Where Do the 2014 Super Bowl Ads Stack Up Against Their Predecessors?

By: Blair Hickey


Another Super Bowl, another crop of must-watch, $4 million per spot commercials. Advertisers choose an alternative route from past years to score points with the audience making the buzz created by the 2014 Super Bowl ads worthy of hoisting its own Lombardi Trophy.

Humorous and risqué spots took a seat on the sidelines while emotional and relatable spots earned a big chunk of the playing time. This year was less about the entertainment factor and more about impact. After all, an ad can be funny, but if the product and messaging gets lost in the theatrics, it’s a bust.

Here are a few of the ads we thought scored a touchdown in marketing and branding this past Super Bowl Sunday:

  • Microsoft: Former NFL player Steve Gleason who suffers from ALS uses a Microsoft Surface tablet to communicate with his son in this memorable and touching spot. The overall theme of the ad is empowerment and the impact of technology.
  • Cheerios: The commercial is a sequel to one the brand introduced last spring that prompted controversy by featuring a biracial family. This time around, the commercial seems to be having the opposite effect with mostly positive feedback. The spot’s dialogue is simple and sweet, just like the cereal.
  • RadioShack: Kudos to anyone who can poke fun at themselves. The struggling electronics company was honest about its current situation and brought in 80’s celebs like Hulk Hogan, Mary Lou Retton, Dee Snider, Chucky and John Ratzenberger to reclaim the old store in this hilarious 30 second spot.
  • Heinz: The spot features people from all over the country humming “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and thumping the bottom of a Heinz ketchup bottle, an experience we all can all relate to. It combines happy feelings, nostalgia, and brand reinforcement, which make for an extremely effective ad.

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