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Top 5 FMCG brand ads of Super Bowl 2020

by Louise Burgers. Americans may watch the Super Bowl for the football, but the rest of the world watched the half time show last weekend – and then there’s us, those of us who love branding and advertising who watch it for the ads.

by Louise Burgers. Americans may watch the Super Bowl for the football, but the rest of the world watched the half time show last weekend – and then there’s us, those of us who love branding and advertising who watch it for the ads and don’t give a flying waka waka as to how short J.Lo and Shakira’s broeks  were. Seriously, everybody, it’s 2020! Wear what you want!

Super Bowl 2020 advertising wasn’t as political as it has been in the past – maybe everyone has just had enough of America’s screwed up politics in particular. However, at a cost of $5.6 million per 30 seconds this year, your brand had better have had something to say! As far as FMCG brands went, Snickers did try fix the world in an absurd way after declaring, “Politics makes us sick”, by digging an even bigger hole. Which is a great metaphor for the state of the world right now. The brand’s cynical, dystopian view of the current state of the world gets my vote as the best retail ad on the day for 2020.

#Snickersfixtheworld

 

Super Bowl adverts are not just about the most expensive advertising real estate in the world, or which brands are prepared to spend that amount of money to showcase their wares; the Super Bowl is a barometer for how far brands are prepared to push the boundaries or how far they are prepared to comment on current social conditions. In recent years it has become a platform for brave brands to display their social conscience and stand up against injustice, political, economic or environmental issues.

That is why Super Bowl ads are important, because they are commentary on where branding is going, whether they push the boundaries of creativity or social commentary, they are there to lead the way for other brands and inspire new thinking, in some cases. Because as we all know, Generation Z wants to know where brands stand on important issues. Think Gen Z, think Greta (Thunberg).

This year it was the year of the celeb as a theme in Super Bowl ads, according to AdWeek, which voted the Jeep’s Groundhog Day ad spot as the best of the lot this year, starring Bill Murray with a groundhog. Murray, who has never done an advert before, reprised his role in the original Groundhog Day movie classic, for this spot.

These are my top five picks for the best FMCG brand ads of Super Bowl 2020:

1. Snickers #Snickersfixtheworld. As above – basically when things are really crap, eat chocolate. Agency: BBDO New York.

2. Budweiser ‘Typical American’. This commercial is striking in that it aims to smash the stereotypes we have of Americans – particularly the negative image conveyed by Trumpty Dumpty and his diabolical Presidency. At the same time it also reminds us that the United States is a diverse country with many different ethnicities and ordinary people doing great things – not all typified by the current negative brand profile generated by a political regime that only represents a minority. Agency: DAVID Miami, directed by filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow.

3. Doritos ‘The Cool Ranch’. Actor Sam Elliot’s mustache was the real star of the Super Bowl this year, and for that it makes our list. The star of many Westerns faces off against rapper Lil Nax X in a dance off for a bag of Doritos. Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners.

 

4. Mtn Dew Zero Sugar’s take on the horror movie genre, referencing The Shining, was slick and funny, starring Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston and Black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross. The copy said it all: “As good as the original, maybe even better”! Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day New York.

 

5. Michelob Ultra Pure Gold organic beer range. Not to be confused with their star-studded Jimmy Fallon Super Bowl commercial. This Super Bowl commercial used its organic beer range to promote organic farming in the US: with every six-pack of the organic beer bought by consumers, a portion of sales will go toward farmers looking to transition to organic. Agency: FCB.

And by the way, the two teams facing off in Super Bowl 2020 were the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. The Kansas City Chiefs won 31-20.

 

Louise Burgers (previously Marsland) is the Publisher and Editor of RetailingAfrica.com. She’s spent over 20 years writing about the FMCG retailing, marketing, media and advertising industry in South Africa and on the African continent. She has specialised in local and Africa consumer trends and is a passionate Afro-optimist who believes it is Africa’s time to rise again and that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will be a global game changer in the next decade.

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