Super Bowl Second Quarter Report: Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snowboard!

In an advertising twist the NFL perhaps didn’t anticipate – or want – the big winners so far on Super Bowl LII game night have been ads tying into an entirely different sporting event – the Winter Olympics. Toyota became our second 5-Star advertiser of the night with another inspirational ad starring another athlete – Paralympian Lauren Woolstonecroft.  And NBC got a second 5-Star winner with their ad featuring elite snowboarder Chloe Kim.

So far it’s looking like real life sporting achievers are winning out over celebritites – Doritos and Mountain Dew’s hotly tipped joint ad starring Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman lip-synching to hip-hop managed a respectable but not exceptional 3-Star rating. Chris Pratt for Michelob Ultra only hit 2-Stars, a disappointment after its longer-format trailer managed 4. (The lesson? Don’t assume a great idea will still work when you cut it down.)

We should also mention a few more of the 3-Star ads. Ram Truck’s shipful of Vikings came very close to getting 4-Stars, and Pringles’ flavour-stacking “Wow!” ad also got 3. Australia Tourism’s clever fake movie ad landed on 3-Stars too (though some respondents were fooled). A 3-Star result is nothing to dismiss, but on Super Bowl night brands tend to aim higher. This year, though, the bets on celebrities and laughs don’t seem to be paying off emotionally. We’ll kick back, enjoy Justin Timberlake, and see how things change in the second half.

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