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Super Bowl Recap: Commercials and Branding (Part II)


This year’s Super Bowl brought excitement and lots of screaming at TVs as New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm   Butler intercepted the final pass to end the game in victory. As exhilarating as the game was, the Ad Bowl caused various reactions with commercials pulling at our heartstrings, making us aware of important social issues and, of course, making us laugh. After celebrating the Patriots win and reviewing the aired ads, these are Team Joanna’s favorite Super Bowl commercials:

Always’ #LikeAGirl

 girl Always, the leading feminine product company, was all about female empowerment with its #LikeAGirl campaign that interviews men, women, young girls and boys about what it means to run like a girl. The ad raised awareness of young teenaged girls’ self esteem and how mocking comments, such as “She runs like a girl,” can trigger confidence issues. Alyssa says, “I love how this commercial takes the innocence of a child’s response on a seemingly simple question and is able to use that to make a powerful point on how our views of gender in society change as an adult. Always created an advertisement that, in my opinion, was very poignant, yet at the same time, very modest in terms of budget and effects.” A simple yet inspiring ad, #LikeAGirl made viewers stop thinking of football for a minute to consider what it means to be a girl or woman in this age.


Nationwide’s Invisible Mindy Kaling

mindy Although Nationwide’s first commercial received a lot of criticism for its depressing topic of child deaths, the insurance company’s second ad, featuring Mindy Kaling, was a huge hit that fully embraced Kaling’s quirky yet lovable humor. Paloma says, “I liked the Nationwide ad because it was actually funny and it even felt like it could have been a TV show. Most commercials you just change the channel to avoid watching it, but I wanted to keep watching it until the end, which is obviously valuable to Nationwide. Also, it wasn’t annoying or too long.” The ad focused on encouraging viewers to “join the nation that sees you…as a priority,” in contrast to other insurance companies that make customers feel like they are being ignored. Not only was the ad effective, but we also enjoyed Matt Damon’s cameo towards the end.


Dove’s #RealStrength


Similar to Dove’s Real Beauty campaign, #RealStrength is nothing short of emotional and inspirational for all audiences. The commercial has few words, other than young children screaming “Daddy!” paired with a montage of clips of Dads carrying their young children, watching them play and consoling them as they grow older. The ad certainly was powerful enough to quiet a Super Bowl party; however what Ryan liked best about it was the fact that it wasn’t focused on selling a product. In fact, the viewer doesn’t realize the ad is by Dove until the very end when its Men + Care line appears. The commercial promotes a family lifestyle that touches the hearts of all viewers, making it effective and strong by a branding standpoint for Dove, yet not necessarily great for the Men + Care product line. Ryan says that he didn’t even remember the products Dove was promoting, and simply thought the storyline of the ad featuring Dads was well done.


T-Mobile’s #KimsDataStash


T-Mobile’s ad about its data-sharing service, featuring Kim Kardashian, received mixed reviews, mostly because of the varied feelings towards the reality star and professional selfie-taker. During the brief commercial, Kim explains that viewers should “save the data,” so they can see her makeup, backhand, outfits, vacations and “my outfits” (again). While many thought that Kardashian seemed vain and a bit annoying, others praised her for mocking herself and her multitude of selfies. Allie says, “As a sometimes-viewer of Keeping Up With The Kardashians and a Kim K Instagram follower, I liked the ad and thought it was amusing. Anyone who follows Kim on social media or watches her show knows that she posts a ridiculous amount of selfies and photos, but the fact that she is willing to make fun of herself is reassuring, and kind of a relief.”

Ad Bowl 2015 made us tear up, laugh out loud and think about some important issues in our society. Overall, there was an entertaining round up of commercials to choose from, but Always, Dove, Nationwide and T-Mobile were winners in Team Joanna’s book!


-Allie Gillette, Team Joanna

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