Countdown To the Big Game: Dr. Tyrha’s Top Five Super Bowl Commercials for the Past Five YearsFebruary 9, 20245 min read
Advertising executive and multicultural media expert Tyrha M. Lindsey-Warren, Ph.D., clinical assistant professor of marketing at Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business, , is a sought-after media commentator on the brands who win big during the game's commercial breaks.
Commercials always are the most anticipated and talked-about aspect of the Super Bowl, but the expanding digital landscape requires advertisers to use more authentic and nuanced strategies to reach consumers. Advertising executive and multicultural media expert Tyrha M. Lindsey-Warren, Ph.D., clinical assistant professor of marketing at Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business, is a sought-after media commentator on the brands who win big during the game’s commercial breaks.
How do companies break through the noise and make a lasting impression on viewers? Lindsey-Warren – or Dr. Tyrha, as she is known – says the key is empowered storytelling. As a consumer behavior scholar, Dr. Lindsey-Warren’s research is rooted in narrative transportation theory – in other words, storytelling – that exudes the emotion of empowerment and its impact on consumer attitudes, behaviors, purchase intention and message recall.
“There is a growing space for cleverly crafted and positive storytelling that can break through the clutter and competition and get the attention of Millennials, Gen Z and Alpha generations in an authentic and meaningful manner,” Lindsey-Warren said.
At the top of every year, Dr. Tyrha always enjoys exposing the juniors and seniors in her advertising class to the joys of storytelling in advertising by way of the Super Bowl commercials. By leveraging the Super Bowl as an “edutaining” entry point for student learning, Dr. Lindsey-Warren finds it to be a fun and wonderful way to bring many advertising lessons to life for her students, including branding, consumer targeting and segmentation, social media campaign analysis, and more. To that end, here are Dr. Tyrha Lindsey-Warren’s top picks for the best Super Bowl commercials over the past five years.
COUNTDOWN TO THE SUPER BOWL:
DR. TYRHA’S TOP 5 SUPER BOWL COMMERCIALS FOR THE PAST 5 YEARS
#5: Company/Brand: AMAZON
Title of the commercial: “#BeforeAlexa” (With Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi)
Year it ran in the Super Bowl: 2020
Link to the commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLUwmnPJIGk
Ad Agency that produced the commercial: Droga5
Dr. Tyrha’s rationale as to why this ad is so good: In my opinion, this was a wonderfully creative and clever introduction of the Alexa product by Amazon. The nostalgic storytelling in the spot humorously does make you wonder and realize how “did” we all live “before Alexa?” The commercial is multigenerational, incorporates women extremely well, and is so funny!
#4. Company/Brand: NFL
Title of the commercial: “Bring Down the House!”
Year it ran in the Super Bowl: 2022
Link to the commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PhfMtZce1k
Ad Agency that produced the commercial: Co-directed by Peter Berg of Film 47 and Arthur Mintz of Swaybox Studios
Dr. Tyrha’s rationale as to why this ad is so good: In 2022, the NFL creatively leveraged the power of animation to get our attention with this wonderfully told story with children as the lead Talent and set in a situation that all families can relate to! The spot is so much fun and keeps you guessing as well as laughing with Grandma saving the day in the end. The commercial is multigenerational, multicultural, and incorporates women and girls extremely well.
#3. Company/Brand: MOUNTAIN DEW & DORITOS (OWNED BY PEPSICO)
Title of the commercial: “Doritos Blaze vs. Mountain Dew Ice” (with Morgan Freeman and Peter Dinklage)
Year it ran in the Super Bowl: 2018
Link to the commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2tyVjEuqcY
Ad Agency that produced the commercial: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
Dr. Tyrha’s rationale as to why this ad is so good: The “in your face” storytelling of this commercial – performed exquisitely by acclaimed actors, Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman, and accompanied by the perfect voiceover narrators in Rappers Missy Elliot and Busta Rhymes – is so much fun and truly unforgettable! The commercial also cleverly makes you pay attention to the presentation of the products being promoted as well as compels you to wonder as to “when did you last have a Mountain Dew and some Doritos?” This commercial is multicultural, multigenerational, multibodied, and incorporates women well and UBER memorable!
#2. Company/Brand: NFL
Title of the commercial: “The 100-Year Game”
Year it ran in the Super Bowl: 2020
Link to the commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJjiIuH1VnY
Ad Agency that produced the commercial: 72 and Sunny
Dr. Tyrha’s rationale as to why this ad is so good: If you love the game of football, you have to love this ad that celebrates the fun and contagious spirit of the game. Truly, this commercial has something for everyone who loves the game of football! The unassuming opening of the ad’s storytelling set at an awards banquet and led by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell quickly evolves into a fun and rambunctious game of football with NFL players of all ages in their tuxedos destroying the ballroom with their play. The musical hip-hop soundtrack alone for the spot is amazing, current, and supports the action of the storytelling extremely well. This spot is multigenerational, incredibly diverse in age ethnicity and more, as well as weaves women and girls into the spot ever so cleverly. A truly memorable ad and so much fun!
#1. Company/Brand: Mr. Clean (OWNED BY P&G)
Title of the commercial: “Cleaner Of Your Dreams”
Year it ran in the Super Bowl: 2018
Link to the commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozuWoZITX3Y
Ad Agency that produced the commercial: Leo Burnett
Dr. Tyrha’s rationale as to why this ad is so good: Every year I show this commercial to my Advertising students at Baylor University and they absolutely LOVE this ad! The storytelling of this commercial leverages the animated Mr. Clean in such a clever manner, while showing the product benefits at the same time, and not being “in your face” with the product’s selling proposition. The music and the dancing accompaniment to the storytelling all help to bring an emotional connection to the viewer, especially the female audience. Plus, the spot is just super funny and so much fun! Every time I see this ad, I want to run and buy Mr. Clean. And, I tell my female students every year that when they get older, they are going to LOVE a man who can clean a house!!!!
Additionally, this was an incredibly smart move by P&G to put this ad in the Super Bowl. This is due to the fact that the “current and future market power of women – as a whole and by segments – is undeniable and truly cannot be ignored by marketers, especially the NFL.” Today, women influence more than 80% of all consumer spending; 89% of the financial decisions are made by women; and globally, women control more than $20 trillion in worldwide spending. In addition, nearly 24.3 million African American women are brand loyalists and cultural trendsetters who have influence over the $1.2 trillion in Black spending power. And, Forbes reported in 2018 that “women constituted about 49 % of the 108 million-plus people who watched” that year’s Super Bowl – and they paid closer attention to the ads!
Tyrha Lindsey-Warren Clinical Associate Professor of Marketing
Dr. Tyrha Lindsey-Warren studies consumer behavior and attitudes, multicultural media & advertising, movies and entertainment