February 9, 2023 / CPOVs

Super Bowl LVII: CP’s Take On 2023’s TV Spots

Recap by Brandy Shabowich, Assistant Marketing Manager

On Sunday, February 12, millions were watching Super Bowl LVII. Roughly 50 minutes of the game were dedicated strictly to TV ads and a 30-second spot cost $7 million for media alone. With this in mind, brands had to be smart about how they captured viewers’ attention and the message they shared. They were up against numerous other brands, all competing for the same mental real estate of viewers. They walked a fine line between needing to fit in and, at the same time, standing out. 

Ahead of the Big Game, CP’s strategy and creative teams shared their take on this year’s TV spots. Were they worth the millions of dollars to make and place? Or did they miss the mark? 

1. Workday “Rockstar”

Complete with a star-studded cast of actual rockstars, this spot played on the common corporate usage of the word “rockstar.” Rock legends like Ozzy Osbourne, Joan Jett, and Billy Idol explained what the word actually meant. 

Comical and entertaining, with high-profile cameos and a clear message throughout, we believe that this was a traditional and successful Super Bowl spot. This, for lack of a better word, rocked and was one of our favorites. We believe it was a fan favorite as well. 

2. Budweiser “Six Degrees”

There were no Clydesdales from Budweiser this year. Instead, Budweiser opted to reach a younger audience by emphasizing the powerful force of human connection. Was it beautifully shot? Yes. Was it a spot that was easily remembered among the 80 others? Not really. We believe that the $7 million could have been spent differently.

3. Alaska Airlines Visa Card “French Tuck”

In this spot, TV personality Tan France quickly ran through the list of perks that come with the Alaska Airlines Visa Card. All that was missing, he explained, was the “French Tuck” as he placed the card in his wallet. There was nothing particularly memorable about this spot and we feel the creative fell short. It’s more important than ever for brands to capture viewers’ attention, even with a regional Super Bowl ad buy – and this didn’t cut it for us.

4. Hellmann’s US “Who’s in the Fridge”

John Hamm and Brie Larson found themselves in a refrigerator, representing their namesakes, ham and brie. With Hellmann’s mayonnaise, they were dinner – for comedian Pete Davidson. 

A main point in Hellmann’s strategy is that with their product, no leftovers will go to waste. The spot made one reference to this and if you weren’t listening, you likely missed it. And we think that was a miss. 

With this in mind, we do not believe this was worth the money it took to produce and place. 

5. Oikos “Sanders Family Reunion”

The Sanders family reunion turned into a competition, with the various family members showing that they were the strongest. Highly symbolic, this spot demonstrated how the brand’s variety of offerings are loaded with protein to help make you stronger. 

We don’t think this spot was particularly memorable but Oikos reported an increase in sales after last year’s ad. Featuring much of the same cast, this spot is a sequel to 2022’s “Strong.” 

6. DraftKings “Kevin Hart’s House Party” 

They had us in the first half… 

While hosting a party, Kevin explained that DraftKings is giving everyone a free bet. After each line of dialogue, we segued to guests whose names matched the last word Kevin said. Big Papi, Ludacris, The Undertaker, and Tony Hawk all make appearances in this spot, which we feel quickly got out of hand. 

With its slapstick humor, puns, and the great cast of celebrities, we feel that this had the makings of a great Super Bowl spot, but it quickly derailed, becoming increasingly chaotic and then abruptly ending.

7. Sam Adams “A Brighter Boston”

Your Cousin from Boston fantasized about a Boston where everything is brighter. We saw various situations in this new city. People were friendly, welcomed Yankees fans with open arms, and advocated against talking trash. Ultimately, this all turned out to be a daydream. 

We were split on this one. On one hand, it clearly resonated with folks from the Boston area and was entertaining to watch. On the other, if you aren’t a fan of the Sam Adams spokesman or are not from the area, this would not have been enough to capture your attention.

What do you think? Were our predictions correct?