Pre-Game Reactions to Super Bowl Commercials

The Coca-Cola Co (KO) is one company that's given a small taste of what it has in store for Sunday

by Josh Selway

Published on Jan 30, 2015 at 11:51 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Super Bowl Sunday is the best holiday of the year (it is a holiday). It has everything: sports, food, entertainment, television, Katy Perry. While many people will analyze what happens on the field Sunday, practically just as many people will be focusing on another aspect of the spectacle: the commercials.

Companies now spend months coordinating with their respective advertising firms, preparing their Super Bowl spot -- and making sure it appeals to just the right audience, in just the right way. In fact, many firms have released sneak peeks and quasi-trailers for their Super Bowl ads this year.

Oh, and those companies are also forking over as much as $4.5 million for a 30-second spot.

While people will scrutinize and rank the commercials during and after the game, I wanted to look at the teasers ahead of time. So, below are a few companies that will air a commercial during the Super Bowl -- with a couple who already released their ad -- with my reaction to the ideas.

The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO): KO was one of the companies to release a trailer for its Super Bowl spot, and I have to be honest, it creeped me out. The preview shows a giant server room with doomsday music playing, before revealing the sentence: "The Internet May Never Be The Same." Some speculate this may have to do with online bullying, as part of the company's #makeithappy campaign.

Reaction: Wait and see.

This has potential. KO has come through with solid Super Bowl commercials before, and of course, it's good to take a stand against online bullying. Yet the execution of the ad here is crucial, as it can be difficult to appeal to America's "happy gene" without coming across as inauthentic.

Anheuser Busch Inbev SA (ADR) (NYSE:BUD): So, there's a puppy in the ad.

Reaction: Awwwww.

You simply can't lose with a puppy -- unless you're GoDaddy, of course. This spot is obviously a hit with the public. BUD also released a Bud Light commercial where everyone gets way too excited over an adult winning a real-life Pac-Man game.

Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ:INTU): The TurboTax creator has already released some ads for its Super Bowl campaign.

Reaction: Well done.

I'm a fan of these spots. They're entertaining, intriguing, and they convey the simplicity of using TurboTax. It's always good to have a commercial that actually makes people want to use your product.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT): MSFT has kept the details of its advertisement confidential.

Reaction: Yeah, you're allowed to do that.

Come to think of it, when did it become hip to release your Super Bowl ad early? Or even hint at what you're doing? Props to MSFT for its top secret approach.

T-Mobile US Inc (NYSE:TMUS): They did it. They actually did it. TMUS went out and got Kim Kardashian West for its commercial. The spot is set up as a public service announcement, with Kim bringing attention to how mobile phone companies are not giving consumers enough data to do things they want to do -- like take selfies.

Reaction: Sigh.

This commercial is simple, and, I'll admit, it's somewhat amusing, but TMUS had a whole year to blow our minds ... and this is what it gives us? More Kim K?

Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL): CCL is new to the Super Bowl commercial party. All that's known up to this point is they've hired Wally Pfister, who was a cinematographer for The Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, and other popular movies.

Reaction: Excited.

This is pretty much the opposite of getting Kim Kardashian West for your commercial. I'm excited to see what they produce.

McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD): MCD revealed a teaser where it states it'll "be randomly accepting a new form of payment" in February. The teaser shows customers laughing and smiling and just oh-so-bubbly to be in line for a quarter pounder. I'm guessing the "currency" is going to be "just a smile," or something.

Reaction: Here we go again.

McDonald's just needs to stop. It's already tried once to inspire America with a commercial, and now it's going to fail again. We don't need you, McDonald's! Leave us alone!

Mars, Inc.: Okay, it's not a publicly traded company, but I had to mention the Skittles/Marshawn Lynch spot.

Reaction: Perfection.

Timely and hilarious. This is beautiful.


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