The Super Bowl is arguably the most coveted ad slot in the world. As many as 189 million people will watch the NFL’s championship game on Sunday (4 February) between New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles and according to Forbes the average cost of a 30-second commercial during the game in 2015 was $5m (£3.5).
Last year the Superbowl halftime adverts were dominated by political messages after Trump’s inauguration, however, this year brands have gone back to celebrity cameos and funny tag lines.
Kia: Steven Tyler Big Game
Kia’s ‘Feel something again’ ad is turning back time with rock and roll legend Steven Tyler. The Aerosmith frontman is promoting its latest car, the Kia Stinger, in a race with a twist – the car’s in reverse.
Tyler arrives at a lonely race track in the middle of the desert decked out in a classic race suit. He baffles his competition by speeding the car in reverse which simultaneously turns back time. Tyler emerges from the car as a a vision of his younger self, hair blowing in the wind. As young Steven gets out, hundreds of female fans run at him and it appears he is ‘feeling something again.’
Pepsico: Pepsi Generations ‘This is the Pepsi’
This year Pepsi is flaunting its heritage. Its Super Bowl advert marks the launch of the brands new global advertising campaign which sees it parade its iconic pop culture history.
The ad, titled ‘This Is the Pepsi’ pays homage to its most iconic adverts including ones featuring Ray Charles, Michael Jackson and Britney Spears. It also features a cameo by Cindy Crawford, who recreates her 1992 ad but with the addition of her son. As the advert runs through old adverts the voiceover reminds viewers that “this is the Pepsi that your father drank, that his father drank” before ending with “This is the Pepsi for every generation”.
The campaign will also see the brand introduce a limited-edition vintage packaging design, the reintroduction of the Pepsi Stuff loyalty scheme, which see fans earn points buying Pepsi items, and various pop-up exhibits.
Coca-Cola: Life is short, have a Diet Coke
Pepsi’s rival, drinks giant Coca-Cola has gone a different route in a bid to flaunt its Diet Coke rebrand to millennials.
The brand picked actress Gillian Jacobs to explain why she loves the beverage. With new flavours and packaging the new Diet Cokes which are meant to appeal to more health-conscious millennials which Jacobs address specifically. While walking down a sunny street, drinking a diet coke, she explains that be it running a marathon, living in a yurt or drinking coke do what you want “because I can.”
Amazon: Alexa loses her voice
Amazon has gone all out for its half time advert this year, buying 90 seconds of air time and filling it with a number of celebrity cameos. In the ads, the company is faced with disaster when its Alexa voice assistant loses her voice and various famous faces are forced to take over. It begins with founder and CEO Jeff Bezos asking his frazzled employee’s: “You sure this is going to work?”, before seeing the celebrity attempts unfold.
Gordon Ramsey insults a man for asking how to eat a grilled cheese, rapper Cardi B plays her own music when Alexa is asked for country and Sir Anthony Hopkins does what he does best being eerily creepy when a girl asks to call her boyfriend.
Budweiser: Stand by You
Last year, Budweiser opted for a politically charged advert and in 2018 the beer is promoting its charity work – providing water for natural disaster areas.
With a cover of Stand by You playing in the background, the advert shows one employee receiving a phone call in the middle of the night before going into the brewery to work to provide water. When he returns home his proud wife gazes adoringly at while the television covers Budweiser’s water delivery.
The advert is part of a pledge to join two of its breweries in Georgia Colardo to deliver more clean water for communities in need. Since 1988, the brand has helped provide 79 million cans of water to cities across the US that were impacted by natural disasters.
Lexus/ Marvel Studios: Long Live The King
Marvel Studios has teamed up with Lexus to create an advert that features stunts worthy of the upcoming film, Black Panther
King T’Challa (a.k.a. Black Panther) performs a number of stunts while driving the LS 500 F SPORT before arriving at his own red carpet. It features a number of members of the cast as the superheroes show off the luxury car’s features.
Other honourable mentions have to go to M&M which sees Danny Devito as the classic red M&M’s human form, Skittles’ edgy David Schwimmer ad, and Pesipsco’s epic rap battle between the unlikely foursome of Game of Thrones Peter Dinklage Morgan Freeman and rappers Missy Elliot and Busta Rhymes.