05 February 2013

Why the top Super Bowl 2013 ads worked

Like every year, a main highlight of the Super Bowl are the TV commercials.
Here's my rundown of the top commercials from Super Bowl 2013, and what made them good.

My criteria for a good commercial was whether it did the job (in my opinion) based on these:
  • Does it reenforce the brand
  • Is it memorable
  • Will people talk about it afterwards
  • Does it engage the viewer
Excellent ads nailed most of these criteria.

Here's the list:

OREO - Whisper Fight

Everybody was talking about this one, mainly because it was a funny situation. But not only that, the commercial opened up an age old conversation that is directly connected to the product: what's better the cookie or the creme.

Taco Bell

This Taco Bell commercial did a great job of connecting between the brand and having a good time. Even if you think it's shitty food, the ad makes you feel good about living life and having a good time.

The Rock runs out of milk

The message in this ad is that even a super hero like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will do anything to bring his kids milk, even if the world is falling apart. The huge production (explosions, woman trapped in a car with a lion, aliens...) and the silly situation of The Rock running down the street in his pajamas just to get milk, amidst all of this, make this ad memorable.

Hyundai - why turbo

A very simple concept that demonstrates the benefits of this specific product. As the commercial proceeds it gets sillier and more extreme, all building up anticipation for the punch line: "Why turbo? It's just better to be in front" (with the most extreme one coming after the punch, now that you get it).

Pizza Hut - Hut

An excellent connection between all the excitement around the game and their brand. Such a good connection that it makes the viewers think, how didn't I think about that before. All that while repeating the brand name over and over.

Speed Stick Unattended Laundry

Speed Stick took what they are good at (times when you sweat) and told a story that people can relate to. They created a funny awkward scene that men specifically can relate to, and it points out the benefits of their product.

Tide - Miracle Stain

Again, the extreme situation depicted here is very memorable. And fans of both teams could connect to it thanks to the punch at the end.


This commercial uses two interesting techniques, there's the cool effect of the bottles exploding (in a fun sleek way), and the environmental aspect. Both make you relate to the commercial while teaching you the benefits of the product, which is not that well known yet.

Subway FebruANY

Subway took the awful name FebruANY and made it memorable by having a bunch of celebrities trying to pronounce it, in a blooper roll. Viewers are likely to try to say it themselves which increases the chance of them remembering it. So not only do you remember FebruANY at the end of the commercial, the meaningful name hints that you can get anything at Subway during the month of February (even if that's not what they are actually offering).

Go Daddy - Perfect Match

This GoDaddy commercial was kinda boring in my opinion, but I mentioned it in this list because it got a hell of a lot of buzz (and GoDaddy reported record sales after Super Bowl 2013). The old cliché is true, sex sells. It sells even more if you have a geek-loser getting to kiss a supermodel.

Here are more SuperBowl 2013 commercials on YouTube.

What are your thoughts on the best ones?


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