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

“As a graphic designer, without the arts being available to me in school I would have been lost as a child and where to take my career path. The fact that schools are cutting art programs is heartbreaking.”—Female, 24, NJ

Applebee’s is putting down the sriracha and giving up on trying to appeal to Millennials. The brand has decided their newer menu items—like a “triple pork bonanza” sandwich—and attempt at a “modern bar and grill” reinvention has “alienate[d]” Boomers and Gen Xers. They’re shutting down more than 130 restaurants and bringing back initiatives from before their attempted “pendulum swing towards millennials,” all-you-can-eat specials and 2-for-$20 deals. Other brands are creating new spin off chains to appeal to fast-casual lovingMillennials, that “[lack] the associated baggage of the old.” (Inc, NPR)

Adults-only ball pits, bouncy houses, and giant slides are sweeping the U.K. Millennials seeking a break from adulthood are flocking to places like Wacky World’s “massive bouncy-castle obstacle course,” which started out as a children’s event. The founder received so many requests that now every event has an 18-and-over slot, and has expanded to 19 cities. This “trend for arrested development activities” is caused by nostalgia, but the influx of marketing and branding leveraging the emotion could be popularizing these playgrounds for adults. (The Guardian)

Facebook is responding to the trend of asking for birthday charitable donations by integrating it right into the platform. Users in the U.S. can now trade in all the “HBD”s they get on Facebook for donations to the cause of their choice: well-wishers will be notified of the birthday along with the selected non-profit, and get the chance to donate. Facebook will ask users which charity they wish to dedicate their day to two weeks in advance, allowing them to choose from 750,000 organizations. (TNW)

Appear Here is the Airbnb of pop-up shops, giving brands their perfect temporary store for the new era of retail. The company finds short term retail space, and has worked with big-name brands like Nike and Net-a-Porter to open “experimental activations” or “test new products.” As brick-and-mortar continues to suffer and long-term stores close, Appear Here says physical retail is still needed, but to “tell a story.” The pop-up industry was valued at $50 billion in 2015, and provides a more low-risk, flexible option to avoid the retail wasteland. (Glossy)

Millennials & Gen Z are turning a profit online and on mobile by re-selling their retail. Thredup, Poshmark, and Depop are just a few of the most popular brands cashing in on the resale economy’s $18 billion market, and some shoppers say they are making $300 a week on the platforms. Some are also using social to sell, often in conjunction with apps or sites, including Snapchat, Facebook Groups, and Instagram. College students on a budget are reportedly especially drawn to resale, thanks to convenience, value, and access to luxury at a lower price. (FN)

“Adult means being entirely independent. I pay my own bills, make all decisions in my life, and feel very in control.”—Male, 20, NY

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