Brands prepare for the Super Bowl

As this weekend’s US Super Bowl sporting bonanza approaches, brands have been whipping up interest in their planned break-time TV commercials

As this Sunday’s US Super Bowl sporting bonanza approaches, brands have been whipping up interest in their planned break-time TV commercials, pre-releasing them via YouTube, releasing teasers or getting consumers involved via online games and competitions.

With a 30-second TV slot reportedly costing $4m this year, companies including Coca Cola, Volkswagen and Snickers are clearly keen to maximise ROI. Some of the ads make the most of tried and tested Super Bowl traditions, such as the celebrity cameo or the quirky four-legged friend, while others tack away from previous directions. So here’s our round-up of what’s caught our eye this week.

Following the release of VW’s teaser ad ‘Sunny Side’ last week (which converted infamously angry YouTube stars to sunny happiness, to the tunes of reggae legend Jimmy Cliff), the main commercial released this week is a bit of a disappointment. Also from Deutsch, it continues with the happiness theme, but in a rather less inspiring approach – an office worker from Minnesota who spreads positivity in an odd Jamaican patois. Not quite the mini-Darth Vader or ‘Dog Strikes Back‘ of previous years.

Competitor brand Audi promotes its car’s ability to instil an awkward youth with uncharasteristic bravery in this ad created by Venables, Bell & Partners.

Snickers, meanwhile, has added to its ‘You’re not you when you’re hungry’ string of campaigns, with Robin Williams doing his comedic shtick, and a cameo by US actor and comedian Bobcat Goldthwait.

Coca Cola has ditched its polar bears and gone all guns blazing in its multi-media interactive campaign, ‘The Mirage’. The released clip pits three tribes – the cowboys, the showgirls and the badlanders – against each other in a thirsty race across a desert to secure a giant can of Coke. Conceived by Wieden + Kennedy, and directed by Bryan Buckley of Hungry Man, the campaign invites consumers to vote for their favourite gang in the run-up to – and during – the game, with the winning outcome revealed after the final whistle on the day.

Doritos is also inviting consumers to vote, once again running its annual Crash the Super Bowl contest. Amateur directors have submitted home-made, 30-second ads, and the winner is being chosen by public vote from five finalists.

The entry below, ‘Goat 4 Sale’, directed by Ben Callner and featuring a goat that won’t let anything get between it and its Doritos, is particularly amusing.

Taco Bell is also going off-beat in its Super Bowl campaign with its endearing demographic reversal. It follows up its teaser of ‘Grandpa goes wild’ this week with its in-play commercial ‘Viva Young’, continuing the ‘Live Más’ tagline. Created by Deutsch LA and directed by Noam Murro, the ad shows the same grandfather living it up with his OAP friends to a Spanish translation of Fun’s ‘We Are Young’ – “Esta noche… Nosotros somos jovenes…”


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