Workday ‘rockstars’, Netflix-GM partnership for Super Bowl: creative ads of the week

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

Near 113 million people are likely to watch the 2023 Super Bowl. While there may be several other sports tournaments & properties which attract great fan following and prestige associated with them, the Super Bowl is unique because of its close association with advertising. It is seen as a great opportunity to create awareness, affinity, drive sales and imbue a brand with ‘cool quotient’ just by association. The ad meant to be aired on the ‘Big Game’ day itself needs promotion as witnessed by the activity well ahead of the game.

Downy launched a teaser campaign a full 12 weeks ahead of this year’s Super Bowl to showcase how it keeps clothes smelling fresh for the same duration. Given the high cost of airing the spot, its natural that advertisers would expect to extract maximum mileage of their investments. Media coverage and social media buzz creates anticipation of the film. If the ad goes viral, then the ROI can be invaluably high as we saw in the Volkswagen – Darth Vader commercial from 2011, which is still wildly popular. Here are a few ads from this past week, which caught my eye:

Crown Royal: Thank you, Canada

Highlighting the country of origin of a brand is usually done to give a sense of assurance (German engineering for one) or borrowing the perception about the country (France or Italy with fashion, for example) for the brand. Crown Royal chose to associate themselves with other famous Canadians or innovations that are now popular in America in their 2023 Super Bowl ad featuring rock star Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters.

Peanut butter. The paint roller. The replay. The battery. The egg carton. The ironing board. The electric wheelchair. Hockey. Basketball. And even Football… and that’s just the beginning.


Agency: Anomaly

Apparently, Crown Royal is the official whiskey sponsor of the NFL. The campaign ticks all the boxes: teasers, a celebrity, quirky theme and humour.

Google Pixel: #FixedOnPixel

The mobile phone’s camera quality has become an important consideration for purchase and brand edge. Sharing of photos and videos across network of friends and social media means that there is a constant worry about the images – how one looks, the photo bomber, ‘imperfect’ background and so on. A new film for Google’s Pixel 7 is sharply focused on dramatising the phone’s ability to erase elements from photos, dramatising the use-cases.

GM: Netflix partnership

This ad is neither a direct pitch for GM’s cars or to get people to subscribe to Netflix. It announces a partnership between the two brands will aim to popularize the use of electric vehicles.

General Motors and Netflix are joining forces to give electric vehicles (EVs) the stage they  deserve. Netflix is joining the movement and will increase the presence of EVs in Netflix-produced shows and films, where relevant, while also taking steps to enable more sustainable productions.’

The film cleverly blends themes of Netflix’s popular shows featuring actor Will Ferrell.

Bell: escape the horrors

The horror movie genre has been the butt of jokes in popular culture. The theme works well in the context of a family discovering that their holiday home doesn’t have high-speed internet.

Hellman’s: who is in the fridge?

I guess the sight of celebrities John Hamm and Brie Larson as miniature figures would make viewers do a double take. Placing them inside a fridge as characters espousing the use cases of Hellmann’s – it ‘brings leftovers to life’ is visually arresting.

Kia: Blinky Dad

Every Super Bowl features an ad of epic proportions, filled with drama and anchored on a feel-good (often implausible) theme. Here’s one for Kia which ticks all these boxes.

Pepsi: great acting

It’s fascinating (and a tad depressing) to see how marketing teams can slice & dice the selling story around sugar water. A new set of ads from Pepsi ask you to ‘find out for yourself’ if actors Steve Martin and Billy Crystal are telling the truth about its great taste or just acting.

Workday: Rock Star

This one’s my favorite because it is based on a practice which is relatable to anyone in the corporate world. The practice of calling someone a ‘rock star’ is pretty common in offices – and that’s reason enough for real rock stars to take umgrage. The connect back to the advertised service – Workday which offers finance and HR application systems is a bit roundabout, but the entire ‘package’ works.

Swiggy: wrong address

Apart from the Super Bowl ones, there’s another event round the corner for which advertiser will line up to make films: Valentine’s Day. Here’s a refreshingly different one with an unusual theme, well told.

Agency: Talented

Which one was favourite? Please comment in.

Facebook Comments

Write A Comment

%d bloggers like this: