Technology was at the forefront of the 2019 slate of Super Bowl ads, from thirsty robots and unruly IT monsters to extremely self-aware smart speakers and pet-friendly WeatherTech products.
But it wasn’t all robots and digital devices (though there were quite a few). Unlike the underwhelming 13-3 game, all the classic companies and some bold newcomers showed up big time in Atlanta this Super Bowl and brought us a new lineup of ads to talk about in the days to come.
Here’s a rundown of the most memorable Super Bowl ads to air this year.
Game of Thrones X Bud Light
Cue the collective squeal of eager GOT fans across the nation: What you thought was another “Dilly Dilly!” ad from Bud Light turned out to be a killer spot for the final season of “Game of Thrones,” featuring The Mountain putting a brutal end to the Bud Knight’s watch, and one of Daenerys’ full-grown dragon offspring setting everything on fire. No word on whether or not the dragon is a craft beer enthusiast.
Devour Foods: Food Porn
Never heard of Devour Foods before Super Bowl Sunday? The frozen food company’s commercial is sure to be one of this year’s most buzzed-about Super Bowl ads, a hilarious, innuendo-filled look at a couple plagued by a frozen food “addiction.”
BON & VIV Spiked Seltzer: The Pitch
The ad for BON & VIV Spiked Seltzer (formerly known as Spiked Seltzer) features fictional company founders/mermaids Bonnie and Vivian pitching their 90-calorie hard seltzer to an audience of sharks… like “Shark Tank,” get it?
Coca Cola: A Coke is a Coke
Listen closely and you’ll hear the starting notes to one of the world’s most famous ads – Coca-Cola’s 1971 spot, “Hilltop” – in this 2019 Coke commercial. Coca-Cola continues to encourage diversity, unity, and inclusion with the Andy Warhol-inspired “A Coke is a Coke” with the message that the soda tastes the same, no matter who you are and what you look like, and it’s a beverage best served shared.
Stella Artois: Change Up the Usual
Two iconic – yet very different – characters come together to enjoy a glass of Stella Artois in this ad, which promotes the company’s #PourItForward initiative to provide water access to those in need. Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw (played, of course, by Sarah Jessica Parker) waves off her custom Cosmopolitan in favor of the Belgian pilsner, disrupting the routine of the maître d, waiters, and bartenders used to catering to her fancy taste. Meanwhile, the Dude himself (Jeff Bridges, duh) foregoes his White Russian and orders a “Stella Ar-toes.” The two toast to the good that changing up the usual can do.
Doritos: Chance the Rapper X Backstreet Boys
Chance the Rapper remixes the classic Backstreet Boys’ hit “I Want It That Way” to promote Doritos’ flaming hot nacho chips, which are being branded as “The original, now it’s hot.” It doesn’t make much sense but it’s definitely memorable, and it’s fun to see the Backstreet Boys back together, flaunting those old-school dance moves.
Michael Bublé vs. bubly
Michael Bublé knows how to pronounce his own funny-sounding last time, but has trouble understanding that bubly sparkling water is simply pronounced like the word “bubbly.” He takes matters into his own hands by attempting to relabel all the bubly cans one by one.
Google: 100 Billion Words
Like Coca-Cola, Google used its Super Bowl spot to promote unity in a diverse world with its ad “100 Billion Words.” According to Google, of the 100 billion words and phrases entered into Google Translate each day, the most common are “how are you,” “I love you,” and “thank you,” showing that we’re all connected, no matter which language we speak.
Amazon: Not Everything Makes the Cut
Amazon makes a lot of amazing things happen, but not everything makes the cut. According to this ad, which features Harrison Ford, Forest Whitaker, Broad City’s Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, and astronaut brothers Mark and Scott Kelly, Alexa technology doesn’t quite work in dog collars, toothbrushes, hot tubs, or in orbit.
Pepsi: More Than OK
There are several ways to say “OK,” from Lil’ Jon’s OKAAAAAAYYY to Cardi B’s tongue-rolling o-kurrrrrr to Steve Carrell’s uptight OK!, but no matter which pronunciation you use, Pepsi is always more than OK. That’s a mic drop on an ad well done.
A creepy robot child wants to be a TurboTax Live CPA when it grows up, but it still hasn’t learned how to master emotions or human connection, which are required qualifications for the job.
While these commercials were certainly memorable, there were plenty of other inventive Super Bowl ads worth honorable mentions. Check out Bumble’s “In Her Court,” T-Mobile’s “What’s for Dinner,” Colgate’s “Close Talker,” Olay’s “Killer Skin,” Verizon’s “The Team That Wouldn’t Be Here,” Hyundai’s “The Elevator,” Microsoft’s “We All Win,” M&Ms’ “Bad Passengers,” and Planters’ “Mr. Peanut is Always There in Crunch Time.”
Read more advertising coverage in the Digital Examiner post “The Best Holiday Marketing Campaigns of 2018.”