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The only 2017 Super Bowl ads you need to see

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Which were the best ones? We dive into an analysis.

There is more than one way to sell a product or a brand, and companies that can create an affinity for a brand will succeed at turning that into sales. The three companies below chose to show who they are as organizations versus selling a product, and because of that we like them even more.


Audi of America’s “#DriveProgress”

While some Americans cite the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which sought to abolish wage disparity based on sex, others shine a harsh light on the fact that women are still making considerably less than men. Audi of America’s Super Bowl ad sets the scene by taking us back to simpler times, where kids weren’t stuck behind computers or smartphones.

As we see a young girl prepare to race in an event dominated by males, we hear the voiceover of her father dreaming about a world where you don’t have to tell young women they will be valued less than their peers. While the message is about gender equality for women, Audi targeted the emotion of the father-daughter relationship to drive progress in the right direction.

Audi of America used this opportunity not only to discuss the importance of gender equality, but to demonstrate what it values as a company. Highlighting its company values allowed Audi to sell a product based on values and not the product’s benefits.


Budweiser’s “Born the Hard Way”

While we all expected to tear up over another Budweiser Clydesdales and puppies commercial, Budweiser reminded us that everyone starts somewhere by sharing a story of a young immigrant and his pursuit of the American dream.

Since our founding, America was a safe haven for many of those whose homes did not accept them or allow them to pursue their dreams. From escaping religious persecution, war and genocide to seeking new opportunities for prosperity, the United States has become a melting pot of people whose blood, sweat and tears have contributed to making life better for all of us. Budweiser’s ad showed us the story of Adolphus Busch and his journey, which included many hardships before he finally made it to St. Louis where he met fellow immigrant and business partner Eberhard Anheuser. These immigrants went on to give us one of the largest beer brewing companies in the world – Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Budweiser.

Budweiser makes a bold statement with this advertisement, showing that the “Great American Lager” was a dream of an immigrant. While the company takes the risk of alienating some consumers, it is rewarded by consumers who purchased its product because of the statement. The beer market is a crowded one, and by taking a stand Budweiser made its products stand out.



NFL’s “Inside These Lines”

The National Football League (NFL) also took time during Super Bowl LI to reflect on the past and how the league, its players and its fans have gotten to today. The NFL’s ad took something as simple as a “line” and redefined what it meant in terms of football and its people.

The ad showed the preparation before a game, epic touchdown passes, monumental defeats and celebration to emphasize our similarities we share with each other. As Americans, football is our sport. The NFL creatively takes the basics of the game of football to demonstrate that we are able to unite inside these lines regardless of the role you play in society.

Similar to Audi and Budweiser, the NFL’s ad promotes who it is as an organization and the values of unity it upholds. Instead of demonstrating the benefits of a specific product, it demonstrates the benefits it provides as an organization to its consumers.


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