Maybe you’re in it for the football, or maybe for the snacks, but for our marketing team– each year’s Super Bowl magic lies in the top-notch ads it garners. Hours and hours of creative work and millions and millions of dollars back these advertisements, so oftentimes, they represent the best of the best in the marketing world. Our team at Riverworks really enjoyed digging into the 2020 Super Bowl ads, choosing our favorites, and sharing why each landed for us. Read some of our thoughts below!
Mountain Dew Zero Sugar – The Shining
One of the biggest reasons I chose this commercial is because it made me laugh out loud and still makes me laugh thinking about it. The woman in the bathroom fighting off the axe with the loofa? I was cry-laughing so much I couldn’t see the tv. Bryan Cranston dressed up as those creepy little girls at the end? Hilarious. The tagline was “As good as the original” and recreating that intense and memorable scene from the Shining with Bryan (he will always be Hal to me), Mountain Dew, and a lot of humor, made it memorable.
Soda Stream – Water on Mars
I thought this commercial was hilarious because NASA and the world is so fixated on getting to Mars and finding evidence of what could have been liquid water on the red planet. I personally love the soda stream, and so I can definitely relate to the guy who carbonated the “Mars water” and drank it. That would be something I would have done.
Rocket Mortgage – Jason Momoa Comfortable at Home
The funny commercials are my personal favorite. The Rocket Mortgage commercial cracked me up. Jason Momoa walks into his home, takes his shoes off, removes his arm and ab muscles, and then pulls off the center of his long hair. The deconstruction of his well-known and regularly fawned over appearance was unexpected. Building off that was his transformation into “that guy” – we all know that guy. He sits down to play… what looked like a dobro (?) The impact of the ‘sexy’ side-eye glance, a common Jason Momoa expression but this time executed through his “true self”-image in his home, acted as another punch line for his transformation.
The ending included a Lisa Bonet cameo, assisting with the empty barbell lifting. I love a humorous last-moment snippet at the very end that’s processed after the ad’s completion. It’s a great way to extend that investment, and sometimes steals the beginning from someone else. (See… whoever followed the very emotional Google commercial about dementia.)
Michelob Ultra – Transitioning to Organic
The commercial says that buying a 6 pack of Michelob will help them transition 6 square feet of farmland to organic. They artfully juxtaposed customers with their impact on farmland. While I’m a little skeptical that they’ll follow through, and while I probably still won’t drink Michelob, this campaign really helps viewers understand the impact they could have. This has been done successfully before by Toms (with their one-for-one campaign) and other major brands, but I can’t think of anyone doing it with beer. I hope the idea of organic beer catches on—we need healthier farms and healthier food products, beer included.
A close second for best ad was the series Budweiser did going inside Post Malone’s head as he chose Bud products. It was dumb, and again, I won’t be drinking Budweiser any time soon (or listening to Post Malone for that matter), but it did give me a good, solid laugh. They really went all out, and that will likely make it very memorable.
Google – Loretta
This commercial is more serious and touching in nature than most, but I liked that about it. It shows how Google can actually be a helpful tool and help in a tough situation. I’d prefer a commercial like this over a commercial that tries to be funny and fails in the process (Which is how I felt about most of these commercials).
Snickers – The Snickers Hole to Fix the World
I feel like a lot of the ads were trying too hard to be zany or outrageous. While the Snickers’ commercial is no different, with its giant Snickers Bar being helicopter dropped into an even bigger hole in the ground, I think the message is pretty relatable— that the world needs to be fixed. Their examples of modern problems were at times funny, like reinventing milk too many times or babies named after produce. While at other times, universal: robocalls, bad politics, and a plethora of new smart devices that mainly act as low-key surveillance tools (probably). I feel like this commercial landed in the sweet spot of relatable and memorable.
Frito Lay – Doritos | The Cool Ranch
Talk about a showdown between Little Nas X and Sam Elliott — a dance showdown, that is! Each dance move to the song “Old Town Road” (Little Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus) was hilarious — including Sam Elliott’s brilliant mustache move. I thought it was a super creative way to bring the old west and modern-day pop culture together. I loved the tie in of “The Cool Ranch”. And, it gave a nod to animal lovers when Sam’s horse nodded “no way” to the thought of dancing like the horse of Little Nas X. It was packed with thoughtful touches. Well done.
I have to also give a nod to the Cheetos “Can’t Touch This” commercial with MC Hammer. It brought me back to the eighties, and it made me laugh. Frito Lay was on point this year.
Little Caesars – Greatest thing since sliced bread
Honestly, I think the reason this landed for me is because PIZZA. JK. Kinda. Actually, I love the idea of using a popular idiom to drive the message. “The greatest thing since sliced bread” is something that already sticks in our heads, so piggybacking on that is a smart game plan. The commercial is also pretty damn funny in my opinion! Which is a plus. The bit where the sliced bread team is chowing down on some Little Caesars delivery was hilarious, and then they really bring it home when Sliced Bread Man is the delivery guy at the end. Perf. And the Little Caesars branding is loud throughout, so there is no remembering the commercial/forgetting the product at hand– which frankly happens to me all the time.
Haven’t seen the ads? You can watch a commercial recap here then let us know which is your favorite ad!