We asked creative executives in the advertising industry their thoughts on Super Bowl LIV, and here’s what Avery DiUbaldo, creative director at Snowday shared with us:
1. What was your favorite and least favorite creative campaign this year?
Snickers, a candy bar company, has gone further than any other cultural figure in acknowledging the overpowering sense of futility that will define political resistance in the new decade. In “#SnickersFixTheWorld” (yes, the hashtag is part of the title), all contemporary ills are made equivalent, flattening together in a kind of nightmare pancake: Kids named “Kale”? The rise of surveillance capitalism? It’s all bad, says Snickers, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Riffing on a commercial that a not-insignificant percentage of its viewers have only heard about because of Mad Men, Snickers skewers nostalgia for ‘70s utopianism and the brands that continue to mine it for profit. This spot nimbly evades any kind of ideological responsibility by feinting to place the blame for our “situation” on the earth itself: Could it be that the planet, literally, just needs a Snickers? The answer: Probably not, but you might. True, an ad with more teeth wouldn’t be quite so shy about what — or who — actually got us into this mess. But that wouldn’t be as funny.
2. What did you feel were the overall themes this year?
At least three of this year’s ads were preoccupied with questions of outer space: what’s out there, how to get to it, how it gets to us. Does this reflect some latent desire to recapture the starry-eyed optimism of NASA’s heyday? Or merely the urge to escape our own planet, before it’s too late? Beats me. But someone should get in touch with the production designer on The Martian and ask if he’s getting any royalties from the SodaStream people, because he absolutely should.
3. What do you wish you could have seen more of?
With a few exceptions (including Microsoft’s lovely tribute to Coach Katie Sowers), documentary-style commercials were conspicuously absent at this year’s game. As consumers grow more bold in holding brands to task as agents of positive change in the real world, advertisers would be wise to document and publicize that change whenever possible. This would include content about the real-life friendship between Martin Scorsese and Jonah Hill, which, I, for one, demand to know more about.