February 8, 2021 / CPOVs

CP’s Picks: Super Bowl LV

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers took home the “W” – and yes, Tom Brady took home his seventh ring. The ads delivered too, for the most part anyway. We laughed with GM and Doritos, asked what just happened with Reddit, listened closely with Jeep, and star-gazed with Paramount+. Read on for our team’s favorite moments from last night’s game.

Scott Savitt, Senior Partner, Director of Digital 

Indeed: “The Rising”

I really appreciate that Indeed chose not to use humor (like the majority of brands), but instead, remained authentic to its mission by addressing the “times” we live in and the people most likely impacted by the current economic uncertainty.  I loved how the brand wove in real, human “micro-moments” of the different flavors of job seekers (“the hopeful,” “the experienced,” “the beginners,” “the ready”) as well as how they strategically featured the app as seamless, user friendly and personalized. Indeed put out a statement about its commercial saying, “it highlights the emotional journey of job seekers at a time when many people are facing economic distress.”  The execution nailed their vision and strategy.

Dave Kimball, Director of New Business

Bud Light Seltzer: “Last Year’s Lemons”

What better way to visualize 2020 than with lemons. I love the approach of taking all that was defective in 2020 and transforming it into a brand opportunity to introduce a new product. It’s relatable, it’s timely, it’s executed with humor and levity (which we all need right now), and it serves up a positive message that every dad-joke aficionado would be proud to wield themselves.

Hillary Williams, Group Brand Director

Doritos: #FlatMatthew

Feel like you were steam rolled and utterly deflated by 2020? Me too … and apparently, so does Matthew McConaughey. Doritos nails how so many feel, but makes us smile in doing so with their clever (…and slightly disturbing…) portrayal of #FlatMatthew. A winning combination that personifies our emotions of 2020, directly connects to their revamped 3D product launch, extends engagement outside the game on social and gives us a good laugh.

Sarah Taylor, Group Brand Director

Robinhood: “Born investor”

Opening with an emotional hook of an adorable dog, Robinhood connects with people over the idea that we were all born investors. Maybe not the financial kind, but we as humans are really good at investing everyday in what matters most to us — our dogs, our families, our friends, our health and even our businesses. In a positive, uplifting ad, I think we can all appreciate Robinhood’s attempt to repair their reputation amidst the Game Stop controversy. The idea behind their product of democratizing investing is very intriguing as people (especially Gen Z) want to take matters into their own hands, but will it be enough to repair the damage that’s been done?

Nick Bontaites, Executive Creative Director

Pringles: “Stacked”

I fully enjoyed this one. Not just because it’s a total product differentiator, it gets you to buy more Pringles and promotes trial. But because it is simple and smart, and I tend to enjoy the “how would the world change” exaggeration. I loved the authenticity of the joy-dance on the boat. I want to be mindlessly distracted by flavored chips for a while.

Barry Frechette, Director Of Makers

Paramount+: “Sweet Victory”

After 2020 was so… 2020, all I wanted was a bit of a laugh out of my Super Bowl.  Please.  I’m going to heart anything with Patrick Stewart. Granted, another subscription service is the last thing I am interested in, but Sir Patrick’s delivery with Stephan Colbert, Sponge Bob and the rest,  was a pretty good use of so many faces.   It’s hard to stand out in a very crowded market with Disney, Netflix and the rest, but Patrick Stewart’s MC’ing of a mountain top “We are the Paramount World” gave me a sensible chuckle.

Alyssa Stevens, Director of PR and Social Media

Logitech: “Defy Logic”

Over the last year, we saw people explore new forms of self-expression, and I love how Logitech put the spotlight on creators in their ad. Whether it was picking up a new hobby amidst quarantine, finding joy by making engaging TikTok content, or demonstrating the power of freedom of speech and demand for equality, 2020 put emotion before logic as we navigated the times. I appreciate Logitech’s focus on creators, makers, and activists, and felt that the ad’s conclusion where Lil Nas X says, “To create the future, we must defy the logic of the past. We must defy logic” was particularly poignant. Nothing is more “Defiantly Human” than that, and as a social media marketer with a passion for influencer marketing, I can attest to the power of creators to move the needle with their content and POV, especially when that content is thought provoking and pushes the boundaries. It’s time to celebrate the people who demonstrate an unwavering spirit to pursue their passion, no matter what. Kudos to Logitech for doing just that!

Brian Kastelein, Director of Data and Analytics

Mountain Dew: “Major Melon”

I like to count things. I count the miles I bike. I count my frequent flyer miles. I count the books I read.  It is no surprise that I’ve made marketing analytics my career. It just fits…marketing measurement and analysis involves a lot of counting. So when John Cena tells me that I can win a million dollars for counting the number of Mountain Dew Major Melon bottles that appear in his Super Bowl ad, I’m all in. Don’t get me wrong, there was plenty tonight that I found funny, entertaining, and even thought-provoking, but most ads rendered me only a passive recipient of what was coming through my screen. Mountain Dew, by contrast, went above and beyond in terms of engagement. They prompted me to be active. They captured my attention and intention. I sat forward in my chair. I slowed down my DVR. And I counted.

Michelle Capasso, Director of Media Services

Toyota: “Upstream”

Most of us wanted to be entertained this year – stepping away from the crazy of the past 12 months.   But the Superbowl is also one of the few opportunities during the year to pull at heartstrings, and I, for one, look forward to that as much as a good laugh. Toyota certainly pulled that off by once again mining a very real and very human story.  This is not an overt play on the emotions of COVID – the NFL handled most of that in their vignettes, appropriately – but beautiful visual storytelling with a very subtle corporate connection that still results in a lump in the throat – I’m not crying, you’re crying…  Toyota stayed low key by using its promo billboard copy to not hit its tagline, or even it’s sponsorship of Team USA and Paralympians, but to insert a social distancing and mask line into that unit.  Again, subtle, but meaningful, and without chest-beating and corporate statements.

Reddit: “Sorry We Crashed Your Super Bowl Party” 

It wouldn’t be a media mention without calling out the regional :05 Reddit spot- and I’m lucky enough to be in one of the original airing markets!  It was clearly a creative use of the airtime – although they could have had the same effect without the overt, literal “glitch/interruption” concept. But it was even better as an opportunistic use of their recent “moment” in the news.  Definitely a risk to assume viewers would pause it or Google exactly what that :05 manifesto said – but it was a calculated one that took advantage of other social platforms, like Twitter, to literally post the ad like a mini-billboard within seconds for nationwide distribution beyond those select markets.  And one that is completely fitting for the grassroots, authentic and viral community that reddit showed itself to be over the past few weeks.

Steve Connelly, President and Copywriter  

GM: “No Way Norway”

WIll Ferrell. No political statements. No over thinking required. No mental requirements. Just good old fashioned Norway bashing. Seriously, a very important topic of national urgency – more electric cars, handled in a way that made me laugh out loud and made the point even louder. On a side note, no one needs a haircut during the pandemic more than Will Ferrell.

Scott Madden, Senior Partner, Director of Strategy 

Jeep: “The Middle” 

It’s not even close. Jeep “The Middle” is the mic drop of Super Bowl 55.

Commercial perfection. Touches the pulse of our humanity. Touches what ALL of us feel right now, in this very moment,  about the country we live in and the people we call neighbors and fellow Americans. Brilliance in concept. Choosing the physical and metaphorical ‘ middle of America.’ Reminding all of us that we are a people – one who are united in our adoration of our Constitution, yet clouded and divided by the ideological interpretation of that very doctrine. Jeep nails society’s pulse and uses a powerful and iconic common denominator in tapping Bruce Springstein – both his poetic brilliance and his physical symbolism of American ideals – to remind all of us that we have more in common, across human values and freedom, than we have in difference. Kudos to Jeep for making their product a far distant second to the message. A Reunited States of America. Copywriting subtly and brilliance. Watching this soliloquy makes me proud to be a marketer. It reinforces my belief that brands can be a positive force in bringing people together when so many other forces around us make that seem near-impossible.

Chris Corrado, Associate Media Director added:

The Super Bowl is the holy grail for media and creative teams alike – it is the culmination of hard work, long nights, and some of our greatest ideas – on the nation’s biggest stage. As an Associate Media Director, I tend to focus on the where and when behind each spot and each commercial break, but this year one ad in particular resonated with me amongst the rest. Jeeps “The Middle” ad featuring Bruce Springstein, brought goosebumps to my arms with a clear call for unity in a time where our nation couldn’t be any further apart. Most advertisers went for comedy, which definitely had its place this year, but Jeep took a bold stand and chose to take on the division first hand. Time will tell if this anthemic spot will translate to sales, but it is clear that Jeep is asking us all as a country to take the middle road.