The Super Bowl has come to represent so much more than a game, growing into an American national holiday that celebrates the collective love of football, television and the advertising that helps make both possible.
Much like the game played on the field, there are high stakes involved for advertisers. With hundreds of millions tuning in, it’s a battle of creativity each year as they fight it out for glory. Let’s take a look at 5 campaigns that caught our eye from Sunday’s game.
1. HQ Trivia App
Two million people tuned into HQ, the real-time trivia app at halftime after HQ announced it would give away $20,000. That means that 2 million less people watched Justin Timberlakes half time show (or at least partially watched their phone at the same time). This was a big win for HQ as they looked to steal the half time downtime period. HG Trivia may have drawn their inspiration from Volvo’s Twitter Super Bowl Hijack which totally stole the limelight, asking fans to tweet every time they saw a rival car ad to try win a Volvo SUV.
2. Janet Jackson
Justin Timberlake performed in the halftime show for the first time since the infamous wardrobe malfunction with Janet Jackson 14 years ago. By the beginning of the second half, the hashtag #JanetJacksonAppreciationDay had been used more than 77,000 times. Spotify proved that even if you don’t have a campaign prepared, events like these are great opportunities for cultural piggy-backing with the brand earning some free exposure with the tweet below.
3 – Doritos Blaze vs Mtn Dew Ice
The rap battle of the 21st century arrived at Super Bowl LII when Peter Dinklage faced off against Morgan Freeman in a battle of Doritos Blaze and Mtn Dew Ice. Doritos and Mountain Dew started releasing teaser ads a few days before the Super Bowl to get everyone excited and the main event did not disappoint. Clever brands are now turning their ad into an event with teaser content multiplying the power of the message.
Tide are famous for their Super Bowl ads. Who can forget the Terry Bradshaw/P&G campaign from last year that won big at Cannes Lions. This year ‘Stranger Things’ star David Harbour explains that, actually, every single Super Bowl ad is a Tide ad—because all the clothes are clean. These self-aware and humorous ads are one of the quickest ways for brands to go viral with Tide’s ad already clocking up over 1 million views on YouTube.
5. The Marriot Hotel – Super Bowl Sleepover
For the third year in a row, the hotel brand has offered a once-in-a-lifetime experience to a die-hard fan through its Super Bowl Sleepover Contest. The hotel brand asked fans to submit photos and videos through social media using the hashtag #CourtyardSuperBowlContest, explaining “what makes them the most passionate fan.” The overall winner got to stay in the luxury suite the night before the game. They’ve brought their brand right into the epicentre of the event by creating an occasion of their own and managed to capture the childlike innocence of game-time excitement, making it a huge emotional win.