Daily 49er

Funny commercials during Super Bowl earn praise

Humor proves to be an effective strategy from companies.

A+Danny+Devito+and+M%26M+commercial+was+one+of+many+Superbowl+commercials+to+use+humor+to+sell+their+products.+
A Danny Devito and M&M commercial was one of many Superbowl commercials to use humor to sell their products.

A Danny Devito and M&M commercial was one of many Superbowl commercials to use humor to sell their products.

Courtesy of Mars Chocolate Brand

Courtesy of Mars Chocolate Brand

A Danny Devito and M&M commercial was one of many Superbowl commercials to use humor to sell their products.

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Between the edge-of-your-seat action and energetic music, audiences are kicking back and enjoying the commercial breaks with new and outrageous marketing campaigns developed specifically for the Super Bowl.

While the tone of the commercials has always varied, year after year the majority have featured companies leaning toward humor to sell their products. This year nearly every advertisement went for guffaw-inducing gags to draw consumers in, and once again, it worked.

Whether it was the red M&M turning into Danny DeVito, Chris Hemsworth and Danny McBride starring in a fake ‘Crocodile Dundee’ reboot or Keegan-Michael Key helping people decipher complicated loans, viewers were treated to endless jokes that also did well to give consumers a look at the products.

For anyone of legal age, one key aspect of watching the Super Bowl is having a few drinks, resulting in being a little buzzed and just trying to have a good time. Even if your team is losing and the combo of drink and fan rage is close to consuming you, the commercials work toward keeping the good time going, and could even have you thinking about going out and buying these products during the $5 million, 30-second ad.

For instance, one of the most highly anticipated commercials for the Super Bowl this year was the dual Doritos and Mountain Dew ad, which also had a preview campaign. The ad featured a big battle between “Game of Thrones” actor Peter Dinklage on the side of Doritos Blaze and Morgan Freeman on the side of Mountain Dew Ice, both new flavors.

The battle featured Dinklage lip-sync rapping to Busta Rhymes’ fast verse from Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now” while Freeman rapped along to Missy Elliott’s “Get Ur Freak On.”

Many, of course, saw this as just a funny way by both companies to hype up their product, but the result was also a very successful boost for the companies as people have actually shown an interest in buying the new flavors and even saw an uptick in the company’s stock the morning after the Super Bowl, according to MarketWatch.com.

Another prime example from the Super Bowl was the slew of Tide ads featuring “Stranger Things” actor David Harbour. The ads all acted as various parodies and spoofs of generic product commercials, ranging from Matthew McConaughey’s Lincoln commercials to the Amazon Alexa commercials, while also crossing over into real-life ads, such as the Old Spice commercials featuring Isaiah Mustafa on a horse and the dancing Mr. Clean.

In an interesting twist, however, their illustration of the cleaning purposes was near non-existent, instead choosing to solely feature Harbour interrupting the rest of the ad’s events to announce “It’s a Tide ad.” Across the 16 commercials and 100 seconds of screen time, audiences were treated to countless laughs as Harbour’s quirky and suave behavior emanated from ad to ad, but they also were effective in two other ways: sales and image.

While the last month has seen a downward trend for the detergent company’s stocks, according to MarketWatch.com, the company has seen an uptick in their stocks since the Monday following the Super Bowl, indicating a return to more profitable times for the company.

Image is also important for Tide following said health crisis from above. The news has been dominated lately by the trending Tide Pod social media challenge, in which people from ages 10 to 25 are recording themselves eating the Tide Pods and uploading them to social media. This resulted in a spike in cases of detergent poisoning across the nation, and in some cases death. The company scrambled to not only warn teens not to take part in the challenge, but also to assure customers they were safe to buy as long as used properly.

The Tide ads during the Super Bowl worked as a way of not only diverting public attention from the controversy, but also in spinning their public image as a more positive company. The sense of humor in the commercials was a way of the company saying “We’re fun and weird,” while also subtly reminding everyone, “Our products are for cleaning clothes…nothing else.”

Overall, the Super Bowl ads worked in two senses as both a source of entertainment for those looking to have a good time start to finish, as well as get people interested in buying their products.

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