Super Bowl Commercials 2014: Early Contenders for Top Ad Based on Teasers

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistJanuary 30, 2014

Darla, a 7-year-old Clydesdale, top, watches over her young, as yet unnamed foal, at Warm Springs Ranch Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, in Boonville, Mo. The foal, born Jan, 16, 2013 at the ranch, is the star of a Budweiser commercial set to air during Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday.  (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

A popular trend in recent years among companies involved in the high-priced game of Super Bowl advertising is releasing teasers. Short clips often tell part of the story but leave people wanting more, so that they are on the lookout during the big game.

Whether taking away some of the suspense factor is a smart move is up for debate. Ian Crouch of The New Yorker passed along comments from Volkswagen of America's Justin Osbourne, the general manager of brand and marketing communications, who said it all comes down to total views in the end.

"The surprise factor doesn't matter as it once did," he told Crouch. "Our goals are about how many total views we can get. To assume that that is going to happen within forty-eight hours is cutting yourself pretty short."

Not every advertiser agrees, but it's definitely becoming a more popular approach. With that in mind, let's take an early look at some brands that could end up in the running for best ad based on the teasers they have released ahead of Super Bowl Sunday.



This is a perfect teaser. One of the biggest problems companies face when coming up with the previews is striking the right balance between creating intrigue without totally giving away the commercial. Some mystery needs to remain.

By having one of its walking, talking M&M's tranquilized and pulled off the screen, the company forces people to wonder what happens next and influences them to watch television during the breaks in the game, waiting for the answer.

Based on the teaser, with Yellow setting up his own camera and then starting to dance, it seems something geared toward ending the "selfie" craze. But, as a good teaser should, it leaves more questions than answers in a humorous way.


Wonderful Pistachios

Wonderful Pistachios has done a nice job with its advertising campaign by bringing in notable celebrities to help hawk the product. The commercials themselves are usually rather simple with a quick slogan and a voice-over.

Based on the teaser, it sounds like bigger things could be in store for the Super Bowl ad, which will be headlined by Stephen Colbert. The popular television host might also have a guest star in the likes of an eagle, sticking with the American theme of his character.

Unlike the M&M's teaser, this one doesn't shed any light on what will actually happen, but showcasing Colbert is a start. Between him and an ad team that's had success, it's hard to believe they wouldn't hit the final spot out of the park.



Anheuser-Busch InBev, the brewer of Budweiser, has a total of five commercials lined up for the Super Bowl between Bud and Bud Light, according to Ad Age. Most of that ad time will be spent trying to sell their products with celebrities and animals.

This teaser certainly showcases something way different, though. It puts the focus on the troops who are returning home, and how they should be honored for their sacrifice to the country. The commercial concept has already caught the eye of Adweek:

Putting the spotlight on those returning home during an event which is watched by a massive television audience is the right thing to do. Hopefully the full spot during the game builds off what is already a very strong preview.