The 7 Best Super Bowl Tech Commercials
Some people watch the Super Bowl to see the best teams in football duke it out on the field. Others watch for the commercials. We all know Super Bowl ad slots cost heaps of money to buy, so it’s no wonder companies pull out all the stops when they hire a creative team to make their Super Bowl commercials.
This year we got memorable ads for everything from laundry detergent to financial services. But one of the best represented industries was technology. Whether we’re talking about websites, apps, or space-age hardware, here are our favorite tech ads of the night.
One of the reasons people love Super Bowl ads is because of spectacle. When companies devote millions of marketing dollars to an ad spot, they want their ads to be memorable. This one from Apartments.com is hard to forget, thanks to the impressive amount of spectacle it packs into its 60-second runtime.
Jeff Goldblum tickles the ivories on a piano as he and the instrument are hoisted up the outside of a high-rise apartment complex. He does some light peeping Tom action by glancing in the windows as he ascends, only to find Lil Wayne and George Washington cooking burgers, beans, and apple pie on the balcony. It’s weird and wonderful even if it doesn’t offer a compelling reason to use this particular apartment search engine.
2. Amazon Echo
It may look like a miniature version of the pillar from 2001: A Space Odyssey, but this sleek piece of tech can do a surprising number of things. All you have to do is talk to it. The Amazon Echo is a Bluetooth speaker, a home automation hub, and an Internet search machine all rolled into one. The commercial gets this idea across thanks to celebrities like Alec Baldwin, Dan Moreno, Jason Schwartzman, and Missy Elliot. The commercial is informative and silly enough to make just about anyone want to buy thing. Now if only I had an Echo I could use to order one from Amazon right now…
The cell phone industry is a hotbed of competition right now, so T-Mobile has enlisted Drake in its quest to rise to the top in its big Super Bowl ad of the night. Thanks to this commercial, which gives viewers a fictitious look into the making of the rapper’s “Hotline Bling” video, it just might work. It’s a funny ad about a group of suits giving Drake notes on the lyrics of the song. The suggestions are awful, but he receives them with a smile. Maybe if we all switched to the “un-carrier,” we could take our setbacks in stride, too.
Money is great to have, but getting people excited about money as an ethereal concept is more of a challenge. PayPal does an admiral job of it in this ad spot that features fast-moving imagery backed by a steady thumping beat. The purpose of the ad is to convince people that PayPal is “new money,” whatever that means. Still, there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself tapping your foot and nodding along by the time the company’s logo splashes on the screen.
5. Mobile Strike
If you want to sell people on a mobile game about war, bringing Arnold Schwarzenegger onto your team certainly doesn’t hurt. This icon of Hollywood, who’s been saving the world on the big screen for over 30 years, leads troops to battle in this ad spot. Armed with nothing more than a smartphone or tablet, Schwarzenegger commands CGI versions of tiny tanks, fighter jets, and ground troops as they take on enemy combatants. The excellent CGI mixed with the Terminator’s star power just might inspire you to grab your mobile device and download the game yourself.
Watching this catchy ad from RocketMortgage might convince you that everyone with a smartphone should sign up for a mortgage and buy a house right away. After all, then those people would have to fill their houses with stuff. Spending would go up, greasing the wheels of the economy as various industries rushed to make the stuff people were buying. The commercial might even make you forget that the recent financial crash was caused by too many people buying homes they couldn’t afford. But with a song this good backing it up, and appealing visuals and a simple voiceover, the commercial makes a convincing case. Push button, get mortgage.
7. LG OLED TV
The “future of televisions” is what LG promises to show us in this commercial. And even though the finished product doesn’t look all that different from current TVs (thinner, sharper, lighter), it’s easy to get on board with the concept. That’s because Liam Neeson, playing The Man From the Future, makes you want it. It’s a super-thin 4K resolution display that’s held up by a built-in sound bar. The actual television isn’t available to purchase yet, but you can preorder it now in 65- or 77-inch models. Did I mention it starts at $8,000? Let’s hope PayPal’s “new money” is easier to come by than old money used to be.