Febreze Super Bowl 51 spot during the New England Patriots face the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51

Some Super Bowl ads struck the wrong tone

Advertisers had to tread carefully this year in a divisive political climate.

The New England Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons during a nailbiter Super Bowl 51 – and there were clear winners and losers off the field, too.

Advertisers had to tread carefully this year in a divisive political climate.

Some went for all out escapist humour like T-Mobile and Tide, while others tried to take a more serious tone like the American Petroleum Institute.

With 30-second ads costing around $5 million, and more than 110 million people watching, it’s a huge gamble to advertise during the game even in a less politically charged atmosphere.

Here are the winners whose gamble paid off, and losers who struck the wrong tone.

Winner: TIDE

P&G’s Tide ad featuring announcer Terry Bradshaw seemed at first to be part of the game broadcast. But when Bradshaw gets a stain on his shirt, he goes on an adventure featuring New England Patriot Rob Gronkowski and actor Jeffrey Tambor to try to find a clean shirt.

“It was just from the writing to the casting pure fun,” said Mark DiMassimo, CEO of ad agency DiMassimo Goldstein.

Winner: KIA

Kia managed to touch on social issues without offending people by tapping Melissa McCarthy to take on causes like saving whales, ice caps and trees, each time to disastrous effect.

Kia’s 60-second third-quarter ad promotes the fuel efficiency of its 2017 Niro car.

Winner: NFL

Two NFL ads aimed to appeal to all. The first ad , “Inside These Lines,” narrated by Forest Whitaker, showed scenes of football games and workers prepping a field.

The narration stated: “Inside these lines, we may have our differences, but recognize there is more that unites us.”

Another ad showed Super Bowl babies resembling NFL stars like Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka and former Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch to the tune of Chicago’s “You’re the Inspiration.”

Winner: Budweiser

Budweiser managed to capture the pre-game buzz with its “Born the Hard Way” spot. The cinematic 60-second spot chronicles co-founder Adolphus Busch’s journey from Germany to St. Louis in 1857.

He jumps off a burning steamboat and catches a glimpse of Budweiser’s iconic Clydesdales mascots before meeting fellow immigrant Eberhard Anheuser.

Some people took to Twitter to protest the immigration theme of the ad, but the ad was still one of the most watched ads ahead of the game.

Winner: T-Mobile

The wireless carrier made a big splash during the game by buying up 3 minutes of airtime and stuffing its ads with celebrities.

In one ad , Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart discuss T-Mobile’s unlimted data plan with lots of innuendo about Snoop’s pot-smoking habit.

Kristen Schaal started in two other adparodies of “50 Shades of Grey” that implied having a Verizon plan is like being punished – ” S&M style.

And Justin Bieber and New England Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski danced in another ad for the brand.

Loser: American Petroleum Institutions

An ad by a trade group sought to rebrand oil’s image, opening with the line that “This ain’t your daddy’s oil.”

The ad showed a series of colorful ways oil is allegedly used, including in spray paint and makeup. It said the “oil pumps life,” ”oil runs cleaner” and “oil explores space” — unexpected phrases for many that drew some mockery on social media.

The American Petroleum Institute says on its website that it represents the oil and natural gas industry, including producers, refiners, suppliers and pipeline operators. Villanova University marketing professor Charles Taylor said its message didn’t get across.

“They’re trying to somehow emphasize environmentalism, but I don’t think they did it in a way that most consumers would find believable,” he said.

Loser: Febreeze

P&G’s ad sought to take a humorous approach to saluting the well-known halftime bathroom break. “I love you halftime bathroom break,” says actress Kathryn Hahn during the commercial. But not everyone found the “potty humour” appealing.

Loser: Snickers

Snicker’s hyped up its live ad in the third quarter. The ad, set on a Wild West set, started with actor Adam Driver talking about the 21-3 score to prove it was live. But then things seem to go wrong and the set falls apart – on purpose.

“You ruin live Super Bowl commercials when you’re hungry,” the copy reads on screen.

“It went by so fast, I almost missed it,” said DiMassimo Goldstein CEO Mark DiMassimo. “I think the audience got it (but I’m) not sure it was worth the trouble of doing it live.”

Loser: Wendy’s

Wendy’s sought to emphasize its message of “Always fresh, never frozen” in its ad which showed a meatlocker full of frozen beef and a worker trying to thaw it with a hair dryer to the tune of Foreigner’s “Cold as Ice.” Ad critic Barbara Lippert says the ad is unappetizing. “All it does is leave you hearing frozen, frozen, frozen,” she noted.

 

Mae Anderson, The Associated Press

Just Posted

NWCC becomes CMNT

Northwest Community College now officially Coast Mountain College

Water restrictions in effect for North Terrace, Thornhill

Residents are being asked to conserve water until further notice

B.C. turns up the heat

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for most the province due to high temperatures

Northwest Regional Airport terminal project officially opens

Celebration today marks the completion of phase one of the Terrace-Kitimat airport expansion

Terrace Peaks wraps up season with year end show

Year end awards honoured seven athletes and one director for their work this past season

Canada won’t ‘play politics’ on U.S. migrant children policy

The U.S. government is under fire over its ”zero tolerance” policy

Late goal gives England 2-1 win over Tunisia

At the last World Cup in 2014, England couldn’t even win a game

Canadian military police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault

Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, 48, entered his plea today at a court martial proceeding in Halifax

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

Remains of two people found on Vancouver Island

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to two missing men, last seen in Ucluelet in mid-May

Helping B.C.’s helpers cope

The MRT has helped almost 7,000 first responders and street workers in 57 communities in B.C.

Border officials argue B.C. man’s Facebook posts threat to Canada’s security

A B.C. Supreme Court judge acquitted Othman Hamdan of terrorism charges last September

Reena Virk’s mother has died

Both of Virk’s parents became activists against bullying in wake of daughter’s death

B.C. announces $75M to help friends, family care for seniors at home

Funding will go towards respite care and adult day programs

Most Read