Super Bowl 2017 Advertising Preview

An Early Look at 10 of the Million-Dollar Ads Coming on Sunday

Super Bowl 51 is on Sunday, February 5, and most of the US population is expected to tune in. With that audience comes the usual foray into mega-budget advertising designed to draw attention to brands that can afford to spend that kind of money. (And in a few cases, brands that can't afford it, but risk everything to get noticed.)

As in recent years, many companies have released their ads (or teasers for their ads) in advance of game day. Here are some of the most interesting. Of course, the big day will reveal a lot more, but this is an interesting dip into the minds of the advertising agencies and their clients. 

Mr. Clean: Cleaner of Your Dreams

Mr. Clean
Mr. Clean. YouTube

The dazzling man in white, with the even more dazzling bald head, is back. These days he’s portrayed in CGI, which gives it a rather surrealistic feel. In this spot, the computer-generated cleaning icon is basically doing dirty dancing with a mop. Sparks fly with the woman of the house, leading to a big twist ending.

Does this make anyone want to buy Mr. Clean products? More

Snickers: Curtains (Live)

Snickers Live
Snickers Live. YouTube

It’s good to see that Snickers has finally dropped the “you’re not you when you’re hungry” campaign. They had exhausted that one, and it went on way too long. So they're replacing it with...

A gimmick. The world’s first live Super Bowl commercial. Who cares? Will anyone buy more Snickers because they did a live ad? Doubtful. 

Skittles: Romance the Rainbow

Skittles. YouTube

Skittles continues its “that was really weird” theme with another add designed to get you scratching your head and laughing at the same time. As you watch this one, and the craziness continues, you have to wonder…how many takes did the art director and copywriter have to sit through to get this in the can? Great fun. And, it does highlight the tastiness of the product in a memorable way.   More

Avocados From Mexico: #AvoSecrets

Avocados From Mexico
Avocados From Mexico. YouTube

Jon Lovitz has joined the bizarreness that is the Avocados From Mexico campaign. The spot released is just a teaser to get you interested in watching the actual ad on game day. Which, if you think about it, is a complete waste of time. Everyone is watching the game anyway. The ads will be shown afterwards. Super Bowl ads are seen, even when most ads are ignored. A silly teaser is not necessary. 

Wix: Big Game

Wix. YouTube

Is there anything good about this ad? Well, it’s shot professionally. Statham and Gadot are great. But the idea? It’s awful. So awful that the end of the ad needs to explain why you just watched sprawling action for 60 seconds, while a chef worked on his website instead of doing his job. If the purpose is to let people know Wix makes it easy to build a website, maybe focus on that, instead of spending millions on a fight scene.  More

SquareSpace: Who Is

SquareSpace. YouTube

There are very few actors working today that could pull this ad off. In fact, it was clearly written just for John Malkovich, who has the ferocity and quirkiness to play both sides of his personality beautifully. The message is clear; get your domain before it’s gone. And it is executed so well. A great ad.  More

TurboTax: Humpty Fall

TurboTax. YouTube

We all know the rhyme: Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Why was he sitting on the wall in the first place? In this case, he was doing his taxes. While the ad does a decent job of dramatizing this new benefit, you have to wonder how many people will be doing their taxes anywhere other than a home office or at a tax preparer’s business. Just because you can do your taxes on a wall in the middle of nowhere, does that make it a good idea? 

Intel: Brady Everyday

Intel. YouTube

This ad does a great job of pushing the benefit. Intel’s 360-degree slow motion feature certainly looks cool. And the idea of Tom Brady doing boring things is fine — though it would have been even better with an average Joe. Still, Tom Brady doing anything, even boring stuff, is exciting to some people, and it’s a fun ad.

Kia: Big Game Teaser

Kia. YouTube

Yet another teaser ad, this time for Kia, and they’re clearly playing off the “big game” idea. Having witnessed the box office disaster that was Ghostbusters 2016, you have to wonder if Kia made the right choice with Melissa McCarthy. A lot of people seem to think she’s fallen from grace after a number of flops. We’ll have to see.  More

Lexus: Man and Machine

Lexus. YouTube

Comparing the lines and machinery of a car to those of a man, it’s not exactly a new idea. It’s done well. The Lexus looks great. But honestly, it’s not memorable and the footage of the car is what gets people to look into buying one. And all the song and dance stuff? Well, it’s just song and dance.  More

Who Had the Best Ad?

Come back on Monday for a rundown of the best Super Bowl 2017 ads.