As marketing pros, our favorite part of the Super Bowl is the ads. Companies pay top dollar for some highly coveted air time and launch their creative new campaigns. Vying for the attention of 113 million Super Bowl 2023 viewers, most campaigns relied on recognizable formats; the beloved family pet, popular celebrities and throwback music.
From celebrity cameos to emotional narratives, and a lot of beverage ads, we’re here for it all. In between filling a plate full of wings and high-fiving over touchdowns, our team of marketing pros picked their favorite Super Bowl LVII ads.
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Lauren’s Top Pick: Pepsi Zero Sugar
Steve Martin transcends generations, from his hilarious 1980s film Trains, Planes and Automobiles to his recent work Only Murders in the Building co-starring pop star Selena Gomez. Martin is a recognizable and beloved cameo well-fitted for the broad Super Bowl audience.
In another installment of this campaign, Ben Stiller takes the spotlight. A similarly varied celebrity with generational familiarity from hit comedy Meet the Parents and cult-classic Zoolander.
In this ad, Pepsi breaks the fourth wall calling attention to the artificial nature of acting and advertising. Inviting consumers to try Pepsi Zero Sugar to decide for themselves if the promotion was “#RealorActing“.
Pepsi’s creative take on the growing “Deinfluencing” movement made great use of a celeb cameo and an engaging call to action (CTA).
It marks a shift from previous influencer-based campaigns like Pepsi’s controversial Kendall Jenner ad that ran in 2018, or their more recent ad featuring Cardi B’s famous rolling r.
In a clever flip of the script, Pepsi asks consumers not to trust Steve Martin’s word for it, go try Pepsi for yourself.
Marisol’s Top Pick: The Farmer’s Dog
The Farmer’s Dog won the hearts of many viewers as they aired their “love letter” to dogs; the company’s first ever super bowl commercial.
As a dog lover, there’s nothing better then spending time with my best furry friend. The Farmer’s Dog takes you through a heartfelt journey of a dog’s life alongside its owner.
From running around as a puppy to cuddling with the family, Forever by Lee Fields plays in the background promising “I’m going to love you forever.” The ad ends with the sweet and sad text “Nothing matters more than more years together.”
It’s an emotional rollercoaster to say the least. I hugged my dog closer that night and thought more than once about buying Farmer’s Dog food.
The ad successfully balances between heartfelt emotion and loving which resonates with viewers for a lasting impression.
The ending CTA is honestly genius. The catharsis to the emotions built up from the narrative has a release: buy this healthy dog food and get more time with your sweet pup. I’m sold.
Jacquet’s Top Pick: Intuit TurboTax
You can’t go wrong with an 80s anthem, legendary dance moves and a visually engaging set.
Turbo Tax made taxes fun this year with a throwback to “Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats, a man cutting some rug and a synchronized fountain.
The jubilant man has his happy feet going because he didn’t have to do his own taxes. I’d be right there dancing with him.
Nostalgia is in right now. And TurboTax is killing it, from the song, to the font, it feels retro but in a modern sensibility (think Burger King).
Our dancing icon in the red jumpsuit also brings back a early 2000s classic, the dancing Six Flags icon: Mr. Six. The joy and carefree nature of this ad was palpable in the room. My Super Bowl watch party couldn’t help but smile, then frown as we realize tax season is upon us. Maybe we’ll use TurboTax…
Adrianna’s Top Pick: Tubi
Tubi aired more than one commercial this year for the Super Bowl, but one stood out above the rest.
The surprising Tubi ad began with Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen, renowned sports broadcasters, leading us to believe that the commercial break had concluded and it was time for us to return back to the Super Bowl.
Suddenly, it seemed like someone had taken the remote and began scrolling through the Tubi streaming service in search of a movie.
That’s the last thing you’d want to happen when watching the Super Bowl!
Siblings started blaming each other for sitting on the remote, spouses yelled not to change the channel, pets were given accusatory glances. This commercial sparked conversations among viewers, exactly what any Super Bowl ad should strive to do.
Viewers flooded social media with mixed reactions to Tubi’s commercial. It was undoubtedly a risky stunt leaving some people laughing and others annoyed.
But equally undoubtedly, this is the most discussed ad, and it will certainly take viewers exactly where this streaming service wants them – directly to its platform!
The Retro Super Bowl Ad
This year’s Super Bowl commercials had a lot of heart and even more nostalgia. We tuned in for the ads, but the close game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs was the most engaging thing on screen.
The reliance on nostalgic throwbacks and celebrity cameos was tiring. We stan Alicia Silverstone but Clueless came out 27 years ago. And Breaking Bad is a classic but coming up on its 15th year. These references are older, or as old as Zoomers.
We look forward to innovative Super Bowl commercials that push the envelope, play with form and highlight new technologies.
Ultimately though, what makes a product stand-out is the call to action. Connecting with an audience only works if there’s follow through.
Pepsi’s hashtag campaign creates a conversation, TurboTax’s alluringly invites consumers to not do your own taxes and Tubi’s risky move is a highly talked about stunt; a good ad engages an audience, a strong CTA keeps the audience interested.
Our team loves a good CTA. If your business needs help getting your advertising campaign started, our team of experts is ready to grow your business with a free digital audit!