An Evaluation of 2017 Super Bowl Advertising

Whether a football fan or not, advertising professionals and students love to watch the Super Bowl, critiquing each advertisement that comes across the screen. Every year there are majority favorites that are usually run by the same few brands; however, this year there were a few changes to the lineup. Easy to say Super Bowl LI was one for the books!

Each year SMU’s Ad Club hosts a Super Bowl Ad Critique following the game. Members of Ad Club get together to discuss their favorite and least favorite advertisements from the Super Bowl and why. This year’s event was Tuesday, February 7, and a few Ad Club members shared their thoughts about the big changes in 2017.

One of the most surprising differences was that the fan favorite from past years, Doritos, did not participate in this year’s Super Bowl.

“I thought it was interesting [that Doritos did not participate] considering they usually participate through their commercial competition,” TAI student Eric Sedeno said. “I think it was a bad move on their part to not put any ads at all because their ads are ones that get more publicity than most.”

Although Heinz’s “Weiner Stampede” was highly loved last year, they did not run an ad during the Super Bowl. Instead, they have a campaign centered around the game in which they are attempting to make the Monday after the Super Bowl a national holiday. There is even a Change.org petition started by Heinz. While this may seem like a joke to many, Heinz is serious in its commitment to making the Monday after the Super Bowl a national holiday.

Ad Club members at the Ad Club Super Bowl Party.

“I think it was a genius move,” TAI student Alex Gurasich said. “Instead of just having another ad, they are actually trying to make a difference with the dollars they would’ve otherwise spent on a Super Bowl ad. I think it was a great marketing tactic, even if it will probably never work.”

Wendy’s released its first Super Bowl ad in 50 years. Mr. Clean also ran its first ever Super Bowl spot this year, with an interesting theme no doubt.

“I enjoyed the [Mr. Clean] spot very much,” Sedeno said. “It was clever, it hit their target market insanely well, and although it made some people very uncomfortable it got stuck in everyone’s head.”

This year boutique hair care brand It’s A 10 ran their first Super Bowl ad as well – the first ad ever run by a privately owned professional hair care company during the game.

“While this commercial was obviously referencing the president, I believe this one is in good fun,” Gurasich said. “Compared to the other politically fueled ads, this one is pretty tame and I think it works in its favor. I enjoyed the diversity of hairstyles; that was a good introduction to the ‘10’ brand.”

As everyone knows, a popular theme among advertisers was equality and diversity. Although many of the ads were in production before President Trump’s executive order concerning travel and immigration, it is clear that this is a topic that runs deep in America.

“I think that messages filled with love and acceptance were something that America needed to hear this year,” TAI student Jolie Guz said. “I am glad that advertisers could take the stage during commercial breaks and stand up for those whose voices may not be heard.”

TAI Student Wins Samsung Galaxy S at AAF Dallas Luncheon

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Charles Phillips at AAF Dallas Luncheon

Charles Phillips, a member of the SMU Ad Club, won a new Samsung Galaxy S at the 4th Annual AAF (American Advertising Federation) Dallas Emerging Technology Showcase and Luncheon on Tuesday, September 17th. The meeting provided insight into how advertising industry experts are utilizing new technology to develop relationships between brands and consumers. Michael Griffin, Director of User Experience at Bottle Rocket Apps presented “Going Mobile:transforming the way brands communicate with customers.”

Charles Phillips with Samsug Galaxy S
Charles Phillips with Samsug Galaxy S

Consumers expect brands to be as mobile-ready as they are. Meeting this expectation requires new thinking about not just engaging consumers, but the overall customer experience as well. For more information on AAF Dallas, visit: http://www.aafdallas.org.

The SMU Ad Club is a student chapter of the America Advertising Federation (AFF), the US’s oldest advertising trade association. The Ad Club exposes advertising students and aspiring professionals to the industry through agency tours, guest speakers and workshops. For more information about the SMU Ad Club, please email Brice Campbell, Executive-in-Residence for the Temerlin Advertising Institute and the SMU Ad Club Advisor.