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  • Casey Voelker

2020 Top 5 Super bowl ads

Yesterday was one of my favorite days of the year. Yes, it was Super Bowl Sunday. Unlike many people, I didn't go to a big party. Instead, I stayed home with my 16-month old son, my wonderful wife, and our pup to watch the game in our recently re-organized and re-decorated living room (thanks to my awesome wife and mother-in-law). The game itself had an exciting ending and I'm happy that Andy Reid finally earned that ring. Of course, yesterday was one of my favorite days not because of the game, but because of the commercials! I always look forward to these commercials each year for inspiration, motivation, and enjoyment. This year was the year of brands coming together to share in their big game ad space. With that being said, I enjoyed a few emotional ads and want to get started with one that might not have even been a true commercial. Here is a list of my Top 5 Super Bowl ads from 2020.

Honorable Mentions:

As you'll notice, my top 5 big game ads are mostly emotional ads and not funny ads. With that being said, some of the funny ads stood out to me as well. For example, I really enjoyed the Tide pods commercials that popped up everywhere throughout the game. This was a clever way to engage the audience while also promoting other brands. Budweiser didn't feature the Clydesdales so I was a little disappointed, but their 'Typical American' spot hit the feels while utilizing user-generated content that made you proud to be an American. And my final honorable mention spot is from Nintendo. 'Switch My Way: Catching Up' saw the bond built by father and daughter who were playing a Nintendo game together. I think many parents can relate to this spot. It was simple, but the story was very relatable and that's why I wanted to mention it.

5. NEXT 100 || NFL

Right off the bat, the NFL set the bar with its integrated ball presentation video. The video may have been a tad bit long, but the cameo-packed commercial was fun to watch and when the kids came onto the field, I got chills. I loved the messaging showing that the future of the NFL is with the future generation of football players. Of course, the production was top-notch, but when I look at my top spots, I think about the storytelling and creativity. This spot had both.

4. Tribute | Plants

This year, we saw multiple brands come together for different ads, and these next two ads caught my attention because of that fact. Planters 'Tribute' spot showcased Kool-Aid Man and the Mr. Clean mascot during a funeral scene of Mr. Peanut. Of course, the spot had a funny twist at the end when Mr. Peanut makes his return as Baby Peanut.

3. When We Come Together | P & G

I had a friend a few years back who predicted that brands would start to share air time, and sure enough, we are seeing that unfold. My 3rd favorite ad from Super Bowl LIV came from Procter & Gamble 'When We Come Together' ad. Or was it an Old Spice ad? Or Head and Shoulders? Or Olay? Or Charmin? Or Febreeze? Or Bounty? Or was that Mr. Clean again? You get my point. They jam-packed this ad with some notable brands and then directed you to the website Of course, each of these brands is owned by Procter & Gamble, but from a branding standpoint, you very rarely see multiple brands in a commercial. What was even more interesting about this spot, fans actually chose what ran in the commercial. On the website, it was a choose your own adventure interactive ad. As the commercial played, viewers were presented with two choices at different moments in the commercial. The top choices aired on Super Bowl Sunday. How cool is that? Visit the website and check it out yourself!

2. Love Takes Action | New York Life

The number 2 spot on my list is 'Love Takes Action' by New York Life Insurance. The final graphic before the logo comes in says "Be good at life." That line is what I thought about after seeing this commercial. The spot starts out slow, but around the second half of the video, it picks up its pace with the music building while the shots began to cut faster. What I believe made this spot so great were the voiceover artist and the music. Both work well together. The woman who voiced the spot gave an inspirational read that moves the viewer through the actions of the individuals on screen. The different sequences showing people doing better, being better, and loving better helped us restore a little faith in humanity resulting in the thought that we can still 'be good at life.'

1. Loretta | Google

Finally, my top 2020 commercial from Super Bowl LIV was definitely 'Loretta' from Google. When this spot aired, I had that emotional feeling in my stomach. This spot hits close to home with me, but I think what really makes it my favorite is the simplicity. Whenever you can take a simple idea, convey it in a way that pulls at the viewer's emotional heartstrings, and showcase your product benefiting the consumer, you have a recipe for a great commercial. This spot was creative and made you feel for the man that you never see on screen. And the icing on top was when we hear the gentleman letting his dog out the door and the viewer gets that final imagery of a man who lost his loved one walking out the door with his dog. Then the screen has the simple black lettering on a white background: "A little help with the little things." This spot left me smiling, knowing that a little help with the little things might be just what I need. Next stop: purchasing a Google Home Hub.

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