising.
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Using YouTube to Elevate Your Brand

By Amanda GarrityYoutubelogo1
If you check the Internet on a Millennial’s computer, it is likely that YouTube is bookmarked. If not, it will certainly be one of their most-visited websites. YouTube provides endless hours of entertainment to Millennials, creating prime advertising opportunities to reach this key demographic.
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Super Bowl Ads Draw on Our Emotions

While several of this year’s Super Bowl ads tended to the more serious or focused on generating a laugh, there were also several that seemed designed to draw on our sentimentality and emotions, such as Nissan’s “With Dad” commercial.
In our final review of the best 2015 Super Bowl commercials, we will focus on these more heartwarming, and often tear-evoking, ads.
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2015 Super Bowl Commercials Take a More Serious Tone

Super Bowl ads have historically been funny and clever, focused more on selling beer, junk food and cars than creating serious dialogue about societal issues. However, many of this year’s Super Bowl ads varied from that course and instead focused on a wide range of serious issues, starting with a highly controversial commercial by Nationwide looking at accidental deaths among children, and also including ads discussing cyberbullying, domestic violence and gender stereotypes.
Tomorrow we will look at some of the more humorous ads from this year’s Super Bowl, but today a few RLF employees will share their insights into some of the more serious ads from yesterday’s big game.
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Super Bowl Commercials Stirred Our Emotions

A good Super Bowl commercial (or really any commercial) will make the viewer feel something – it will make us laugh, it will make us cry, but it will find something to help us make an emotional connection with both the commercial and the product that it is selling. This year’s Super Bowl commercials were no different.

Name:  Steffany Reeve, director of consumer and lifestyle brands

My Favorite Commercial: “Empowering” from Microsoft

Why I Liked It: Since the actual game was depressing to watch with my husband who is a big Broncos fan, I was drawn to commercials that made me laugh, inspired me and tugged on my heart strings in a positive way. One ad that nearly brought me to tears was Microsoft’s “Empowering” spot. The commercial was narrated by former NFL player Steve Gleason, who uses voice recognition software to communicate with his son and shares the message that technology can improve our lives and can help create miracles. The compilation of scenes that included a young boy walking and playing baseball with artificial legs, a soldier using Skype to watch the birth of his baby, a blind man using technology to paint, and a women hearing herself for the first time, was captivating and powerful. To provoke emotion and capture the audience’s hearts is an ad style that I believe will prove effective and memorable for Microsoft.
 

Name:  Emily Luciano, communications manager

My Favorite Commercial: “A Hero’s Welcome” from Budweiser

Why I Liked It: This commercial resonated with me on so many levels. Let’s start with the professional level. As a communications professional, it’s my opinion that good communication — whether it a pitch to a writer, a story in a magazine or a television commercial — should illicit some kind of emotion from the person on the receiving end. “A Hero’s Welcome” did that. With its cast of real people and idyllic Main Street, flag-waving parade, I feel that it captured the essence of America. I imagine that millions of viewers felt nostalgic and proud, and for a mere moment, forgot about the travesty of a game.
On a personal level, this commercial had me in tears. All the leading men in my life — my husband, father, brother, grandfather, stepfather and father-in-law — are either active Army or Army vets. I am unable to put into words the amount of respect I have for our servicemen and women, and I’m elated that Budweiser chose to honor a real life solider so publicly. Not only did they honor him, but I felt like they also perfectly captured the wide range of emotion wrapped up in homecomings. From the nervousness and anticipation to happiness and elation, I felt like I was welcoming my soldier home as I watched!
Of course, after the commercial my husband turned to me and joked, “That’s what I expect for my next homecoming.” Any chance for a round two, Budweiser?
 

Name:  April McGibbony, office manager

My Favorite Commercial: “Puppy Love” from Budweiser

Why I Liked It: As the owner of a Lab and a lover of the breed, I thought this was the sweetest commercial and truly captured both the loyalty and playfulness of the breed. The commercial brought a tear to my eye.