by Grace Whitman ’22 A&E Staff
Super Bowl LIV was undoubtedly the most-watched televised event of the year, with roughly 100 million Americans tuning in. FOX had sold out all 77 ad slots for an average of $5.6 million for each 30-second ad.
While the Super Bowl is one of the biggest athletic events of the year, there is also a lot on the line in the world of advertising. Every year, companies get their creative juices flowing, trying to one-up each other with their use of pop culture references, celebrities, and humor.
The most talked about commercial from the game was by Hulu. The streaming platform enlisted Tom Brady, who will be up for free agency after this season. It is up in the air on whether Brady will retire, move to another team, or stay in New England.
The black-and-white commercial shows Brady slowly walking into Gillette Stadium. He says, “They say all good things must come to an end,” prompting gasps and panic from viewers. He then says, “It’s time to say goodbye to TV as you know it,” referring to the end of cable television and the global switch to streaming. But those concerns were quickly put to rest as Brady then said, “But me? I’m not going anywhere.”
On a more comical note, in early January, Planters announced that the company would be killing off 104-year-old Mr. Peanut. During the Super Bowl, Planters introduced Baby Nut, a baby version of Mr. Peanut. The ad took place at Mr. Peanut’s funeral, attended by other advertising mascots including Mr. Clean and the Kool-Aid Man. This has sparked a huge public response, resulting in #babynut trending on Twitter.
PC’s 2019 Late Night Madness performer John Legend also starred in a Super Bowl commercial for Genesis with his wife Chrissy Teigen. The couple is seen throwing a going-away party for “old luxury.” As Teigen introduces the new luxurious GV80 to the party guests, Legend misses his cue to drive up and show off the car. While Teigen scolds him for being late, Legend asks for the “magic word,” which is “sexiest man alive,” alluding to his new honor in 2019.
Feb. 2 was not only Super Bowl Sunday, but also Groundhog Day, and Jeep took advantage of the holiday for its commercial promoting the Jeep Gladiator. Bill Murray reprised his role as meteorologist Phil Connors from the 1993 comedy movie Groundhog Day where he relives the same day over and over again. The brilliant commercial ends with, “No day is the same in a Jeep Gladiator” and scored first place on the USA Today’s Super Bowl Ad Meter.
Another favorite was Hyundai’s Boston-themed ‘Smaht Pahk’ ad. The commercial featured home-grown Boston celebrities Chris Evans, Rachel Dratch, John Krasinski, and former Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz. Playing on the thick Bostonian accent on words like “park,“ “car,“ “wicked,” etc., this commercial hit home for many Providence College students.
Although Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl, many corporate marketing departments took home a win with their commercials.