Entertainment or Deep Content? You be the judge.

by Jason Roberts , 22squared

Super Bowl 50 was important to me. Not because the NFL finally stopped using roman numerals, but because I’m a Panthers fan and  I work in advertising. Which meant during the big game, not only did I get to cheer for my team, but during the commercial breaks I had to focus on the commercials instead of grazing on 7 layer dip and BBQ. This passion for ads is not limited to us “ad geeks” alone. Much of the Monday morning water cooler talk amongst the “non-­ad geek“ population revolves around which spots people liked and laughed at, maybe even more so than the result of the game itself. Wait. Do offices still have water coolers? 

The same way that advertisers have changed the way we watch the Super Bowl, social media has changed the way agencies approach the advertising during the game. With big brands thirsty for impressions, and wanting to get the most for their marketing dollars, there is more lead up, and hopefully, more pay off surrounding every spot... at every conceivable touchpoint. Between all the Snapchat teasers, hijacked Twitter accounts, and the blatant pre­-leakage of Super Bowl commercials, the element of surprise has been surgically and scientifically removed from this once very exciting day in the world of advertising. Where the Super Bowl was at one time a grand showcase for the best in advertising, now the actual TV spot during the game is just another screen in which to view a larger, deeper campaign. Brands are making their call to actions less about their product or service, and more about “if you think this commercial was great, you should click over to this website and spend 5­7 minutes there, oh... also check us out on twitter, we’re hilarious/quirky/interesting over there every single day.”

While some brands prefer the simplicity of running one spot in an existing campaign, like a Snickers or Volkswagen, that’s entertainment for entertainment’s sake, other brands opt for a more immersive ad onslaught, that comes to life weeks before the game and long after the spot airs, but probably gets more of those precious impressions in the long run. I’m looking at you Radio Shack. But in the end it will be the commercial with the most recall and the most fan love from football enthusiasts that will let brands know if their $5 million dollar draft pick brought them home a shiny new trophy.

Below are couple of winners from both camps.


Avocados from Mexico’s “#AvosInSpace” win stuff by doing stuff online, created by GSD&M. Scott Baio was just a bonus.


Squarespace. Lots of teasers and a Key & Peele live tweeting the game itself. Not live tweeting the Super Bowl, but a board game. https://realtalk.squarespace.com/




T-Mobile’s “Drop the Balls” featuring Steve Harvey, created by Publicis Seattle. Such a great pop culture play.


The Bud Light Party, created by Wieden +Kennedy. It should have had a deeper reach, but Seth Rogen and Amy Schumer just made election jokes.


Jason “JR” Roberts, Associate Creative Director at 22squared















Jason “JR" Roberts is an Associate Creative Director at independent, fully-integrated advertising agency 22squared, where he has created great work for brands such as Buffalo Wild Wings and Publix Grocery Stores. Jason’s work has garnered him awards from D&AD, Andys, regional Emmys, Effies, and the Addys. In his spare time, Jason has an affinity for photography, skateboarding and classic Ford automobiles.