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Super Bowl commercial recap has become essential. The in-game ads have become such a phenomenon that it often seems like the game itself is the interruption. While some were actually interested in the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens this year, many people simply watch the Super Bowl for commericals. Yet, even with the heightened awareness that a Super Bowl spot brings to a brand (for about a cool $3.8 million) they must continue to innovate to ensure their ads are memorable and effective in a market that is continuing to grow saturated.
This year the growing trend of releasing commercials on YouTube or posting teasers prior to the game continued. By doing so, Super Bowl advertisers parlay the expensive 30 second spot into something that lives permanently on the web, growing overall awareness about the brand. Some of this year’s participants included Coca Cola’s “Mirage” ad, which released an online teaser for its interactive commercial weeks before the game, Anheuser-Busch’s Budweiser Black Crown pre-game television spot, which featured a woman mysteriously entering a bar with product in hand before going black, and Volkswagen’s “Get Happy” ad, which sparked controversy in the Jamaican community due to what some considered racially offensive content.
Is there an advantage to releasing Super Bowl ad material ahead of time? While it is still a bit premature to gauge their effectiveness for this year’s spots, the commercials that were posted to YouTube ahead of time last year received an average of 9.1 million views, while those that were not received an average of about 1.3 million.
As usual, reviews for the commercials were mixed during the game. Ad Meter rated Anheuser-Busch’s Clydesdale commercial the most popular of the night. Other positive reactions included those to Mercedes-Benz’s “Soul” spot, featuring Kate Upton, Usher and William Dafoe as Satin, the Samsung Galaxy’s “Next Big Thing” commercial, featuring Seth Rogan and Paul Rudd, and Tide’s “Joe Montana stain.”
One of the biggest winners not wearing a Baltimore Ravens uniform was Oreo. While their wacky “Cookie vs. Cream” spot received laughs, it was their quick thinking during the game’s third quarter blackout that impressed consumers and experts alike. With sports increasingly becoming a multiscreen experience, Oreo quickly tweeted out a message reading “Power out? No Problem. You can still dunk in the dark.” The message was accompanied by a dimly lit image of the world-famous cookie. It received over 15,000 retweets, proving that multichannel preparation can payoff, as the company had an entire team dedicated to posting reactions about in-game action.