The Super Bowl is more than just a championship game; it's a cultural extravaganza. Over the years, the commercials aired during the Super Bowl have become as eagerly anticipated as the game itself.
These ads, often characterized by their creativity, humor, and star-studded casts, offer brands a golden opportunity to leave a lasting impression on millions of viewers. Let's delve deeper into the most successful Super Bowl ads of 2023 and uncover the secrets behind their success.
Dunkin' - 'Drive-Thru' starring Ben Affleck
What they did: Dunkin' tapped into the real-life narrative of Ben Affleck's known love for their coffee. The ad cleverly showcased Affleck, surprising unsuspecting customers at a drive-thru, culminating in a delightful cameo by Jennifer Lopez.
Image source: Yahoo Finance
Why it worked: The ad's genius lay in its authenticity. By leveraging a genuine celebrity preference, Dunkin' created a narrative that felt both genuine and relatable. The surprise element, coupled with the star power of both Affleck and Lopez, ensured that the ad was memorable, shareable, and buzz-worthy. It reminded viewers of the simple joys that Dunkin' brings to everyday life.
Amazon - 'Saving Sawyer'
What they did: Amazon crafted a narrative around a family's comedic struggles with their mischievous dog, Sawyer. As challenges ensued, Amazon products and services emerged as the solution, seamlessly integrating into the storyline.
Image source: Adweek
Why it worked: The ad brilliantly tapped into a contemporary trend: the surge in pet adoptions during the pandemic. By portraying relatable challenges faced by pet owners, Amazon positioned itself as an essential part of the modern family's life. The humor, combined with the practical showcase of Amazon's offerings, resonated with viewers, making the brand feel both relatable and indispensable.
Jeep - 'The Jeep 4xe Electric Boogie'
What they did: Jeep combined entertainment with information in this vibrant ad. Set to a catchy soundtrack, the commercial featured dancing animals and showcased the attributes of Jeep's new electric vehicles.
Image source: Ads of the world
Why it worked: The blend of entertainment and product showcasing was masterfully executed. Jeep managed to convey the message that transitioning to electric doesn't mean compromising on the fun and adventure associated with the brand. The memorable visuals and music ensured that the product's features were communicated in an engaging manner, appealing to both the heart and mind of the viewer.
YouTube TV - 'Football Cat'
What they did: YouTube TV took a minimalist approach, leveraging the viral 'keyboard cat' video. The twist? The announcement of the NFL Sunday Ticket's arrival on their platform.
Why it worked: Simplicity was the hallmark of this ad. In an era of information overload, YouTube TV's straightforward message stood out. By connecting a beloved internet meme with their new offering, the brand effectively communicated its message, proving that sometimes less truly is more.
Squarespace - 'Backstage with Adam Driver'
What they did: Squarespace took a humorous approach by presenting a backstage interview with not one, but three versions of the Star Wars actor, Adam Driver. The ad played on the idea of multiple personalities, with each version of Driver offering a different perspective.
Image source: Indiewire
Why it worked: The ad's comedic value was amplified by the clever use of a single actor in multiple roles. By poking fun at the idea of celebrities endorsing products they might not personally use, Squarespace highlighted its own authenticity. The underlying message was clear: Squarespace is a platform for everyone, regardless of their persona or profession.
General Motors - 'Why not an EV?'
What they did: GM showcased the future of electric vehicles by integrating them into popular Netflix shows. The ad featured actor Will Ferrell navigating through scenes from shows like Bridgerton and Stranger Things in electric vehicles.
Why it worked: GM's ad was a brilliant fusion of popular culture and product promotion. By placing electric vehicles in familiar settings, GM made the concept of electric driving more accessible to the average viewer. The humor and high production value, combined with Ferrell's comedic timing, made the ad both entertaining and informative.
Rakuten - 'Not So Clueless'
What they did: Rakuten tapped into 90s nostalgia by recreating a scene from the iconic movie "Clueless" with its original star, Alicia Silverstone. The ad highlighted the cashback platform's offerings through the lens of the film's shopping-centric narrative.
Image source: AdAge
Why it worked: By leveraging a beloved classic, Rakuten connected with audiences across generations. The blend of nostalgia, humor, and clear product messaging made the ad both entertaining and effective. Silverstone's timeless portrayal of Cher, combined with the modern twist of online shopping, showcased Rakuten's value proposition in a fun and relatable manner.
Tips for brands to create successful Super Bowl ads
Here are a few tips for brands to successfully create successful Super Bowl Ads
Brands should aim to create narratives that resonate with the audience's experiences, emotions, or aspirations. By addressing common experiences or challenges, brands can foster a deeper connection with viewers. For instance, Amazon's 'Saving Sawyer' ad tapped into the challenges faced by pet owners, making it instantly relatable to a vast audience.
Laughter is universal. Ads that incorporate humor tend to be more memorable and shareable. They can lighten the mood and make a brand seem more approachable. Dunkin's surprise element with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez is a prime example of humor done right.
Brands should be attuned to current events, popular culture, or trending topics. An ad that feels timely and relevant can spark conversations and become a part of larger discussions. GM's integration of electric vehicles into popular Netflix shows is a testament to the power of cultural relevance.
Showcase product attributes
While storytelling is crucial, the core product or service should not be overshadowed. Effective ads strike a balance between narrative and product showcasing. Jeep's 'The Jeep 4xe Electric Boogie' ad, for instance, was both entertaining and informative about the vehicle's features.
Leverage star power
Celebrities or influencers can add credibility, draw attention, and amplify the reach of an ad. However, the association should feel organic and not forced. Squarespace's use of Adam Driver in multiple roles is an example of leveraging star power effectively.
Keep it simple
In the midst of the Super Bowl's sensory overload, simplicity can stand out. Ads that deliver a clear, concise message can be impactful. YouTube TV's 'Football Cat' ad demonstrated that a straightforward message, when executed well, can leave a lasting impression.
The Super Bowl, with its unparalleled viewership and cultural significance, presents a golden opportunity for brands to shine. The commercials aired during this event are more than just advertisements; they are cultural touchpoints that reflect societal trends, values, and aspirations.
As we've seen from the standout ads of 2023, success lies in a brand's ability to weave together creativity, relevance, and authenticity. Whether it's tapping into humor, nostalgia, or current events, the most memorable ads resonate deeply with viewers, leaving an indelible mark.
As brands look to the future, the lessons from this year's Super Bowl ads offer valuable insights. In the ever-evolving landscape of advertising, one thing remains constant: the power of a well-told story.
Brands that master this art will not only captivate their audience during the Super Bowl but also leave a legacy that transcends the confines of a 30-second spot.