Super Bowl XLVIII has come and gone, and so too has millions of dollars in advertising. Fox charged a whopping $4 million for each thirty-second ad. What companies made the best impression on the Super Bowl’s record high 111.5 million viewers?
There seems to be a strong sentiment that this was an off year for Super Bowl commercials (not to mention the actual game). Many folks can’t even point to a favorite. Perhaps this year, the offerings weren’t as funny as previous years, but what brands ultimately care about is impact. To say the least, many companies successfully established a whole new way of viewing their brand. That’s why we’ve ranked the Top 5 Impactful Advertisements of the 2014 Super Bowl. These are the ads that forced us to reconsider their company’s image. This is just our list, so if you think we missed something, make sure you comment below.
With that said, let’s start our list:
#5 “Make Love, Not War” - Axe
This advertisement was rated the best Super Bowl ad of 2014 by superbowl-commercials.org. While we don’t believe this ad had the most impact, it certainly was one that kept our attention. It opens with visual references to many fear-invoking US policy issues, including Vietnam, North Korea, and Iran. Our expectations are quickly changed as the scenes turn from priming fear to showing love. A tank opens so a woman can hug her dear husband.
So, why then does this advertisement fall so far down on our list? It might have overshadowed Axe's actual product. After all, "make love, not war" is a complete thought in itself. What we believe Axe was going for is a sort of historical revisionist take, as if Axe's product would have increased attraction between men and their wives, which would have stopped many of the world's conflicts. The implication is that the smell of Axe brings people together enough so that they forget about war. Yet, we don't believe most got this takeaway. We don't see the male actors actually apply the product. Moreover, the advertisement could be seen as a charity message, if you take out the small part at the end that actually reminds the audience that there is a product launch happening.
#4 "The Phone Call" - Radio Shack
We’re not ranking this ad due to its humor. The ad is attempting to be funny, but it just seems to fall flat in this regard.
With that said, we do get a clear sense of Radio Shack’s message. The use of many classic 80’s movie characters and old technology was a good way to help transition the image of Radio Shack being outdated to a newer reveal at the end of the ad. Many people were probably surprised the company still exists, let alone has hip products that they might actually care about.
While we still aren’t sure why Radio Shack should be preferable to Best Buy, Target or an online retailer, we at least know that it will have the latest products, should we happen to be looking for something when we pass one.
#3 “The Truth” - Kia
There could have been no better pick to dispel the marketing image of competitors than Morpheus. We instantly understood that Kia was trying to portray itself as a quality product lost due to insufficient marketing.
With that said, this ad definitely could have been improved. We didn’t think the qualities of the car were actually emphasized enough. What did Morpheus mean by talking about the feeling or the sound of the car? Are the seats of higher quality material? Are the speakers’ extra high-quality? The execution also felt a little bit off, and while it seemed like the goal was to be funny, it didn’t really stand out comically. Also, the humorous approach doesn’t really synergize with the Matrix atmosphere. That’s what kept this ad from making it higher on our list.
#2 “America’s Import” - Chrysler
What could be more impactful than Bob Dylan asking you to let him make your car? That’s quite a line coming from the musical legend, and certainly made us wonder why Bob Dylan was willing to go so far for this brand.
But there’s one level deeper that needs to be addressed here. Many people don’t realize this, but music is a large export from the United States. You can travel all over the world and hear American music on the radio. Equating the two is important, because most Americans only listen to music that is made in the USA. ‘Listen to American music in American cars’ is the sentiment here.
The other impactful element is the idea that products have an optimal origin. Where do quality watches come from? Obviously Switzerland. How about quality cars? Obviously America, the place where they were originally created.
This is any easy pick for the most impactful spot. There’s already been a lot said about this advertisement and for some reason it’s coming off as controversial. Is it really that shocking to hear Spanish in an advertisement when there are 38 million native Spanish speakers in the U.S?
Whether or not the ad is controversial, it is certainly accomplishing the goal of embedding Coca Cola deeper into U.S culture. For those who don’t know, Coke is actually trailing in market shares to Pepsi in the United States. How has Coke decided to rebrand itself? It wants to be the embodiment of the American melting pot. The image of Coke being a tolerant and liberal-minded company will also appeal greatly to the younger generations, and just might get them to put down the Pepsi in the grocery store, in order to help a company with progressive values.