Super Bowl LIV is in the books, and while fans are celebrating or mourning the Kansas City Chiefs victory, marketing folks are rehashing the ad spots, trying to determine who got the most bang for all of those bucks. We put our heads, hearts, and funny bones together and came up with our Minerva Super Bowl LIV Ad Champions by category. These spots really showcase how creativity can fuel inspiration in so many unique ways.
Best Use of Pop Culture: Doritos “The Cool Ranch”
Doritos wins the prize for Best Use of Pop Culture, leveraging a viral sensation that a wide range of people are familiar with. The Old Town Road theme with Lil Nas X was so funny, and Sam Elliott’s mustache was amazing.
Funniest: Mountain Dew Zero Sugar
We thought Mountain Dew Zero Sugar took the award for the Funniest spot. Their play on The Shining brought us back to the scene in the movie. Bryan Cranston, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Zero Sugar; now we have it all.
Most Sentimental: Google
Google takes home the prize for Most Sentimental tugging at our heartstrings when we least expected it. It was universally relatable and connecting for a variety of age groups, using a voice over to invoke strong sentiment without additional visuals or tactics. Oh, and the tears brought to our eyes were totally unexpected. Well done Google.
Best Editing and Cinematography: Turkish Airlines
The Best Editing and Cinematography award goes to Turkish Airlines inspiring all of us to #StepOnEarth. Turkish Air borrows the cinematic language found in First Man, Ad Astra and other science fiction films to give us a visceral, visual and auditory reminder that there are strange new worlds for us to discover here on earth – that traveling to other countries can provide the same kind of personal breakthrough moments as traveling to other planets.
Most Clever: Jeep and Facebook
Two companies captured our attention as Most Clever. Jeep capitalized on the fact that yesterday was Groundhog Day and worked in a ton of throwback references from the movie Groundhog Day that were both clever and comical. Great use of celebrity/influence. While many commercials included a famous person for the sake of cosmetics, Bill Murray somehow seemed relevant having fun with his groundhog.
We thought the Facebook ad about groups was also smartly done. Connecting a diverse set of audiences, this ad was upbeat, inclusive, and made great use song lyrics. “Whatever you rock, there’s a Facebook Group for you.” Most clever indeed.
Most Inspirational: Budweiser and Microsoft
And finally, we had to pick two winners for Most Inspirational commercial in the 2020 Super Bowl. Budweiser and Microsoft, congratulations on a job well done. Budweiser turned the phrase “typical Americans” upside down with a call to action to go out and show what “typical” really looks like – strong, brave, helpful, kind, taking a stand for what is right. Great use of subtle sarcasm and empowerment in this spot. We were truly inspired to show what typical can do!
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Microsoft’s “Be The One” also takes home the Most Inspirational award. This spot featuring Katie Sowers, the first female coach to coach in a Super Bowl, inspires future generations to follow their dreams and “be the one” to change what the future looks like. It inspires us all to be the best at whatever we choose to do. Be the one.