Super Bowl Ads Bring Brands to the Big Game

A review of advertising’s best and brightest making their 2020 gridiron debut

Super Bowl Ads Bring Brands to the Big Game

Whether you tune in for the sport, the show or the spectacle, Super Bowl LIV certainly didn’t disappoint.

From the coast to the heartland, fans around the country gather around their screens for this annual ritual to see who would bring the heat and the heart. That includes brand advertising. Unveiling new brand ads has become as much a part of this annual tradition as the sport itself, ensuring that we’re engaged and entertained even when the teams aren’t on the field. From the moving to the amusing, here’s our review of this year’s three best themes.


Theme: Heartstrings

Critique: This is the ad that had everyone talking (and crying). Using emotional storytelling elements, this spot made us all more than a little misty. After all, everyone can relate to older family members who want to hold on to their memories, but may have a hard time knowing how. Leave it to Google to show us how accessible, easy-to-use technology can help us remember with a tech-powered video and photo album that changes based on user interaction. Google shows us that that even those who don’t understand how technology works can make magic. We’re not crying; you’re crying!

Super Bowl Ads Bring Brands to the Big Game


Theme: Adrenaline 

Critique: This fast-paced story relies on blood-pumping excitement as much as plot twists and turns to set the brand apart. In their first Super Bowl ad in more than two decades, Porsche’s return to the field features a “tune-in next time” ethos that will have fans coming back to see what happens when the next thief takes the wheel. A nontraditional take on car ads, Porsche took to the German countryside to demonstrate the exhilaration of driving. With a story that highlights the car brand’s best qualities – speed and precision – Porsche shows us that electric cars can indeed be electrifying. 


Theme: Wacky

Critique: This over-the-top ad takes Americans’ dread over taxes and flips it on its head. A brand known for its humor, TurboTax surely won’t be caught slipping at the Super Bowl.  Showing diverse people from vastly different walks of life all doing the same dance to a whole song about tax-filing? Yes! It’s bizarre and it works, while it rightfully points out that “all people are tax people.” Borrowing from music video styling, this ad uses a familiar format yet feels fresh thanks to the unlikeliest of theme songs as a backdrop for bringing us all together. This is one riff we’ll be singing all the way through tax season.   

Super Bowl Ads Bring Brands to the Big Game

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Adrenaline is an experience design agency that creates and implements end-to-end branded experiences through creative and environmental design. We enhance our clients’ customer experiences across digital and physical channels, from their branding and advertising to design and technology in their spaces. After transforming an organization’s brand, Adrenaline extends it across all touchpoints — from employees to the market to in-store environments. And, we focus on serving industries that sell human experiences including financial, healthcare, sports and entertainment.

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