I thought, and it seems a lot of people agree, that this year’s Super Bowl had an abnormally large amount of commercials that made emotional appeals to the audience.
From Dove’s “dad” spot, to Budweiser’s puppy and Clydesdale friendship story, the game was filled with tearjerkers.
This is a departure from years past when Doritos made sure to serve us up something bizarre, and GEICO showed us something even weirder. In fact, the only truly goofy add that stood out to me was the Skittles commercial that depicted an entire town that settled everything by arm wrestling.
But there were other funny commercials. Mindy Kaling thought she was invisible and creeped-out Matt Damon. And Jeff Bridges was about as weird as we would expect. But I was only reminded of these after specifically searching for Super Bowl commercials.
The only explanation I can think of for why I don’t remember laughing at these spots is because I wasn’t in the mood to laugh. Not many people in the room were. Not after having our heartstrings pulled successfully by Budweiser.
The emotional impact of so many of the spots cheapened the goofy tactic that some companies stuck to from years past. I felt sticky laughing at babies with massive biceps from arm wrestling; Especially after watching Nationwide’s all time happiness drain of a commercial.
I wonder how next year’s game will go. Will advertisers take into account how other commercials change the viewer’s perception of theirs? Will they try to determine if other companies are going funny or going emotional and try to take the same angle as them? If they do, I hope they error to the funny side.