6 Spots That Won The 2018 Super Bowl

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

Advertisers played it safe this year, opting for funny ads full of celebrities rather than politically-charged ones—and it paid off. Here are the best of the best and what they did right…

Plenty of brands got political last year, but this year, they stayed on the sidelines. One branding exec explained to the Wall Street Journal that, “The fear of a Twitter attack is fueling the play-it-safe approach.” And it’s no wonder; brands have learned that trying to tap into the political climate can blow up in their face at the fast pace of social (lest we forget Pepsi). Instead, three themes pervaded the Super Bowl ads of the night: humor, celebrities, and activism. A-listers and up-and-coming TV stars alike headlined the ads, with several spots switching from celeb to celeb at dizzying speeds. Tapping into TV fandoms propelled two ads in particular to the top, proving how “celebrity” is being redefined by young viewers. The top ads of the night also kept it light, opting for ridiculous over real. This didn’t work out for everyone (ahem, Diet Coke)—but for many, humor was an effective way to win over consumers seeking an escape from the everyday.

The other theme of the night was a hit-or-miss for brands, but there were more misses than hits. Many brands tried to show off their social good for young viewers; not a bad idea considering Ypulse data has found Millennials & Gen Z expect brands' beliefs to align with their own. Unfortunately, some missed the mark (like Ram Trucks) and others were just lost in the clutter of "cause fatigue."

Here are the ads that stood out, winning over viewers and generating the most post-game buzz:

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketingDoritos & Mountain Dew

PepsiCo leveraged Next Level Fandoms to release a winning Super Bowl ad. The ad has accrued over 10 million views online and is the…


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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “[It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is] my favorite satirical/dark comedy for the past 12 seasons and it hasn't dipped in quality since.”—Male, 21, NY

Nike’s new store puts mobile use at the center of the experience. Using geo-fencing, Nike knows when a customer walks into their 68,000 square foot space and changes the app accordingly. Users can see tailored content and offers, book styling appointments on-site, scan mannequins to have product delivered to their dressing room, and more. Based on the success of similar stores in L.A. and Shanghai, Nike execs hope their new flagship will build up Nike’s Brandom, and drive app downloads in the process. (Ad Age)

Jell-O is rolling out edible slime kits. Their Unicorn and Monster kits cash in on the slime trend, which has been booming in the anxiety economy for at least three years. Elmer’s, Cra-Z-Art, and Nickelodeon were all quick to tap the trend for marketing and products while Jell-O is a little late to the party. But considering that 82% of teens told Ypulse last year that they’ve participated in at least one trending activity to relax, there might still be time to capitalize. (Vox)

BuzzFeed is getting into the retail game, with plans to open family-focused stores across the country, starting in NYC. The brick-and-mortar venture, called Camp, will sell toys and apparel to Millennial parents and their kids, and the first is scheduled to open in time to capture some holiday spending. The concept is copying Story by changing up products and experiences every eight to 12 weeks, because, “we want to deliver adventure every time they come to the store.” (Ad Age)

Pharma companies are using influencers for social media marketing. Wego is a platform that connects patients with social media followings to pharmaceutical companies for marketing activations, like posts about drugs and devices. One company at least has seen success using the approach: Sunovian's earned media impressions surged from fewer than 100,000 to more than 13.2 million after working with Wego. The biggest caveats to that cashflow could be abiding by FDA regulations and contending with “a myriad of ethical issues." (STAT)

Eighty-five percent of Millennials have purchased a product after viewing a branded videoThat’s nearly 10% higher than the adult average for the U.S, U.K., and Australia, according to Brightcove. In addition, 56% ranked videos as more engaging than any other marketing materials and 46% said its their favorite form of brand communication. They're also seeking Shoppable content: 30% said they're interested in videos containing purchase links. (Marketing Charts)

Quote of the Day: “Black-ish is my favorite show on air because it's informative, funny, relatable, and political…I know that I'll be entertained and maybe even learn something new or think critically about certain issues.”—Female, 22, PA

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