Are you ready for some football….commercial predictions?
It’s here, folks—in less than 20 days most of us will be partying with friends and family, rooting for one of two teams to win Super Bowl 50 (or at the very least, we’ll be hoping one of our Squares hits it big). Will it be a tale of aging QBs, with Peyton Manning and the Broncos against Carson Palmer and the Cardinals? Will Cam Newton and his Panthers pull off what the 16-0 Patriots couldn’t do against Eli and the Giants in 2007?
Who cares! We’re here to talk ads, man. Specifically: predictions for Best Super Bowl 50 commercial.
Last year, Budweiser took home the big prize with this, the “Lost Dog” ad:
(When you’re done crying, you can visit USA Today’s Admeter for a rundown of last year’s ads…)
Will this year’s winner pull on our respective heart strings again? Or maybe we’ll fall in love with a more comedic approach?
Before I offer up my prediction, let’s take a look at a handful of the brands competing for our attention this year. I’m only going to detail a few of them here; Marketingland.com has us covered for the rest, so keep watching that space for updates.
Potentials for Best Super Bowl 50 Commercial
Budweiser / Bud Light
The running favorite: Budweiser. I’m throwing its little brother Bud Light in the mix here too, even though different agencies are handling the brands (deal with it). We anticipate seeing plenty of Clydesdales from the King of Beers and some sleek looking bottles targeting that college demographic on the Bud Light side. Will Budweiser go for emotion? Will Bud Light stick with the funnies? Either brand may be my pick if they bring back the Penguin (which technically was a mascot for Bud Ice, but who’s being that picky) and/or the Bud Frogs…it’s not extremely likely, but we are in an age of nostalgia, so why not?
Coca-Cola’s made several memorable Super Bowl appearances—but have they made a better commercial than the 1979 Mean Joe Green jersey commercial? Helping us make connections between each other has been a staple of this brand, and that’s evident in both the Mean Joe Green commercial and the most recent #MakeItHappy campaign. I expect we’ll see more of the same this year, and given the brand’s propensity for empathy and emotion, I think it’s in a good position to produce the best ad this year.
This one’s a bit of a dark horse, I know—but I’m predicting 2016 is going to be a big year for Nintendo, and one of Nintendo’s money drivers is the gotta-catch-em-all monster battling game, Pokemon. Coming this April, Pokemon Go will be available on Andriod and iOS—it’s a highly anticipated, augmented reality mobile game where you “catch” Pokemon monsters in the real world. Does it have enough potential to produce the best ad—or at least, the most buzz? We’ll see, but I anticipate the brand will use the Super Bowl coverage to unveil a pretty cool product that bridges the gap between digital and real world.
Taco Bell has a history of producing hilarious commercial content for the Super Bowl. 2013’s geriatric Bell Run is highly up there on my list of overall favorites through the years. This year, the brand’s teasing a new menu item, using a comically-redacted press release. I like that the brand’s trying to build up some buzz early, so let’s see what the fast food chain has in store this year.
This is the last year for Doritos’ “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign—a campaign that invites fans to produce their own ads for the chip company with the hopes of it airing during the big game. The unpredictable nature of fan-created content is always intriguing, and with this being the last year for it, I expect the winning entry to be pretty good.
Prediction: Taco Bell
I’m putting my hypothetical dollar bills down on Taco Bell to pull off the fan favorite this year. I anticipate the commercial to be funny, memorable and a turn away from the empathetic, overly-emotional norm that (to me at least) is a little stale now.
What do you think? Admittedly…there’s a lot of beer and junk food on this list.
Will one of these brands take home the best ad on February 7, 2016? Or will I be completely wrong? (It’s happened before…more than once; quite a lot actually). Chime in with your own predictions and stay tuned for our commercial breakdown following the game.