Super Bowl 58 – America’s premier sporting event. From the excitement of the game to the camaraderie of watching with friends and family, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. But let’s not forget about the commercials! The Super Bowl brings together people from all walks of life, not just for the game itself, but also for the iconic advertisements that capture our attention during breaks. It’s a time when brands pull out all the stops to showcase their creativity and captivate audiences across the nation.

The M Word host, Jennifer Mulchandani, is joined by a panel of marketing experts including Jen Bakos from Arlington Strategy, Andy Janaitis from PPC Pitbulls, and Maritza Lizama from Captiva Branding. They share their insights, exploring the hits, misses, and standout moments from this year’s Super Bowl ads.

Panelist Favorites

Maritza Lizama, Co-founder, and CMO of Captiva Branding, loved the NFL character playbook advertisement, portraying a little boy’s dream of becoming a pro football player. She finds it a touching departure from the humor-focused trend of this year’s commercials. 

Andy Janitis, Founder and Lead Strategist at PPC Pitbulls, reminisces on the nostalgia brought by Dunkin’s advertisement featuring notable New England stars like Ben Affleck and Tom Brady. 

Echoing his sentiments, Jen Bakos, Senior Strategist at Arlington Strategy, also favored Dunkin Donuts’ innovative approach. Jennifer Mulchandani picked the Lionel Messi ad, citing her love for European football and appreciating its nod to the beloved show, Ted Lasso.

Are the Ads Worth It?

Maritza calculates that brands are spending upwards of 30 million dollars when production and A-list celebrity costs are added up. How much return are brands getting from these very expensive 30 second ads? Andy says that the real challenge is “not really being able to measure the outcomes super easily” but emphasizing that these ads can generate significant brand equity and awareness. However, measuring their impact can be challenging, especially for newer brands trying to break into competitive markets.

The Good, The Bad, The Boring

Our panelists talked about how some brands played the long-game, planting seeds so that the product could be in consumers’ consideration sets. One commercial that caught their attention was Poppi, a soda ad that effectively communicated the brand’s identity and value proposition. 

Andy brought up the use of humor in Super Bowl commercials, noting that it can be an effective way to engage audiences and leave a lasting impression.  Highlighted ads that successfully used humor were seen in the E*TRADE ad featuring “pickleball babies” and the Pringles ad with Chris Pratt.

In addition to humor, the panel appreciated commercials that tugged at the heartstrings and conveyed positive messages. Jen mentioned the Hellmann’s mayonnaise ad, which promoted sustainability and resourcefulness, while Maritza connected with the Doritos ad because the characters reminded her of people from her culture.  

Everyone reflected on the evolving landscape of Super Bowl advertising and the strategies employed by brands to stand out in a crowded field.  Social media and pre-game teasers played a huge role in generating buzz around commercials, as well as companies placing an emphasis on staying relevant and culturally sensitive.

The Wrap-Up

From humorous ads to heartfelt messages, the panel explored the various strategies and themes employed by brands to captivate audiences and leave a lasting impression. Whether discussing the cost-effectiveness of Super Bowl ads or dissecting the creative elements of individual commercials, the conversation was engaging and informative, offering valuable insights for marketers and viewers alike. 

Despite some mixed reviews of certain commercials (such as the lack of connection to the Temu ads, all agreed that this year’s Super Bowl ads were entertaining and engaging, with many memorable moments and clever executions.  With the absence of overtly political or controversial ads, our panel posits that many brands played it safe in anticipation of upcoming political discourse.

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