Big events like the Oscars and Super Bowl are supposed to be an escape from all that’s happening in the country. But like everything else these days, it’s no longer business as usual. This year’s slate of Super Bowl ads was no exception, as we were treated to much more serious and issue-driven messages than ever before. Of course, the goal of every Super Bowl advertiser is to use the huge stage to generate buzz for their brand. So rather than rate the spots on creativity or production values, we’re focusing our roundup on whether they got talked about in social media.
And on that note, here are the commercials that received the most chatter (in no particular order):
Honda’s #PowerOfDreams Yearbook
Who doesn’t love a good before-they-were-famous picture (or nine)? Honda made us rethink the future by listening to celebrities giving advice to their former selves. Jimmy Kimmel showed us that great things can come from playing the clarinet, while Viola Davis ended the ad by telling us all dreams are within reach. Bravo, Honda.
— Estefanía de León (@estefaniadeleon) February 6, 2017
Audi’s empowering “Daughter” ad bent gender stereotypes while promoting equal pay for equal work. While some have said that the ad felt a bit “forced” (creating more opportunities for women to become scientists and engineers might have been more on brand), Audi was praised nonetheless for using their coveted ad spot (and about $10 million) to send a strong message promoting women.
— julie shumaker (@julesshumaker) February 6, 2017
— Nick Crutchfield (@Caskproof) February 6, 2017
84 Lumber’s The Entire Journey
84 Lumber had a lot going on last night. First, let’s point out the obvious: this is a store that sells building supplies, and one wouldn’t necessarily expect this kind of thought-provoking content from a new-to-a-Super-Bowl-spot from a building supplies company (even if a huge part of their customer base is immigrants in the construction trades). But 84 Lumber gave us a beautifully moving, :90 spot depicting the journey of a mother and daughter embarking to leave Mexico and venture to America. As both the NFL and FOX rejected the ad’s ending to air during the game, the spot was broken into two parts, directing users to visit www.journey84.com to see the heartfelt conclusion. And millions of users did, or, tried.
However, it would seem as though 84 Lumber’s microsite wasn’t quite prepared for Super Bowl traffic. According to reports, the microsite had over 6 million visits in the first hour after the spot aired. The website eventually began functioning again, but not before Twitter called them out for it.
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) February 6, 2017
You have to prepare your whole campaign for success. Otherwise, people will notice.
After the spot aired, social media was, dare I say, all a twitter with support:
Don't know what 84 Lumber is but I'll be buying all the 84 Lumber.
— John C. Gorczynski (@JCGorczynski) February 6, 2017
Wow. So beautifully done. I'm speechless.
Journey 84 | 84 Lumber Super Bowl Commercial https://t.co/Wb9mXBeNYV
— Morgan Clinton (@FireballMorgan) February 6, 2017
Budweiser’s Born the Hard Way
Budweiser’s quote controversial end quote commercial began picking up traction before it even aired. The ad told the story of the company’s German founder Adolphus Busch, his voyage to America and the inherent prejudices facing immigrants in our country. Our nation being what it is, many proceeded to boycott the beer company, citing no need for immigrants or Budweiser beer. Also our nation being what it is, many applauded Budweiser’s timely and inspiring storytelling at a time when we all need to be reminded of what has made America great to begin with.
— Anne (@annekbrooks) February 6, 2017
That Budweiser commercial was really thought provoking and inspirational. I'm really motivated to get drunk now. #fb
— David Soto Jr. (@davidesotojr) February 6, 2017
Kia’s Hero’s Journey
Melissa McCarthy has had quite a weekend. Her scathing impression of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer went viral after airing on Saturday Night Live, and her Kia commercial that aired during the Super Bowl rode the coattails of the online hype that was already surrounding the comedian. Would the Kia spot have gotten the notoriety it did without McCarthy’s SNL performance just 22 hours prior? Maybe, maybe not.
— Kelly O'Keefe (@kellyokeefe) February 6, 2017
— Grace van der Drift (@GraceOnTwiitter) February 6, 2017
What else were people talking about?
Lady Gaga gave what some are calling “the greatest Super Bowl halftime performance of all time.” According to Twitter, there were 2.2 million tweets about Gaga’s #PepsiHalftime show between 8:10 and 8:30 p.m. ET, when the show was live. Combining the tweets before, during and after the show, there were a total of 5.1 million tweets about the performance.
— Alex Goldschmidt (@alexandergold) February 6, 2017
Netflix took advantage of having 112 million sets of eyes on the Super Bowl by teasing season 2 of their 2016 summer cult classic, Stranger Things. Naturally, the internet went bonkers:
STRANGER THINGS. STRANGER THINGS. STRANGER THINGS. STRANGER THINGS. STRANGER THINGS.STRANGER THINGS. STRANGER THINGS. STRANGER THINGS. STRAN
— Lori (@Belovelyatbest) February 6, 2017
i cant believe they are having a football game to celebrate the stranger things teaser
— ɐuǝɹǝs (@finnwolfhar) February 5, 2017
STRANGER THIIIIIIINGS. If you're gonna be a bandwagonner today, jump on the Stranger Things train.
— Logan Jones (@Logantj) February 6, 2017
With or without discussing the actual sporting event that took place between the ads and performances, today will undoubtedly be your office watercooler’s busiest day since November 9th. What ads are your coworkers talking about? Which conversations did you see circulating on social media last night? Let us know in the comments!