Febreze Super Bowl 51 spot during the New England Patriots face the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51, on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017.

Some Super Bowl ads struck the wrong tone

Advertisers had to tread carefully this year in a divisive political climate.

The New England Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons during a nailbiter Super Bowl 51 – and there were clear winners and losers off the field, too.

Advertisers had to tread carefully this year in a divisive political climate.

Some went for all out escapist humour like T-Mobile and Tide, while others tried to take a more serious tone like the American Petroleum Institute.

With 30-second ads costing around $5 million, and more than 110 million people watching, it’s a huge gamble to advertise during the game even in a less politically charged atmosphere.

Here are the winners whose gamble paid off, and losers who struck the wrong tone.

Winner: TIDE

P&G’s Tide ad featuring announcer Terry Bradshaw seemed at first to be part of the game broadcast. But when Bradshaw gets a stain on his shirt, he goes on an adventure featuring New England Patriot Rob Gronkowski and actor Jeffrey Tambor to try to find a clean shirt.

“It was just from the writing to the casting pure fun,” said Mark DiMassimo, CEO of ad agency DiMassimo Goldstein.

Winner: KIA

Kia managed to touch on social issues without offending people by tapping Melissa McCarthy to take on causes like saving whales, ice caps and trees, each time to disastrous effect.

Kia’s 60-second third-quarter ad promotes the fuel efficiency of its 2017 Niro car.

Winner: NFL

Two NFL ads aimed to appeal to all. The first ad , “Inside These Lines,” narrated by Forest Whitaker, showed scenes of football games and workers prepping a field.

The narration stated: “Inside these lines, we may have our differences, but recognize there is more that unites us.”

Another ad showed Super Bowl babies resembling NFL stars like Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka and former Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch to the tune of Chicago’s “You’re the Inspiration.”

Winner: Budweiser

Budweiser managed to capture the pre-game buzz with its “Born the Hard Way” spot. The cinematic 60-second spot chronicles co-founder Adolphus Busch’s journey from Germany to St. Louis in 1857.

He jumps off a burning steamboat and catches a glimpse of Budweiser’s iconic Clydesdales mascots before meeting fellow immigrant Eberhard Anheuser.

Some people took to Twitter to protest the immigration theme of the ad, but the ad was still one of the most watched ads ahead of the game.

Winner: T-Mobile

The wireless carrier made a big splash during the game by buying up 3 minutes of airtime and stuffing its ads with celebrities.

In one ad , Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart discuss T-Mobile’s unlimted data plan with lots of innuendo about Snoop’s pot-smoking habit.

Kristen Schaal started in two other adparodies of “50 Shades of Grey” that implied having a Verizon plan is like being punished – ” S&M style.

And Justin Bieber and New England Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski danced in another ad for the brand.

Loser: American Petroleum Institutions

An ad by a trade group sought to rebrand oil’s image, opening with the line that “This ain’t your daddy’s oil.”

The ad showed a series of colorful ways oil is allegedly used, including in spray paint and makeup. It said the “oil pumps life,” ”oil runs cleaner” and “oil explores space” — unexpected phrases for many that drew some mockery on social media.

The American Petroleum Institute says on its website that it represents the oil and natural gas industry, including producers, refiners, suppliers and pipeline operators. Villanova University marketing professor Charles Taylor said its message didn’t get across.

“They’re trying to somehow emphasize environmentalism, but I don’t think they did it in a way that most consumers would find believable,” he said.

Loser: Febreeze

P&G’s ad sought to take a humorous approach to saluting the well-known halftime bathroom break. “I love you halftime bathroom break,” says actress Kathryn Hahn during the commercial. But not everyone found the “potty humour” appealing.

Loser: Snickers

Snicker’s hyped up its live ad in the third quarter. The ad, set on a Wild West set, started with actor Adam Driver talking about the 21-3 score to prove it was live. But then things seem to go wrong and the set falls apart – on purpose.

“You ruin live Super Bowl commercials when you’re hungry,” the copy reads on screen.

“It went by so fast, I almost missed it,” said DiMassimo Goldstein CEO Mark DiMassimo. “I think the audience got it (but I’m) not sure it was worth the trouble of doing it live.”

Loser: Wendy’s

Wendy’s sought to emphasize its message of “Always fresh, never frozen” in its ad which showed a meatlocker full of frozen beef and a worker trying to thaw it with a hair dryer to the tune of Foreigner’s “Cold as Ice.” Ad critic Barbara Lippert says the ad is unappetizing. “All it does is leave you hearing frozen, frozen, frozen,” she noted.

 

Mae Anderson, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Pet-A-Palooza a good reason to ‘pawse’ this weekend in Victoria

Puppies, goats, wiener dog races and more on the grounds of St. Ann’s Academy Aug. 18-19

UVic art display showcases craft of bookmaking

Art of the Book 2018 is in the Audain Gallery at UVic from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting Aug. 11

Celebrate local food with Feast of Fields in North Saanich

21st Feast of Fields on Vancouver Island is at Kildara Farms on Aug. 26 from 1 to 4 p.m.

RIFFLANDIA: Local artists thrive under festival model

Bands like Current Swell, one of the 2018 headliners, made their mark at RAP

Baseball’s HarbourCats wind up WCL season with loss to Pickles

Victoria needed a win to make the league playoffs, now looks ahead to 2019

Updated: ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin has died

Publicist Gwendolyn Quinn reports Franklin passed Thursday at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit

REVIEW: Ever wanted to be young again? Theatre Skam’s Concord Floral will make you think again

Strong acting in an interesting theatre space, writes Sheila Martindale

Brad Pitt says he has given Jolie Pitt millions since split

Actor Brad Pitt denies Angelina Jolie Pitt’s claim that he has paid no meaningful child support.

WINE LOVERS UNITE: Victoria festival offers numerous tasting options

Parkside Hotel and Spa hosting Victoria International Wine Festival

Farquhar Auditorium updates image for 40th season

The Farquhar at UVic ushers in new season Sept. 22

THEATRE SKAM: Young cast brings Concord Floral to life in vacant downtown retail space

Former office supply store a unique venue for telling mysterious tale of youth with secrets

Schedule released for world junior hockey championship in B.C.

Vancouver and Victoria ready to host, as Canada conducts training camp in Kamloops

Five things to do this B.C. Day long weekend

Check out these great community events in Greater Victoria

5 things to do in Greater Victoria this weekend

Check out dragon Boats, artists, football and more

Most Read