Commercials during the Super Bowl are seemingly getting more important with each passing year in the DVR era. Since viewers are watching the game live and are therefore locked into the advertisements, it's a chance for brands to make an impression.
With so many companies going all out to produce a memorable ad for the big game, the competition level is high. Forbes' Jacquelyn Smith passed along remarks from Bob Horowitz of Juma Entertainment about what the ads must try to accomplish:
They must entertain with clever, over-the-top—but not too silly—creative that has viewers wanting to re-tell punch lines at the water cooler the next morning. Or the commercial has to tug at the heart strings, providing an emotional connection for viewers and the corporate message. Viewers watch the game to be entertained by those 30 and 60-second commercials. If the spots don't meet those entertaining expectations, $4 million is wasted.
If the commercial doesn't go above and beyond, it will likely get lost in the shuffle during the game. Knowing that, let's take a glance at some of the most anticipated spots set to feature during Super Bowl XLVIII between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos. These could very well end up on a best ads list once the dust settles.
When: Sunday, Feb. 2, at 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
TV Info: Fox
Live Stream: Fox Sports Go
Spread: Denver by 3, according to Bovada
Volkswagen uses a humorous approach to its Super Bowl teaser. Given all the talk about what it takes to create a commercial that will make a lasting impact, the car company uses an "algorithm" to create a perfect ad that will appeal to any viewer.
Of course, since it's only a teaser, everything gets out of control pretty quickly. The formula doesn't lead to instant success, sending the creators back to the drawing board. It will be interesting to see if the final ad is another blooper reel of sorts or an actual attempt at a perfectly created spot.
It's certainly a smart concept because, due to teasers, people are starting to hear about Super Bowl commercials days and even weeks before the game. So by releasing a teaser that shows things going haywire, it should have people interested in the final product.
Arnold Schwarzenegger playing pingpong should be a strong enough tease to get people to seek out an ad during the game. So Bud Light kept one of its teasers simple, just showing the world-famous celebrity in some gear.
What makes the teaser stand out, however, is not just Schwarzenegger. It's also the tag line: "Whatever Is Coming." So you see him getting ready for a pingpong match, but the teaser is so short it obviously leaves a lot of questions.
It was enough to catch the attention of Adweek:
Now, Bud Light has made that connection with a portion of the audience heading into the game. When Schwarzenegger pops up on the screen, they'll stop to see what happens in the rest of the ad. That's exactly what a good teaser should do.
When you combine tough guy Terry Crews and the Muppets, good things are bound to happen. That's probably what Toyota thought when it was brainstorming ideas for the Super Bowl, and it turns out just as funny as you'd expect.
Crews watches his vehicle get overtaken by Muppets and is noticeably hesitant at first. But he gets into Muppet mode and ends up standing out of the sunroof and dancing by the end. Kermit even makes a cameo to cap it off.
Ultimately, where the Toyota spot will rank in the end depends on how strong the overall batch of ads is for this year's game. Some Super Bowls are certainly better than others in that regard. It certainly has the look of a viewer favorite, though.