By now, we’ve all heard about the unbelievable overtime play that wrapped up Super Bowl LI, but have you forgotten about the eye-catching commercials? Of course, that’s our favorite part of the Super Bowl. Brands this year addressed a wide array of topics in their creative storytelling, ranging from somber political commentary to kooky close-ups of John Malkovich swearing at a computer. The team at Karmory shares its top picks for this year — which ad was your favorite?
Madison’s Pick — “Daughter”
This one tackles an important issue around our current climate crisis in a sensitive way — namely, with a father’s love. As his daughter races through a soapbox derby, he muses whether or not he should tell his daughter that “her grandfather is worth more than her grandmother…that her father is worth more than her mother…” Madison liked what the father ultimately decided on. See for yourself.
Harry’s Pick — “Born the Hard Way”
The Budweiser story features an immigrant – Adolphus Busch – as he makes his journey from Germany to the United States. He faces numerous trials along the way, and in the end, befriends a stranger by the name of Eberhard Anheuser. Where have we seen those names before? Budweiser’s direct juxtaposition against the recent policy changes on immigration reflects the company’s overall stance — that immigration has always been good, for both people and business.
Ricky’s Pick – “Who is JohnMalkovich.com?”
John Malkovich’s ad centers around the story of his fashion line. A little background — when John decided to make his own fashion line, he couldn’t get the domain named after him because it was already owned by a fisherman. Our bearded protagonist gives us plenty of exaggeration and acting prowess, all captured with creative cinematography and simple shots. Squarespace gets the message across without frills, and it deserves an extra view. Try not to snort when John starts dropping F-bombs at an innocent stranger.
Sohan’s Pick — “Yearbooks”
Sohan’s top pick is easily the most outright heartwarming. Many of the features we’ve seen have taken hardline political stances, or they’ve avoided politics altogether and focused on making us laugh instead. In Honda’s spot, we see the yearbook photos of numerous celebrities talking to us from the past, asking us questions, and telling us one important thing — remember to dream. Other ‘message-centric’ pieces have had positive messages around the state of our nation, but this one speaks to the dreamer in each of us. That’s an appeal we don’t see enough of, and sometimes it’s the appeal we need the most.
Janet’s Pick — “It’s A 10 Haircare”
It’s A 10 Hair Products takes a tactful approach to political commentary. Their video notes that, for the next 4 years, America is in for bad hair — a subtle dig at POTUS. While most of the ads take a direct stance against one of the White House’s recent actions, this one quietly takes a jab at something we can all agree is pretty funny. So, I give a hearty ‘well-done’ to the brand for making a political spot that actually makes us smile again – if only briefly.
Eric’s Pick — “We Accept”
In asking Eric about his favorite ad of the night, he simply said in watching “We Accept”, the brand elegantly supports their core values in a simple and easily understood manner. The ad’s main message, “we all belong”, conveys the company’s open arms to the world. The photos are beautifully shot and they don’t just show us faces — they force us to see people. In divisive times, Airbnb reminds us of our unity. With such a quick and beautifully produced ad, anyone can understand the message immediately.