These Brand Partnerships Were The Real Winners of the Super Bowl

Unexpected brands teaming up surprised viewers and became the real success stories of last night’s game…

Advertisers played a high-stakes game last night. Super Bowl LIII brought in $382 million in advertising, according to Ad Age, with spots selling for a reported average of $5.25 million. But with all that money at play, there weren’t too many stand-out commercial moments.

Last week, we gave you a sneak peek at the big trends that you would see during the big game’s ad breaks, and they all held true. Nostalgia was rampant, with the Backstreet Boys, Carrie Bradshaw, and The Dude all making appearances. Artifical intelligence, in the form of smart speakers and robots, were an odd recurring theme. Celebrities were everywhere (whether they made sense appearing in the same spot or not). And in a move some called risk-averse, most brands stayed away from politics, keeping things light or feel-good during an event that’s become increasingly politicized.

Overall, much like the action on the field, the approach was deemed a bit of a snooze. And, because so many of the ads were released in advance of the game, there weren’t too many surprises—with a few notable exceptions. These brands managed to stand out from the crowd, not necessarily for being edgy, but for teaming up in unexpected ways. On a night that’s usually about brand competitions, these partnerships were the real winners:  

Bud Light & HBO

Bud Light surprised (and delighted) viewers with their co-branded Game of Thrones Super Bowl ad. In the spot, the latest installment of Bud Light’s viral “Dilly Dilly” commercials, a jousting match between the Bud Knight and a rival is beginning—it all seems to be following the same script as previous ads in the campaign, when suddenly The Mountain from Game of Thrones slays the Bud Knight,…


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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “Most social media is an echo-chamber for immaturity.”—Male, 30, MD

Violent video games don’t cause violent behavior, according to “one of the most definitive [studies] to date.” At a time when several states are considering tacking on extra taxes to violent video games, the Oxford Internet Institute’s study found that playing content considered violent did not cause 14-15-year-olds in the U.K. to act more aggressively. The study’s co-author says that previous studies have been influenced by “researcher biases” that led to studies that gave “undue weight to the moral panic surrounding video games.” (

A new rosé brand is winning over Millennials with its Instagrammable bottle. The Wonderful Company, known for brands like Fiji Water and Pistachios, brought a new wine brand to market just in time for Valentine’s Day—and it’s already outselling their other labels. JNSQ (an acronym for the French phrase “je ne sais quoi”) sells rosé and sauvignon blanc that come in glass containers designed to look like retro perfume bottles. Influencers and a national marketing campaign helped propel the brand. (Adweek)

Minecraft for mobile made more money than ever in 2018. According to Sensor Tower, the gaming sensation’s mobile version raked in $110 million last year, rising 7% from last year. In addition, 48% of that revenue came from the U.S., followed by just 6.6% from Great Britain. All eyes may be on Fortnite, but the Minecraft Effect still has a hold on young gamers, and Gen Z & Millennials still rank the game as one of their favorites. (Venture Beat)

Nostalgic Millennials can soon set sail on a Golden Girls-themed cruise. The experiential, adults-only cruise will include themed activities like a “One Night in St. Olaf Dance Party,” a game of Ugel and Flugel, and a costume contest for fans dressed up as the main characters. There will also be plenty of trivia, bingo, and cheesecake on this five-night experience aboard the Celebrity Infinity. This isn’t the only cruise ship catering to adults recently; Virgin’s first cruise ship is 18-and-up-only and even has a tattoo parlor on board. (People)

Daquan, the meme account with 12 million followers, is teaming up with All Def Media for a slate of original content. The premium videos will signal a departure from what Daquan is known for: gritty, homemade content that ranges like blurry SpongeBob SquarePants screenshots transformed into memes via clever captions. The new videos will debut across All Def Media and Daquan’s social channels, which include Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, IGTV, and YouTube. (Tubefilter)

Quote of the Day: “I think social media can bring light to issues that are of importance such as animal rescue and environmental awareness.”—Female, 22, MI

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