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Super Bowl fever comes to South Africa

The Super Bowl is a mythical once-a-year event out here in South Africa. It is a phenomenon we have watched with initial bemusement that has given way to anticipation over time. Let me make it clear: most of us don’t understand American football. We do try, but we have soccer, rugby, and cricket as national sports, so forgive us our ignorance. So, why does the Super Bowl then matter for us out here in South Africa?

For years, our creative teams have held the ads done for the Super Bowl as one of the benchmarks of creativity. Our media teams have marvelled at the cost of one Super Bowl slot, and we have collectively long admired the sheer vision and artistry that goes into crafting an ad for the event, or coming up with a superb technique to outsmart that costly media buy.

As marketers and advertisers, we deeply see the value in the creation of film-quality pieces of creative that have seared themselves into the zeitgeist of not just Americans, but so too of creative minds worldwide; this is no small feat. We all remember glorious Cannes winners coming out of such executions; the dearth of creative execution serves to inspire us all.

This year’s Super Bowl contenders had lots of celebrity cameos, from Dunkin Donuts to PopCorners and Heineken, to name a few, but heart-warming ads with purpose tend to tug at our heart strings a bit more.

The second reason, and in recent years a driving force to be reckoned with, is undoubtedly the Halftime Show. This year was the first time I ever saw across social media local Super Bowl parties being set up in South Africa to catch the game. While some did care about the match, more people might have tuned in to catch the return of Rihanna, but then they stayed for the game. Let’s just say we recruited a few more Eagles and Chiefs fans all the way out here.

To round out our Super Bowl season, we asked our team which of the ads they liked most and why. So, here from the southernmost tip of Africa, is our rating of the Top 3 most-liked Super Bowlowl ads:

Workday’s ‘Rock Star’

The use of iconic rock stars in this ad and the fact that media people use the ‘rockstar’ way too much made this an office fav. Watch the ad here.

Pepsi X Ben Stiller

We loved the return of Zoolander in this tongue-in-cheek ad. Watch the ad here.

Budweiser’s ‘Six Degrees of Bud’

The flow of this ad embodied the Budweiser spirit so well. Watch the ad here.

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