What Makes a Great Super Bowl Commercial?

Feb 05, 2019

The Super Bowl is one of the most highly anticipated sporting events of the year and is often one of the most watched sporting events of the year! However, the Super Bowl is also infamous for the huge number of commercials that appear during the programme, on billboards and advertising boards around the edges of the pitch, as well as during the assigned ad-break periods. This prime-time spot is highly sought after for companies to promote their businesses, but what makes a great Super Bowl commercial?


Humour often features heavily in commercials played during the Super Bowl. The Stella Artois commercial that featured during this year’s game used humour in the form of surprise, when Carrie Bradshaw walks in dressed to the nines and orders a Stella Artois instead of her usual Cosmopolitan. Chaos ensues as she goes against convention of the expected – people fall over, food is ruined and glasses break. The commercial ends with the usual visit from the character of ‘The Dude’. The contrast of the characters is representative of the tagline ‘Change Up the Usual’ and uses humour as a way to achieve this.

Celebrity Endorsement

Celebrity endorsement is a great tool that many companies use for advertising, especially during the Super Bowl. Having a celebrity-filled commercial air during this prime-time moment within the TV calendar is a huge bonus because companies know that their commercial message is much more likely to be retained. By having personalities such as Steve Carell and Cardi B in the Pepsi commercial, it helps to make the spot more notable because viewers will be more likely to remember the celebrities. Also, fans of the celebrities may be more likely to then engage with the brand because they have seen them using the product on this commercial.


Quirky commercials are also popular during the Super Bowl ad-breaks as they draw people’s eye to the screen. Producing a commercial that is quirky, confusing or just a bit odd draws people’s attention as it evokes curiosity in the viewer. As an example, during this year’s ad-breaks Sprint produced an advert which featured Bo Jackson, a former American Football player, as well as a mermaid and a flying horse. The unusual nature of this commercial makes it a talking point, as the placement of random objects inspires conversation both in person and online.

Overall, it seems that there are common features to Super Bowl commercials, and companies pay extortionate amounts of money to be featured during the prime-time slot so it must be worth their while!


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