The Super Bowl Ads That Won With Millennials

Super Bowl AdThe Baltimore Ravens may have won the Super Bowl, but there were other winners last night...the top ads of course! Take a look at the commercials below that resonated with young viewers thanks to their smart and creative punch lines, as well as their emotional narratives.

Hyundai: “Team”

Everyone loves an underdog and this commercial lets a bullied boy shine. After his peers tell him that he can’t play with them until he has a team, he’s determined to form one. With the help of his mom and their trusty Hyundai, he rounds up some fierce friends to play football. The ad is relatable – everyone’s been put down or told they can’t do something before – but that only drives them to prove others wrong. Plus, Millennials have grown up with their parents’ support and encouragement that they can do anything, so this ad accurately captures familiar sentiments. Combine this storyline with some motivating music and comical kids and you get a cute and encouraging commercial that makes others want to support Hyundai's team too!

Budweiser: “Brotherhood”

While most companies focus on creating comical and creative ads that shock viewers or leave them laughing, Budweiser took a different approach and tugged at people’s heartstrings. A horse breeder raises a foal (who fans can help name on Twitter using the hashtag #clydesdales) to become a Clydesdale horse. He forms a close bond with the horse and sadly says goodbye when Budweiser comes to pick it up. Fast-forward and the breeder goes to see the horse as part of the Clydesdale fleet. In a tear-jerking moment, the horse breaks free to embrace its former owner as Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” plays. This ad appeals to people of all ages as they can form an emotional connection with the brand. The foal is Budweiser’s newest addition and Millennials in…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“Art is basically my job and I enjoy it so much.”—Female, 15, MD

Snap is making its “biggest move” in scripted original content, teaming up with NBCUniversal and the Duplass brothers for their next series. The Duplass-owned creative studio Donut will produce original series for Snap shot in vertical video. NBCU and Snap will also be opening a joint digital content studio focused completely on mobile-first entertainment, “formaliz[ing] their partnership” and putting Snap firmly in the producing/original content creation camp. Snap’s mobile-only approach is part of a movement to shake up how we view videos—in fact, they’re calling their offering “a fundamentally new medium.” (THRTechCrunch)

Eggo frozen waffles are capitalizing on their unexpected Stranger Things’ fame. The brand has seized the marketing opportunity of being a part of one of Millennials & Gen Z’s favorite shows, tying themselves into Netflix’s Super Bowl ad, creating a special toaster for select fans, and swarming New York Comic Con with people dressed up like Eleven armed with “watch party kits” (aka “waffles and a microwavable syrup server”). To prep for the premiere of season two of the show, Eggo is sending out a fully-loaded food truck for the red carpet premiere, and going all out on social media to connect with fans. (MediaPost)

More teens than ever have severe anxiety, but why? The American College Health Association found a 12% increase in undergrads reporting “overwhelming anxiety” from 2011 to 2016, and several studies concur that “there’s just been a steady increase of severely anxious students.” Social media is part of the problem—constant like-monitoring and cyber bullying isn’t helping the most stressed generation to date. There’s also an increasing (and constant) perceived need to over-achieve. One psychology professor observes, “There’s always one more activity, one more A.P. class, one more thing to do in order to get into a top college.” (NYTimes)

Ypulse research has shown that 88% of Millennial parents are trying to avoid helicopter parenting—but they might not be able to help it. The constant media storm of global atrocities and everyday stories of parenting gone wrong combined with advertisers’ willingness to fear-monger, results in a generation of (understandably) anxious parents. It doesn’t help that the tech to constantly monitor kids is easily available (albeit pricey)—from drone surveillance meant for the military to devices that track “blood-oxygen levels all night long.” One relationship therapist sums up, “Everyone is having a hard time drawing a line and just figuring out what’s reasonable versus what’s over-protective.” (Refinery29)

Brands are turning college students into mini-sales forces. Aerie, Victoria’s Secret Pink, and Express are just a few of the many brands that have a program for college campus reps where students receive swag, experience, and other perks for helping bring brand awareness to their colleges. Though brands don’t always require social posts, most ambassadors do share their swag on social, bringing organic ads to their friends’ feeds. The biggest draw is that social posts from reps “[come] across as natural, authentic, a product that they would normally use or want to talk about.” (Racked)

“[Celebrity] can mean anything nowadays and it's a rather diluted term; from YouTube star, to someone on Instagram with millions of followers, to reality TV dopes, etc.”—Male, 30, WI

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