HC’s Top Super Bowl Ads of 2018

HC’s Top Super Bowl Ads of 2018


Though many tuned in to watch The Philadelphia Eagles defeat the New England Patriots 41-33 during this past weekend’s Super Bowl, an estimated 103.4 million people, the rest of the world (or at least the advertising world) were more interested in the brands who chose to fork out millions for a piece of the proverbial pie.

And though if we’re being totally honest, some may have been more interested in the barrage of blockbuster trailers or teasers, there were some key advertorial moments that stood out to the Hellocomputer team.

Tourism Australia: Dundee

Agency: Droga5

Tourism Australia had the majority of people fooled for weeks ahead of the Super Bowl, portraying “Dundee” as an official movie trailer starring Danny McBride and Chris Hemsworth, when in actual fact it was a clever stunt to drive tourism. We see McBride (son of the famous Crocodile Dundee) embarking on a typically Aussie adventure, and who better to join him, than the one-and-only Aussie Chris Hemsworth as his guide?

In what appeared to be a slick new title, in the final ‘trailer,’ Hemsworth cleverly reveals to McBride that it is in fact an ad for Tourism Australia. He stresses, however, that they’d had the best trip ever encompassing all Australia has to offer. The scenes shown are alone enough to hook potential travellers to the land down under – the humour is the cherry on the cake.

Instead of trying to change Australia’s image as a wild, outdoorsy paradise, as seen in previous campaigns, the focus here is right to the point: it’s all exactly that, and perhaps slightly cliché of the lifestyle associated with the country, but it just works.

In the extended trailer, we see an even bigger Aussie cast featuring the likes of Liam Hemsworth, Hugh Jackman, Margot Robbie and Russell Crowe, giving the project even more credibility as a full length film.

The ad is humorous and was a total hit on social media enjoying thousands of shares, views and retweets. This is the kind of content people will naturally share online – it’s funny, light-hearted and real and would most certainly make a person want to visit the country. Is it enough of a hook for you?

Jay Keays: Social Media Manager

Tide: It’s a Tide Ad

Agency:  Saatchi & Saatchi

Tide has created a superb set of ‘fake out’ ads for this year’s Super Bowl. The spots leverage beloved actor, David K. Harbour from Stranger Things fame, to hoodwink us into thinking he is starring in another typical Super Bowl car commercial. Not only do these multiple spots become increasingly more astute in hijacking brand narratives, but they also get progressively funnier as we see David try and sell us insurance, jewellery, soda, shaving cream and a digital assistant during each of the content pieces.

From using relevant pop culture icons (Budweiser Clydesdale, Mr Clean) to leveraging already viral video tropes (All Spice), Saatchi & Saatchi have outdone themselves at creating talkable, sharable content that even produces some behaviour change. I mean, who can watch any ads right now without noticing the crisp, clean clothing and think, “Aaah, Tide!”

Robyn Campbell: MD Cape Town

Brand: Amazon Echo

Agency: Lucky Generals

Off of the controversial back of Burger King’s agency, David Miami, ‘hacking’ Google Home devices (in what later became a Cannes Grand Prix winning campaign), Amazon were left with a fair amount of open space in which to win ground leading up to this year’s Super Bowl. With both brands competing to be the voice of the American home it was a glaring opportunity for Amazon to memorably position the Echo in front of 103.4  million viewers.

In short, the concept revolves around Alexa, Amazon Echo’s personified assistant, losing her voice and being replaced by a number of on-call celebrities including Sir Anthony Hopkins, Rebel Wilson, Cardi B and Gordon Ramsay – even Jeff Bezos couldn’t resist making an appearance in the one and half minute spot.

The result is a deftly executed piece of creative work that humorously communicates the functionality of the Amazon Echo. While the piece reinforces the effectiveness of placing your product alongside a cast of relevant A-listers wrapped up in a strategically sound concept with an immeasurable budget, the question remains – would it have worked without them?

Alex Krause: Content Strategist

Budweiser: Stand by You

Agency: Wieden+Kennedy 

The Budweiser ad was the first I happened to watch and a story that tugged at my heartstrings. It was nice to see something different from the predictable ads that have been shown over the past few years during the Super Bowl. The story behind the ad was the halting of beer production to start producing emergency water for disaster relief areas. It was nice to see that it took a little stab at Trump by mentioning Puerto Rico and including a strong message to all Americans that Budweiser will stand by them. Fun fact; all the actors were employees, showing the true commitment the business has behind their message.

Robyn Silverstone : Head of Project Management

Toyota: Good Odds

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi

This one really stood out to me because it was relatable and motivational. It tugged at my heartstrings!

A lot of the Super Bowl ads that I saw were humorous and did little besides make us laugh which is also important but “Good Odds” is invoking. It speaks to everyone irrespective of whether or not you have a disability or not. Everyone has had to overcome a challenge of some sort and this video spoke to that.

Depending on how you look at it, it could be a call to action to push yourself against the limits – the line “start your impossible” prompts that. It’s also a reminder that nothing is impossible and that’s something that we have to fight ourselves against believing. And, it being a reflection of a real life story makes it so much more real.

The visuals and the fact that we went on the journey with Lauren Woolstencroft invites you to think about your own life, as does the song which tells its own a story that unfolds with the video.

So, it’s great because it’s relatable, it’s a universal experience and despite the intensity as well as the seriousness of the story, it wasn’t heavy and it doesn’t leave you feeling heavy. There was a good balancing of emotions.

Mamello Sejake: Community Manager