While yesterday’s Super Bowl game may not have been full of high-scoring action, the commercials that aired during the game continue to generate the kind of buzz that Super Bowl commercials are known for—although with ads costing an estimate $5 million for 30 seconds, advertisers definitely want to make sure they are leaving a lasting impression. Here is a look at some of our favorite and most memorable ads from Super Bowl LIII.
“Give It Everything” by Kia
Ian McDaniel, Communications Specialist
I spent almost the entirety of the game buried in coding, but one commercial forced me to stop, look up and pay attention: Kia’s “Give It Everything.” The commercial follows in a similar vein to that of Chrysler’s 2011 “Imported From Detroit” and Dodge’s 2013 “Farmer” with minimal audio except the voice of a narrator over a montage of footage. Like its predecessors, it is the stripped-down audio that calls the attention. The Super Bowl and its ads are often incomprehensible cacophonies of light and sound, so the young Georgian and his somber Southern drawl immediately demands notice because of how jarring the difference is. The interplay that follows between the narration and the stunning and quaint landscapes and lives of a small, rural town is emotionally haunting and will live much longer in my memory than any of the “funny” commercials ever could hope to.
“Ball in Her Court” by Bumble
Renee Harvey, Senior Communications Manager
The theme of the 2019 Super Bowl, as least from an ad standpoint, seemed to be robots and re-establishing goodwill around a brand. One example of the latter was certainly Bumble. One of many dating apps on the market that has come to be known for one-night-stands and matches that turn out to be less than promising, Bumble saw its opportunity to own the narrative.
Bumble’s ad featured Serena Williams and the message that women already have the power.
Something that is literally true in Bumble’s app where, in heterosexual relationships, the woman has to initiate contact after a match has been made. While reinforcing an aspect of the program that does technically give women the power, Bumble also used the opportunity to inspire female viewers to take charge in every aspect of their lives from work, to love, to friendships. Although one ad won’t change the people actually using Bumble, the brand made the most of its Super Bowl debut and chimed in on an issue that is relevant and important to the majority of its audience.
“Not Everything Makes the Cut” by Amazon’s Alexa
Brianna LaRouche, Communications Manager
There were a few different ads that stood out for me this year, but the one that I enjoyed the most was Amazon’s ad showcasing “failed” attempts at integrating Alexa technology into other products. The commercial was funny and entertaining plus, who doesn’t enjoy an appearance from Harrison Ford? It begs the question though, where is he going to put all that dog food?
“The Pitch” by BON & VIV Spiked Seltzer
Chloe Tagariello, Communications Specialist
My favorite Super Bowl commercial this year was BON & VIV’s “The Pitch,” which was a mock of ABC’s TV show Shark Tank. Besides the fact that I enjoy spiked seltzers, I also really love watching Shark Tank, so this commercial was fun to watch and felt more relatable than some of the other commercials. The idea was clever and I’ve never seen a commercial like it, so it was one of the only ones that I remembered well.
“Democracy Dies in Darkness” by The Washington Post
Michelle Rash, Vice President
While there were several Super Bowl commercials that made me smile, my favorite of the night was one that made me pause. The Washington Post’s “Democracy Dies in Darkness” highlights the importance of a free press in our society, and the impact the media has had in changing our nation through its coverage, including some of the historic events like the March at Selma featured in the commercial. The ad also reminds us of the danger many reporters face in bringing us the news, including the death of Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi in late 2018.
While the commercial was paid for by The Washington Post, I think it did a great job of promoting not just itself but highlighting the wider media landscape by featuring reporters for other news organizations, such as CNN’s Anderson Cooper. As a former reporter, I remain a news junkie, and this commercial serves as a reminder of why media outlets of all shapes and sizes play such a vital role in our society.