Symbolism in Super Bowl Commercials

Breaking down the game’s commercials instead of its plays.Super Bowl Ad Image.jpg

Super Bowl 50. These 50 games have characterized football and have created a world-wide following that swarms their televisions every February to watch the season’s long-awaited championship game. Yet, every year, the Super Bowl only caters to two areas of the country – where ever the two teams are from. This year, much to my chagrin, It was Carolina vs. Denver. Neither of my teams, the New England Patriots or the Philadelphia Eagles (will they ever make it to another Super Bowl?) were playing in the game.

Therefore, most of the country, at least the way I see it, could care less about the actual game. Why do so many swarm their televisions on this specific day and time? Well, it is obvious.

The Super Bowl is not only the championship game of football, but it is the championship competition of commercials. Instead of sports teams competing, advertising agencies and brands compete in pursuit of the best ad.

Hot wings, beer, friends, witty commercials. Football is merely the setting.

This year, many of the ad agencies decided to take a lighter approach to their commercials.  The result was a combination of funny, witty, and sometimes bizarre ads.

Let us take the Heinz “Wiener Stampede” commercial, for example. A forerunner in the “cuteness” category of course, but also extremely creative. The Ad Agency, David, based in Miami, decided to infuse a universal emotional appeal, the beloved wiener dog, into their commercial to advertise Heinz’s extended family of ketchups and mustards. A handful of dachshunds all dressed in hotdog suits, stampeding towards their family of ketchups and mustards perfectly characterizes Heinz as a brand. This heartwarming, goofy commercial represents the Heinz’s mission to bring families together around good food and good times, without explicitly showing this. This metaphor was not only entertaining, yet effective in advertising the brand’s multiple condiments efficiently.

Moving onto a more bizarre representation of a brand, I present to you Mountain Dew’s “Puppymonkeybaby.” On paper, the concept is a creative representation of the product – a combination of three great ingredients: Dew, juice, and caffeine. BBDO, decided to represent these three great elements using three other great things – a puppy, a monkey, and a baby. These three things also happen to appeal to a wide range of audiences. This concept sounds effective, yet in reality, a baby, a monkey, and a puppy morphed together create a frightening creature that could give youngsters nightmares. However, a concept so creative and disturbing will undoubtedly remain in viewers minds. Will they immediately think of Mountain Dew when people hear the chant “puppy monkey baby,” or just a creature jumping around and causing havoc? We will just have to wait and find out.

Either way, the commercials outshone the actual Super Bowl 50 game. The winner of the Ad game? Well, that’s purely subjective.


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