NEW YORK (AP) — The Super Bowl ads have so far delivered a comic nod to the Brady Bunch as well as plenty of warm-and-fuzzy moments, including words of wisdom from the elderly and young women showing what it’s like to run, throw and fight “like a girl.”
And before the game even started, Chevrolet grabbed some attention with a fake-out.
Here’s a look at the ads so far. Check back throughout the night for updates.
RUNNING LIKE A GIRL
Procter & Gamble’s Always feminine products brand is among the advertisers taking a more serious tone this year by addressing social or family issues.
The company’s 60-second ad featured young girls upending the idea of what it means to do things “like a girl.” It’s a version of a previous video that had gone viral.
By aligning themselves with feel-good causes, companies are playing it safe while hoping to engender goodwill from consumers.
FAVRE AND CARVE
First-time advertiser Wix.com showed retired NFL players starting fictional businesses after their NFL careers. Terrell Owens, for instance, starts a pie company, and Brett Favre starts charcuterie business, Favre and Carve.
Wix.com lets people create their own websites.
Dodge celebrated its 100-year anniversary by sharing words of wisdom from people who are around the same age. Among the tidbits:
—”There are miracles all around you.”
—”Keep your eyes open, and sometimes your mouth shut.”
—”Never, ever forget where you came from.”
MCDONALD’S WANTS LOVING
The fast-food chain returned to the Super Bowl with an ad for its new promotion, which will let randomly selected customers pay for their orders with small acts of love, like a high-five or a call to a relative. The promotion starts Monday and runs through Feb. 14
Deborah Wahl, chief marketing officer for McDonald’s USA, declined to say how much the promotion is expected to cost the company.
“You can’t put a price on love,” she said.
COKE FIGHTS INTERNET TROLLS
Coca-Cola says it’s standing for happiness in the face of Internet trolls.
The 60-second ad was a modern-day twist on Coke’s long-running strategy of getting people to associate its soft drinks with happiness.
In addition to the “Make It Happy” TV ad, Coca-Cola has been releasing online clips featuring testimonials from those who say they’ve been the victims of online negativity, including football player Michael Sam.
Coca-Cola and other big brands have also been targets for online negativity; health advocates frequently criticize Coke for its marketing of sugary drinks.
It’s the ninth year Doritos is running its “Crash the Super Bowl” contest that gives fans a chance to create an ad for the big game.
One of the two finalists aired during the game was “When Pigs Fly,” which shows a boy designing a contraption to make a pig fly to get a man to give him a bag of Doritos. The other finalist, “Middle Seat,” features a man scaring away potential seatmates on an airplane, then whipping out a bag of Doritos when he sees an attractive. As she gets closer, he notices she’s carrying a baby.
The winner — who will be determined by fan votes and will be announced Monday morning — gets $1 million and chance to work onsite at Universal Pictures for a year. The runner-up gets $50,000.
JAMES BOND DRIVING A KIA?
In Kia’s ad, Pierce Brosnan is pitched a movie role where he doesn’t get to play the typical action adventure hero. Instead of dodging snipers and missile launchers, the role has him driving up a snowy mountain at 30 miles-per-hour for a romantic getaway. ___
NATIONWIDE IS FUNNY, THEN CREEPY
First, Nationwide made viewers smile with an ad featuring Mindy Kaling trying to kiss Matt Damon while thinking she was invisible. Then, the company got a lot more serious.
Another ad by the insurer showed a young boy riding a school bus and lamenting that he’ll never learn to fly, or travel the world with his best friend, or even grow up, because he died in an accident. The ad was aimed at stopping preventable childhood accidents.
“At Nationwide, we believe in protecting what matters most, your kids. Together we can make safe happen,” a voiceover said.
Nissan returned to the Super Bowl after 18 years with an ad featuring the story line of an up-and-coming race driver and his wife struggling to balance work and raising their son.
In a jarring detail, the ad was set to “Cats in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin, who was killed in a car crash.
WEIGHT WATCHERS SENDS MIXED MESSAGES
Is Weight Watchers trying to make Super Bowl fans put down the guacamole and chicken wings?
The first Super Bowl ad by the struggling weight loss company featured tantalizing food ads and marketing, an apparent illustration of the constant temptations facing dieters.
The company says it wants to help people lose weight, but for some viewers, the ad may have just triggered cravings for more junk food.
FIRST QUARTER, TWO HISTORIC VOICEOVERS
Toyota’s first spot featured Paralympic medalist Amy Purdy snowboarding and dancing, set to a speech by Muhammad Ali that ends with: “I’ll show you how great I am.”
A little while later, Carnival cruises aired its first Super Bowl ad, which featured an audio clip of John F. Kennedy speaking lyrically about the sea.
PUPPY LOVE … AGAIN
Budweiser’s “Lost Puppy” ad was a winner before it even aired during the Super Bowl. The ad, which shows a puppy running away to find his Clydesdale buddies, already had 18 million views on YouTube ahead of the game.
It’s a tried-and-true formula. Last year, Budweiser broke records with its Super Bowl spot, “Puppy Love,” which was a Top 10 branded content video and Top 10 video overall on YouTube. Some fun facts about this year’s spot:
—Eight puppies are featured in the ad, all of which were just a few months old at the time of filming
—Seven Budweiser Clydesdales underwent training for three months to fine-tune their skills for the ad.
MARCIA, MARCIA, MARCIA!
Snickers scores some laughs early in the first quarter with an ad that used clips from the Brady Bunch.
Actor Danny Trejo plays an agitated Marcia Brady with a broken nose, continuing the Snickers theme that people aren’t themselves when they’re hungry.
The kicker comes when the camera cuts to Steve Buscemi standing on the Brady’s familiar staircase, reciting middle sister Jan’s “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” line.
“This isn’t about you Jan,” says Florence Henderson, the actress who played Carole Brady. This prompts Buscemi to run away while shouting: “It never is!”
TIME TRAVEL WITH BMW
Somehow, TV journalists Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel seem to know what “twerk” means.
The former “Today” show hosts poked fun at themselves in an ad for BMW’s new all-electric car. The ad features a clip from 1994 when Couric and Gumbel express puzzlement over the “at” symbol in email addresses.
Fast-forward to present day, and they’re expressing similar confusion about BMW’s i3 car. Toward the end of the commercial, Gumbel asks Couric if she can twerk.
“Maybe,” Couric says.
For those who aren’t familiar with the term, Urban Dictionary defines it as “the rhythmic gyrating of the lower fleshy extremities in a lascivious manner with the intent to elicit sexual arousal.”
DID THEY JUST CALL YOU AN (expletive)?
In a not-so-subtle message to Verizon and AT&T, Sprint calls its two wireless competitors a not-so-nice word for a donkey — without actually saying the word, of course.
The company writes a letter to its rivals that starts with “We apologize for calling you …” and then shows a clip of a donkey. Then, it offers to cut its customers of Verizon and AT&T’s bills in half.
Two ads immediately preceding the game grabbed viewers’ attention. Chevrolet’s ad “Blackout” appeared to be a live game feed that turned into static and a blank screen. But Chevrolet used the trick to show that its Colorado truck has 4G LTE Wi Fi, so you could stream the game live in the truck.
Then an Esurance ad showed celebrity Lindsay Lohan trying to pick up a boy from school. When he protests that she’s not his mother she says she’s “sorta” his mom because they’re the same age range and have seen a lot of miles.
“When it comes to the big things (like your mom or your car insurance) sorta just doesn’t cut it,” a voiceover states.
There will be 15 newcomers to advertising’s biggest stage on this year, including Loctite glue and website host Wix.com. That’s the highest number of newbies since 2000.
Advertising experts say the interest from first-time advertisers is a sign companies are feeling good about the most recent economic recovery.
Still, Super Bowl ads are a big gamble for small companies. Some succeed in becoming a household name; Godaddy.com established itself with a racy Super Bowl spot 11 years ago. But others misfire; Groupon’s first and only Super Bowl effort in 2011 aimed to be a tongue-in-cheek take on public service announcements, but was criticized for being insensitive