Top 10 SB Ads; Trump’s Last-Minute Strategy Shift: Monday’s First Things First

Plus, 7 viral moments that were bigger than the game

Never the same day in a Jeep. Jeep
Headshot of Kathryn Lundstrom

Welcome to First Things First, Adweek’s new daily resource for marketers. We’ll be publishing the content to First Things First on Adweek.com each morning (like this post), but if you prefer that it come straight to your inbox, you can sign up for the email here.

The 10 Best Super Bowl Ads of 2020

The Groundhog Day-themed Jeep ad by Highline took the cake—and how could it not? Bill Murray is back as Phil Connor in a version of the classic 1993 film that’s not monotonous torture, but rather a series of days filled with joyrides in the 2020 Jeep Gladiator with his new best friend, the groundhog. Second is Google’s tearjerker, “Loretta,” and third is Amazon’s “#BeforeAlexa” featuring Ellen Degeneres and Portia De Rossi.

Read more: Others that made the top 10 list were Hyundai’s “Smaht Pahk” by Innocean USA, “#SnickersFixTheWorld” by BBDO New York and Mountain Dew Zero Sugar’s “As Good as the Original” by TBWA\Chiat\Day New York.

Only 1 of Trump’s 2 Proposed Super Bowl Ads Ran During the Game

After announcing a 60-second ad buy that was to air in two separate 30-second spots, Donald Trump’s reelection campaign made a last-minute strategy shift. Only one ad—a narrative spot in the first quarter centered on Alice Johnson’s clemency deal—actually aired during the game. The other ad, “Stronger, Safer, More Prosperous,” ran after the game ended.

As Adweek’s Sara Jerde reported, it’s not uncommon for brands to make last-minute decisions to back out of the Super Bowl entirely or to decrease the length of their spot. The Trump campaign’s decision is particularly notable because of the unprecedented nature of a politician taking out a big game ad in the first place, and following the public way he proclaimed his Super Bowl presences.

Read more: Initially, the Trump campaign intended to run a 60-second Super Bowl spot but later decided that it wanted to split the buy into two separate 30-second ads.

7 Viral Super Bowl Moments That Were Bigger Than the Game

The NFL kicked off the Big Game with a touching introduction, “Take it to the House,” which took fan through the brand’s past and into its future, with Sports Illustrated’s 2017 SportsKid of the Year Maxwell “Bunchie” Young and other kids running onto the field in real life to start the game. Demi Lovato’s national anthem performance, the political invasion of two presidential campaign ads, Jason Momoa as a skinny bald man, Rick and Morty’s Super Bowl debut, #BabyNut and an incredible halftime show also had people talking.

Read more: Aaaaand Trump tweeted congratulations to the wrong state.

He’s Alive! Kool-Aid Man’s Tears Resurrect Mr. Peanut in Planters Super Bowl Spot

Planters’ much-anticipated Big Game spot centered on the funeral of the brand’s gentlemanly mascot, Mr. Peanut, who died in a pre-game teaser featuring a fiery Nutmobile mishap. The ceremony, however, didn’t stay somber for long. With the nut’s road trip buddies Matt Walsh and Wesley Snipes in attendance, as well as fellow brand mascots, the Kool-Aid Man, Mr. Clean and the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile, the event was cut short when a distraught Kool-Aid Man’s tears revived the monocled peanut in infant form: Enter, #BabyNut.

Read more: After making some odd dolphin noises, the child nut announces, “I’m back. Where’s my monocle?”

Best of the Rest: Today’s Top News and Insights

Ad of the Day: Watch All the 2020 Super Bowl Ads in Less Than 2 Minutes

Here they are. Every single ad, in under two minutes—a quick refresher before you spend all day talking about them with friends and coworkers.

Josh Rios

More of the Latest:


@klundster kathryn.lundstrom@adweek.com Kathryn Lundstrom is Adweek's breaking news reporter based in Austin.
{"taxonomy":"","sortby":"","label":"","shouldShow":""}