Super Bowl LV Advertising Par for The Course
Aaron Perlut | Partner

The pregame hype leading up to the big game this year was stolen by who had decided not to advertise, and the list was impressive including heavyweights like Pepsi and Coke to name a few.  As a result, this only added to a nothing-but-normal year we’ve all been living through.

That said, we saw history in the making for Super Bowl LV, thanks to Tom Brady.

There were a lot of commercial duds throughout the Super Bowl from companies all together opting not to entertain (WeatherTech), to just flat-out bad comedy (Sketchers), but there were a few highlights.

On the heels of GM’s big announcement to sell only zero-emission vehicles by 2035, they decided to poke the bear, when making fun of Norway with their Super Bowl ad featuring Will Ferrell.  What resulted was a social media tit for tat between GM, Norway, then Ford, providing the most pregame excitement which then opened to door to a host of others to join the fray.  The commercial itself leveraged classic Ferrell comedy to the fullest.

Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade’s commercial hit on a very smart tie into how badly 2020 was.  Dare I say it was a refreshing twist on the loads of same styled commercials we witnessed advertisers repeat throughout the year.

Rocket Mortgage hit comedy gold with Tracy Morgan and their “Certain is better.” campaign highlighting the difference between being pretty sure, and certain.  Pure comedic genius all the while reinforcing the importance of using Rocket Mortgage.

Toyota hit both an emotionally touching tone and a cinematic eye-catcher with their Paralympic endorsement of Team USA in the brand’s commercial.  Some may argue an ad needs to showcase the brand’s product, or at a minimum mention the brand name early on — but this is an example of a brand using an opportunity to champion the good they do.  To me, that’s admirable and delivers on a higher calling through a well-crafted story featuring Jessica Long, a 13 time Paralympic Gold Medalist.

All in all, the commercials this year were par for the course, with a few stellar standouts amongst a crowd of brands missing the massive stage the Super Bowl offers.

Aaron Perlut
Aaron Perlut is a cofounding partner of Elasticity with some 30 years of diverse experience in journalism, public relations and digital marketing. He is a former senior reputation management counselor at Omnicom-company FleishmanHillard, as well as a communications executive for two of the nation's largest energy companies. Throughout his career, Perlut has counseled a range of organizations---Fortune 500s, state governments, professional sports franchises, economic development authorities, well-funded startups and large non-profits---helping manage reputation and market brands across diverse channels in an evolving media environment.
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