For years, the Big Game has been an opportunity for brands to achieve incredible exposure, albeit at an enormous price. The challenge lies in creating a campaign (or four) that is memorable and true to brand. These four brands checked off both boxes with a permanent marker:
Skittles ads over the years have begun to steer toward a younger demographic featuring Skittles as random objects such as fruit on a tree and Skittlespox. This year they continued the trend by replacing little pebbles with Skittles and showing us all how sometimes young love just doesn’t truly work out. This one, called Romance the Rainbow shows how the whole family can enjoy the candy while keeping an overall youthful feel.
Coca-Cola stuck to its brand so well during this year’s Big Game, it didn’t even have to create a new commercial. The “America the Beautiful” advertisement was actually a rerun from 2014. Nonetheless, Coke stuck to its brand of portraying diversity, inclusion, unity and peace in today’s world.
Airbnb “believes in a world where anyone can belong anywhere,” and its simple, emotive ad showed it. There were no spoken words, just close-ups of faces from people of different nationalities. Airbnb targets its marketing efforts toward travelers who want to feel at home wherever they go. With some international travelers left feeling unwelcome in the country lately, Airbnb issued a message of acceptance and love with this ad that also promoted the hashtag #weaccept.
T-Mobile is not-your-grandfather’s telecom company, if that’s such a thing. CEO John Legere is outspoken on Twitter, and T-Mobile takes an edgy, in-your-face approach to its marketing and digital strategies. T-Mobile went hard with four spots this year, and the tamest one starred loud and controversial names like Gronk, Justin Bieber and Terrell Owens. The two Kristen Schall ads with a NSFW theme were exactly what they were going for from a brand and messaging perspective. Another spot, featuring Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart cleverly danced around Snoop’s favorite plant. T-Mobile connected with millennials as well as Tom Brady did with his receivers.
Companies that take chances and go off-brand may stand out, but risk confusing new customers or alienating current ones. Kudos to brands that create ways to stand out while still remaining consistent with who they are. Accomplishing that can make the huge cost of admission worth it.