The best of Super Bowl 51’s ads

This photo provided by Kia Motors America shows a scene from the company's spot for Super Bowl 51, between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017. Melissa McCarthy humorously takes on political causes like saving whales, ice caps and trees, each time to disastrous effect, in Kia’s 60-second third-quarter ad to promote the fuel efficiency of its 2017 Niro crossover. (Kia Motors America via AP)
This photo provided by Kia Motors America shows a scene from the company's spot for Super Bowl 51, between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017. Melissa McCarthy humorously takes on political causes like saving whales, ice caps and trees, each time to disastrous effect, in Kia’s 60-second third-quarter ad to promote the fuel efficiency of its 2017 Niro crossover. (Kia Motors America via AP)

NEW YORK (AP/WCMH) — A feature of several Super Bowl ads as an expected 110 million tune in to watch the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots face off:

___

Audi’s spot addresses gender equality as a man muses about his daughter receiving equal pay as men one day.

 

___

Snickers generated buzz before the game by saying it planned to air a live ad starring Adam Driver from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and the TV show “Girls.”

In the ad that aired, a set that falls apart — on purpose — during a Wild West live spot with Driver.

“You ruin live Super Bowl commercials when you’re hungry,” the copy reads on screen.

The ad made a point of mocking itself, and the Twitter account for corporate sibling Skittles, which is also owned by Mars Inc., seemed in on the joke. Skittles tweeted that, “it’s okay, you still had a good try! I’ll throw some Skittles at your window for you!”

The second part of the comment was a reference to a Skittles ad that aired earlier in the game, in which a guy threw the colorful candies at a window. Inside the home, the object of his affections, her family members and others took turns catching the candies in their mouths.

___

First -time Super Bowl advertiser 84 Lumber said its original ad showed “a wall” and was rejected for being too controversial. The ad that aired during the game showed a mother and daughter traveling through Mexico, then directed viewers to go online to see the conclusion of their story.

The website provided by the company appeared to be having some problems, but the full ad was also available on YouTube.

The spot posted online runs a little under 6 minutes and shows construction workers erecting a structure. The mother and daughter are then shown coming upon a towering wall, and appearing defeated. As it turns out, the workers were building a massive wooden gate in the wall, and the mother and daughter push through it to cross into the other side.

The ad ends with the words, “The will to succeed is always welcome here.”

While a few other advertisers hit on relatively safe themes of inclusiveness, the spot by 84 Lumber appeared to take a more direct stand against President Donald Trump’s promise to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

___

T-Mobile‘s first ad of the night shows pop star Justin Bieber narrating a mock history of end zone celebrations and features Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski and Terrell Owens.

T-Mobile’s final ad of the night was a continuation of a satirically racy ad starring comedian Kristen Schaal in a spoof of “50 Shades of Grey.”

An ad from earlier in the game had poked fun at Verizon, with Schaal suggestively telling a man she loves “getting hit with surprise fees.” In the follow-up ad, Schaal calls Verizon’s customer service, says she’s exceeded her data limit and asks, “What are you going to do to me?” and “Am I going to get punished?”

She moans in delight when he mentions “taxes and fees.”

Verizon countered the ad on social media by tweeting that it was indeed “into BDSM. Bigger coverage map, Devastating Speed, and Massive capacity.” It followed up with, “Unfortunately no one will hear your safe word if you’re on @Tmobile.”

___

An ad by a trade group sought to rebrand oil’s image, opening with the line that “This ain’t your daddy’s oil.”

The ad showed a series of colorful ways oil is apparently used, including in spray paint and makeup. It said the “oil pumps life,” ”oil runs cleaner” and “oil explores space” — unexpected phrases for many that drew some mockery on social media.

The American Petroleum Institute says on its website that it represents the oil and natural gas industry, including producers, refiners, suppliers and pipeline operators.

___

Coke seemed to make a statement about political climate early on with an ad that celebrates the country’s diversity.

The ad first aired during Super Bowl 2014, and provoked anger in some corners because it featured “America the Beautiful” sung in different languages and a shot of gay parents. Coke notes that it has continued to run the “It’s Beautiful” ad during major TV events, and says it “makes sense” to air it before the Super Bowl this year.

Coke isn’t alone with its message about inclusion. An NFL ad during the second half will also focus on the game’s power to unite people no matter their background.

Meanwhile, the Coke ads that will run during the game are less likely to generate conversation. Both those are previously aired ads, including one that promotes its soda as a good pairing with food.

___

Are Super Bowl advertisers trying to put fans on a diet?

Not quite, but a couple of the ads give a glimpse into food trends. The first quarter is expected to include a spot by Avocados From Mexico touting the “good fats” in its product. The marketing group says this is the third year it’s running a Super Bowl ad.

PepsiCo, meanwhile, says it’s only running ads for zero-calorie drinks. That includes an ad for its new bottled water, Lifewtr, which marks PepsiCo’s push into pricier bottled water segment as Americans have cut back on traditional sodas. The company says the Super Bowl halftime show will be also sponsored by Pepsi Zero Sugar, instead of regular Pepsi.

Pepsi Zero Sugar is the new name for Pepsi Max. The word “max” apparently wasn’t the best way to convey that a drink has minimal calories.

___

Budweiser‘s ad featuring the story of its immigrant co-founder has already grabbed some pre-game attention.

The ad chronicles the story of Adolphus Busch’s journey in the 1850s from Germany to the U.S., where locals tell him he should “go back home” and that he doesn’t “look like you’re from around here.” The 60-second spot was pre-released last week, just days after President Trump’s order temporarily banning refugees and nearly all citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Anheuser-Busch said the ad isn’t meant to be political, and that it started work on the spot in May.

Still, Budweiser vice president Richard Marques acknowledged it would be “foolish” to think the current political environment isn’t fueling attention for the ad. Marques added that Budweiser as a beer brand is inherently bipartisan.

___

Bud Light got nostalgic by bringing back Spuds MacKenzie, its spokesdog from the 1980s. The ad shows Spuds as a ghost encouraging a Bud Light drinker to go out with his friends instead of staying in.

Anheuser-Busch also gave a nod to the past with earlier ad for Busch, which showed a mountain man opening a can of the beer to the sound of “Buschhhhh.” It was a reference to a campaign that was introduced in 1978 and lasted for decades. Yet another ad by the brewer for Michelob Ultra featured the theme song to “Cheers,” although it traded the familiarity of a local bar for the camaraderie of today’s fitness circles.

___

Politics turned up again in an ad for 10 Haircare, which had fun with President Trump’s famous hairdo.

“America, we’re in for four years of awful hair,” a voiceover states. Viewers are then told to do their part to have great hair, whether dog hair, back hair or a Mohair sweater.

The company, which makes a hair care line, says the spot was intended to bring “America together, one hairstyle at a time.”

The president, for his part, has said his hair is real.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s