The #Superbowl is the biggest media stage in the United States, where brands pay big money to merchandize their offerings to a massive captive audience. It is not surprising that the cost of a :30 ad costs up to 5 million dollars.
If you are going to pay such enormous sums of money, then you better have a strong case for the return that you can generate. For most companies, the justification would be difficult. For others, the sheer reach and potential positive impact on brand equity metrics, which will influence purchase intent, is worth the investment. In the past Superbowl ad displays, advertisers focused on key storytelling levers to capture audience attention: make the story really funny, make the story incredibly heart-wrenching, make the story incredibly weird.
This year, advertisers went much more political. This could be a risky move because the likelihood of alienating a large part of the audience is very real. However, given the current political environment, brands felt the need to speak out. Brand were brave. It was a brilliant demonstration of humanity, and of companies using money to create debate, not just sell products. Well done.
Here are some of the works that went all in:
Airbnb – the most political story, boldly stating that we all belong, regardless of our gender, race, or religion.
Budweiser – A beautiful story about accepting immigrants, because they have made this country what it is
84 Lumber – Shows the plight of a Mexican mother and daughter, and how they should be welcomed into the US
Audi – About gender equality
Coca Cola – A story of diversity and acceptance
Google – More of a product ad, but acknowledges that variety in society that the current administration is acting against
Michelin – A story of keeping the diverse people in our communities safe
If you are interested in watching to top rated Superbowl ads of 2017, go to Ad Age here