The 5 Best Super Bowl Ads of 2018
Playing an ad during the Super Bowl is a big deal. The highly-coveted slots are now auctioned off at over $5 million for a 30-second ad. And as reported by Digiday, that kind of money can buy you 32 years worth of mobile video ads, or a whopping 2.6 billion impressions on Instagram.
With so much at stake, these ads are of the highest possible calibre, and they make for some thoroughly entertaining viewing. Here are our top 5 picks.
5. Doritos & Mountain Dew
2018 saw Doritos and Mountain Dew team up for a celebrity rap battle of grandiose proportions. With Morgan Freeman on team Mountain Dew and Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage on team Doritos, the campaign stirred up a global debate on who took the cake. The hashtags associated with the battle (#icecold for Mountain Dew and #spitfire for Doritos) were used over 15,000 times each.
While the ad isn’t particularly layered or meaningful, it’s visually powerful and heavily branded. And does it make us want to try out the new flavours by Mountain Dew and Doritos? Hell. Yes.
4. Coca Cola
Speaking of heavily branded content, Coca Cola did what they’ve always done best – demonstrate the unifying powers of the world’s favourite beverage. The message of the ad is clear – Coca Cola is accessible to everyone.
As observed by Troy Patterson in this New Yorker article, the ad is a brilliant reflection and reminder of the Andy Warhol quote: “You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking.”
In a time when advertisers are grappling to tie their brand to ideals of inclusivity, Coca Cola is one of the few brands who can pull this off in a way that feels genuine.
3. Amazon Alexa
Amazon’s 'Alexa Loses Her Voice' campaign has already won a trove of awards not only for entertainment value and audience votes but also for brand effectiveness. The ad poses an unlikely scenario where Alexa catches a cold and taps out for the day, forcing Amazon HQ to recruit the likes of Gordon Ramsay and Rebel Wilson to step in.
In some truly hilarious cameo performances, the ad shows some of our favourite celebrities failing dismally to fill Alexa’s shoes. Much to our relief, she returns to say, "thanks guys, but I’ll take it from here". The ad is funny, down-to-earth and a poignant reminder of how seamlessly Amazon’s latest virtual assistant can integrate into our lives.
2. Tide Laundry Detergent
This cheeky campaign by Tide poked fun at every stereotypical Super Bowl ad we've ever seen. Like the melodramatic jewelry ad, the fun-loving soda ad and the all-too-common, sweeping-through-the-mountains car ad.
But the true brilliance of the campaign came from the commentator of the ad, Stranger Things star David Harbour, reminding us that this is definitely a Tide ad, purely because everyone’s clothes are so clean. At the end of the minute-long ad, he asks, "so does this make every Super Bowl ad a Tide ad? Watch and see."
With this super simple but incredibly clever campaign, Tide have managed to keep their brand front-of-mind throughout the rest of our Super Bowl ad viewings. And for purveyors of laundry detergent, that’s pretty damn impressive.
1. Tourism Australia
Although there were mixed reactions to Tourism Australia’s Dundee campaign, we’re calling it. This ad is bloody brilliant. Lead by iconic Australian stars like Hugh Jackman, Russel Crowe, Margot Robbie and Chris Hemsworth, the ad teases a reboot of the beloved ‘Crocodile Dundee’ film series. And while the movie trailer is completely fake, it created a unique opportunity to subtly showcase Australia’s incredible landscapes, wildlife and culture. All the while generating some serious hype.
The campaign has already spurred over 4,000 news stories and reached 412 million people on social media. A lot of this talk is driven by an effort to bring the teased film into existence #bringbackdundee. But there’s no doubt the campaign will get people thinking about Australia as an exciting tourist destination.
For us, this ad wins first place for memorability, best use of celebrities and all-round cleverness. As said by Trade Minister Steve Ciobo,"What matters in a heavily media-dominated market like America is that you get cut-through.” And given that Dundee is the most talked about ad of the entire 2018 Super Bowl, it’s done just that.