Every year I eagerly look forward to the Superbowl. Not for the game (which is too long), not for the food (which is too delicious), or the beers (it is Monday morning after all). I look forward to seeing how brands justify spending 5 million bucks on a 30superbored second spot.

Unfortunately this year’s ads never really fired. This year left me feeling like Eli Manning watching his brother win the Superbowl. Advertisers dusted off their old playbooks, media went to the well-worn hero v villain storyline and even the Superbowl itself played it safe with a half time show of unsurprising talent.

Why have advertisers stopped taking risks? It seems brands are playing it safe, however the most talked about ads were the most controversial. Surely a $5m investment should drive conversation at the very least? Last year, ads with celebrities drove the majority of shares and conversation. It was clear that advertisers took these learnings and applied with vigour this year with a record number of ads featuring celebrities. This year the Doritos ad was clearly the most talked about.  If this was the year of ‘celebritising’ next year we should expect a return to ‘shockvertising’ as brands take the learnings from what worked this year and fight to out shock each other next year and secure their share of conversation.

What about the brands who decided it would be a good strategy to release their ads early through digital channels. Way to ruin the surprise guys!


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