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The Phenomenon of the Super Bowl Advertising: BEST of 2017

Sunday, February 5, Americans all over the world were watching Super Bowl, the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL), which is the highest level of professional American football in the world.

For the rest of us, who are not fond of the American football, the annual event was memorable with something else, the commercials that aired during the game. In case some of you ask why, let me explain. The companies choose to broadcast their best ads on this day as the game has the highest viewership and demographics. Just in 2017, over 111.9 people were watching the game on TV.

Not surprisingly, the advertising time costs the highest for the companies as well. Particularly, for 30 second advertising spot the companies were willing to pay exactly 5 million US dollars in 2017. As you can see from the graph below, prices have increased almost every year from a modest 40,000 US dollars in 1967.

Super Bowl Ads Price Statistics

The result is that the companies and brands are motivated to give the Super Bowl viewers some of the most iconic and well known advertisements with their cinematographic quality, unpredictability, surreal humor, and even use of special effects. Even the involvement of famous people, including actors, directors, athletes and politicians have become quite common in Super Bowl ad culture.

Despite the money spent and the celebrities involved, few Super Bowl commercials have actually won awards. Why? Because these commercials are mainly made for the brands’ and products’ awareness, unlike other times when companies primarily focus on providing the product’s “RTB’s” (reasons to believe) and USP’s (unique selling propositions) and do not accentuate the artistic/cinematographic value in their commercials. A Super Bowl commercial is considered a success if it is talked about and remembered afterwards.

Thus, here are the top five of the best commercials of this year, in my opinion.

Best Five

  1. Honda’s The Power of Dreams
    Animation? Check! Celebrity cameos? Check! Humor? Check! Inspiring speech? Check! What else is there needed for a memorable and meaningful commercial? This year Honda decided to show us that “the Power of Dreams” is huge. Dream big and you will succeed, especially with the car of your dreams.

  2. 84 Lumber’s The Journey Begins
    Trump and his politics are not news anymore. The notion of a wall separating two countries has raised an outrage among the citizens in both the United States and Mexico. By this commercial 84 Lumber shows that they do not agree with the current president’s ideas. Moreover, as a construction company though they can build walls, they can also create doors to welcome everyone through them.

  3. Squarespace with John Malkovich
    Malkovich is an acting genius, a legend and simply a royalty in Hollywood. No one would imagine him doing something else than acting. Thus, only the idea of him becoming a fashion designer is funny and not believable. More hilarious is that there might be someone else with the same name, as the John Malkovich is one for all of us. Besides, the ad actually gets to the point for the brand: it tells a simple yet very common story of a man who starts his own business and encounters a problem of finding the right domain name for his business.


  4. Snickers’ Live Commercial “Old West”
    In fact, Snickers isn’t the pioneer in broadcasting a live commercial during a Super Bowl game. Jos. Schlitz Brewing Company already did it in 1981 with a live taste test during Super Bowl XV. Despite that the idea of live streaming an ad is quite nouveau. What could possibly go wrong when you are live on TV? Everything! The ad is brilliant, as it both entertains the viewers, makes the effort of getting everything wrong and most importantly sends the famous product message to its customers.


  5. Kia with Melissa McCarthy Saves the PlanetYou might ask, this was another average commercial with a celebrity cameo in it, why include in the list of top five? Well, with this ad Kia showed us that it recognizes the hazards their cars cause by CO2 emission. You shouldn’t be vegetarian or an environmental activist to care about the environment you live in. You just need to be a conscious citizen and use products that harm the surroundings less. We do have neither the control nor time to fight for all the good causes we want to fight in this world. However, what we have is the responsibility to make the right choice in using certain products.


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