You Can't Escape Super Bowl 50 Ads

Judging Super Bowl commercials is a sacred pastime in the agency world, and while the ads continue to evolve, brands have perfected the art of integration – building on a single spot to hit consumers at multiple touch-points and maximize their media investment.

While I understand the financial benefits of leveraging digital channels (and even a few small, local businesses in the case of Taco Bell,) I find myself feeling, like most of the ads we saw on Sunday night, nostalgic.

Pre-smart phones and social media, big brands had just one 30/60-second chance to make an impression during the Super Bowl, capitalizing on creativity and clever thinking in an attempt to delight viewers.

This being Super Bowl 50, advertisers pulled out all the stops to deliver thoroughly integrated, end-to-end brand experiences for consumers.

From’s partnership with DreamWorks to create four teaser ads and an interactive online hub, to Shock-Top’s post-game smack-talking roundup, the Super Bowl’s golden anniversary was an ideal opportunity for some of the biggest food, beverage, auto, finance, and technology brands to pre-game AND after-party with extended content from the main event.

Here’s the industry breakdown of 60+ Super Bowl 50 ads:

  • Food & Beverage: 33%
  • Automotive: 25%
  • Finance: 11%
  • CPG: 8%
  • Pharmaceuticals: 5%
  • Technology: 5%
  • Telecommunications: 5% (all from T Mobile)
  • Sports (NFL’s Super Bowl Babies): 3%
  • Apparel (Marmot): 1%
  • Mobile Games (Machine Zone): 1%
  • Pokemon (for some reason): 1%

For a more in-depth look, check out AdAge’s complete breakdown of Super Bowl 50’s media buys and the agency partners who produced each spot.

Some advice to marketers for next year’s Super Bowl commercials c/o AdWeek:

  1. Test and refine your ideas – don’t blow it after spending a hefty portion of your media budget on a Super Bowl spot
  2. Invoke nostalgia to create positive brand associations with viewers
  3. Pre- and post-ad content is a great way to build momentum and extend brand awareness long after the commercial debut

And lastly, for your enjoyment, here’s a gratuitous photo of the Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Romo and pop singer Nick Lachey with Mountain Dew’s scariest Super Bowl star yet, Puppy Monkey Baby.