Our favourite superbowl ads!
Superbowl season is upon us, meaning there’s a buzz in the air about the forthcoming Superbowl halftime ads that never fail to steal the virality away from the actual sporty bit… at least they do for us here at Disrupt!
This year the average cost for a 30-second spot during the Superbowl ads is expected to reach a record high of $7 million. Is it worth it? Undoubtedly. Superbowl ads are the absolute epitome of macro-scale, brand awareness celebrity marketing. Year after year the world’s biggest brands spare no expense to sign up an A-lister or two for a 30-45 second masterpiece that leaves lasting impressions on viewers all over the world.
We’ve taken a look back at some of the most iconic Superbowl ads and put together a few of our favourites, read on to see what made the list!
Wayne’s World – Uber Eats (2021)
Kicking things off with Uber Eats’ 2021 call back to a cult classic and a favourite of mine, Wayne’s World. If you’ve never seen the film, it has one of the most famous examples of product placement in film history:
This scene is a classic for obvious reasons but also noteable for the real-life dispute regarding the inclusion of product placement in the 1992 movie. Eventually Mike Myers agreed to include it as long as he could do it his way, resulting in this memorable scene (fun fact, it ended up paying for the entire film).
Back to the Superbowl ads – Uber Eats’ 2021 commercial follows a similar gimmicky style that the film does, with Wayne and Garth reuniting for an ad promoting the idea of ‘eat local’ to their viewers. Throughout the commercial, they repeatedly claim they would never pull any tricks to try and ‘manipulate’ their audience, but as you’ll see, that isn’t entirely the case!
This is a highly entertaining, effective call back to Wayne’s World that seamlessly blends elements of the 21st century to create a relevant and captivating commercial for Uber Eats. We absolutely love it!
Wassap – Budweiser (2000)
Perhaps one of the most successful and memorable ads to ever air on television, Budweiser’s ‘Wassap’ Superbowl ad transcended virality when it first aired back in 2000 to instantly became an iconic piece of pop culture that you still hear referenced today.
If you’ve somehow never seen (or heard) this classic ad, here it is:
Yeah, I thought you’d probably heard of it.
It’s easy to see why this ad took off the way it did – it’s simple, entertaining, and memorable and centred around a relatable scenario – sitting in front of the TV, enjoying a beer. Also, viewers could replicate it almost instantly with their friends! (Is this the original social media trend!?)
According to reports by the New York Times, the ad drove a lot of business for Budweiser at the time, a boost of around 2.4m barrels thanks to this clever piece of viral advertising.
Over the years “Wassap” has been parodied numerous times, most notably in Scary Movie (2000) and The Office (both UK and US – that’s a debate for another time). It really has stood the test of time, and that’s what clever marketing is all about – making a lasting impression – and this has accomplished that completely!
“Less Talk, More Bitcoin” – Coinbase (2022)
Cryptocurrency platform, Coinbase, made their Superbowl debut last year with an ad so simple yet so clever that it broke the internet… or at least it broke their app.
This 60-second spot was a throwback to the old DVD loading screens from days gone by when watching a film involved an actual disc and a separate piece of machinery to play it in. We’ve all sat and watched that little logo bounce around the screen in the hope it would hit the corner so perfectly that it bounced back in a straight line, and being elated with joy when it eventually did.
Rather than a logo, the Coinbase ad featured a QR code with no indication as to what it did – how can you not be drawn in by that!? When scanned it would take viewers to a promotional Coinbase website which offered a limited promotion of $15 worth of free Bitcoin to new sign-ups, and the chance to enter a money giveaway of $3 million.
Imagine sitting there and watching all these super-high budget ads packed with some of the biggest names on the planet and then for a full minute (that’s decades in ad-land) you get this. You’re not, not going to scan it, are you.
Although the cost to run the 60-second ad was estimated at $14 million, the cost of production was likely low. After all, how much does it cost to generate a QR code and put some basic animation behind it?
In a year where crypto was a highly talked about topic during the Superbowl advertisements, with companies like Crypto.com and FTX also vying for attention, Coinbase’s ad stood out with its simplicity and instantly recognizable design. Another genius ad that we absolutely love.
Stevie’s pick – Bud Light – Magic Fridge (2006) / Swear Jar (2008)
When asked what his favourite super bowl ad was, MD of Disrupt Stevie said:
“For me, the best forms of advertising incorporate an element of entertainment. Advertainment as we like to call it. This is something that is prominent in our most effective social campaigns for our clients in today’s age but has also had proven impact across other channels in decades gone.”
“So, maybe I’m showing my age here, but the Budweiser Superbowl ads from the Noughties always caught my attention and went some way to inspiring me to want to do something creative when I was old enough. It’s a toss-up between ‘Magic Fridge’ and ‘Swear Jar’ as my favourites, but one thing remains true – Bud Light always delivers.”
Breaking Bad Reunion – Popcorners (2023)
THE BOYS ARE BACK!
Yes, Walter White and Jesse Pinkman (a.k.a Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul) are back together to ‘break into something good’ in the form of Popcorners:
Needless to say, there has been huge buzz online ever since this ad was first teased a few weeks back and as huge fans of the show here at Disrupt, it got us super excited.
With the reunion of the classic pair, plus the addition of Tuco Salamanca (played by Raymond Cruz) and being helmed by the mastermind behind Breaking Bad, Vince Gilligan, it truly embodies the essence of the show. It’ll take something special to be more popular than this during this year’s Superbowl!